Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene

Gemma Bromley

Mummy. Entrepreneur. Brain Injury survivor/craniotomy. Author. Grateful, positive and spiritual!

26th August 2020

Sleep hygiene is so important for getting the peaceful nights rest you need to get you ready to tackle what tomorrow brings. Read on to learn how to improve yours…

We all want a good night’s sleep, right? To do this, we need to use our bed only for sleeping in as our body will adapt very quickly to the idea of sleep. When our brain associates bed with sleep, a goodnights sleep is simple. Sounds easy right?


Avoid Screens In Bed

It is not so easy if you have a TV in your bedroom, use screens in bed especially before you go to sleep, or if you do work in your bed, chat on the phone before bed, or even eat in bed. The reason why it does not work is because you are stimulating your brain. It is not catching on to any sleep signals and it certainly is not calm. Performing activities that are unrelated to sleep will only put your brain on high alert and confuse it into thinking that you need to be kept busy, whilst in actual fact you really want the opposite to happen.

I have spent many years trying to ‘beat’ this little fact which has been proven by many sleep studies. I have failed time after time. A quick check on Facebook before bed or an episode of Killing Eve and my brain is on high alert. I have needed at least 40 minutes to an hour before I feel sleepy again. This isn’t good, I need my beauty sleep!

So, how did I get better sleep?

Now this bit is easy, and a no brainer. I went back to my old sleep hygiene worksheets I was given through my recovery and they have been a godsend. Below I will share these tips. I promise you if you follow them correctly, your brain will reload with a healthy sleep routine and one that will never fail you.

  • Bed is for sleep only! Okay reading, writing a journal – oh sex too, and pillow chats are allowed BUT that is all!. No screen time, just NO!
  • Set a schedule by establishing a regular sleep pattern. For instance, do not sleep in any longer than one hour, even on your days off. Go to bed roughly the same time each night and wake up the same time in the morning.
  • DO NOT FORCE YOURSELF TO SLEEP! If you have not fallen asleep in 20 minutes get up and do something calming. For instance, you could read in the lounge, meditate, have a milky drink, listen to calm apps etc. You do not want to cause unnecessary anxiety around getting off to sleep and fall in the habit that you think that you cannot sleep when you might just not be ready.
  • Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine if you can. This is because these can affect your ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep will not be as good. Did you know that caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours? Yep, even de-caff has some caffeine!
  • Exercise and eat as healthy as you can. A heavy meal 2 hours before bed is not a good idea and will disturb sleep. Skipping meals will not help sleeping either, as you will wake feeling hungry. I was told by my therapist if I woke feeling hungry a glass of orange juice will satisfy my hunger, and it really does!
  • Sleep in a comfortable, relaxing environment, research has shown that sleeping in a messy, cluttered environment will cause inadequate sleep. Therefore you will wake up more often. Research also shows that a dark environment helps us to feel sleepy. White noise can help us fall asleep like a ticking clock, the sound of a fan, but this is not for everyone. You can download white noise on the Calm app for free for basic sounds. If your bedroom tends to be noisy use earplugs to help.

Try these tricks and see if your sleep hygiene improves. Let me know how you get on, give yourself an adjustment period of 6 weeks! You can reach me on my contact page or on my socials (links below).

Good luck!

Half a Head - Gemma Bromley

My book “Half A Head” is OUT NOW!

You can order your copy on Amazon by clicking here!

Share this post on your socials…

If you liked that, you might also like these…

Low Mood

Low Mood

It's a no brainer in telling you that trauma causes depression. It might not happen directly after a traumatic experience (especially if there's an element of denial). Overall, a traumatic event...

read more
Half a Head is OUT!

Half a Head is OUT!

I cannot believe that my book Half a Head has now been released! I am so unbelievably grateful with the mind blowing, beautiful and very touching reviews I have already received. In just week one!...

read more