Last month I wasn’t sleeping the best and my sugar levels really rubbed it in my face. It’s known that a lack of sleep has negative effects on blood glucose. However, if I don’t get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, my sugar levels and I are equally unpleasant. Anyone the same?
I would lie in bed wondering if I left the chicken out to defrost or if I had time to put on a wash before work. I would literally spend hours thinking of the most irrelevant, unimportant things my mind could come up with. So, I started to keep track of the things that allowed me to relax in the evenings and help me to sleep better. All of these things are small, easy changes that made a genuine difference to me when I was settling down at night.
1. No coffee after 5PM
Never have I drank coffee after 5 and been able to peacefully sleep that night (Espresso martinis don’t count.) I wouldn’t consider myself overly sensitive to caffeine either. Everyone’s different but I genuinely find that keeping my iced coffees to the mornings and early afternoons helps me majorly. If I’m ever craving a coffee after dinner I’ll order/make a decaf and add a little milk and splenda.
2. Silk Sleep Mask
You won’t realise until you get one, but sleep masks are so essential. They’re great for shutting out light but I find that their real benefit is that they set the whole mood for sleep. As soon as I put mine on, my mind knows it’s time to shut down. To be specific, I love the silk ones. They don’t have the same grimy dirty feel that the cotton ones get very quickly. Plus, they’re anti-aging and so lightweight that you forget there’s anything on your face. The ones in shops like Sephora are about $50 which I could never justify spending on a sleep mask. I found this silk one on amazon (click here) for just 10 dollars and I absolutely love it.
3. The Ivy Lee Method
Before I settle in to bed these evenings, I write a list of the top 6 things I have to do the next day in order of importance. It’s called the Ivy Lee method. You can click here to read a little more about it- It’s supposed to be fantastic for productivity and getting things done. I like because it helps my mind to relax knowing that I’ve got all my priorities structured for the following day. This prevents me from laying awake for a pathetic amount of time trying to decide if going to the gym in the morning or giving myself a sleep in would be more beneficial.
4. Note Your Sugars
There’s something I find weirdly therapeutic about logging down my sugar levels at the end of the day. I bought myself a pretty little pen and notebook and write out my levels, the insulin I took and exercise/meals. Another sleep deprivation for me is the fear of going low or high in the middle of the night. Being able to see how much insulin I took on previous, similar evenings is reassuring that this won’t happen.
5. Essential Oils
I’ll be the first one to admit that when I was first introduced to ‘essential oils’, I saw nothing essential about them. I will also admit that if Doterra hadn’t been so kind as to give me multiple free samples, I would never have tried them. I can confirm that this lavender one (click here), definitely improved my sleeps. I put a few drops on my pillow every night and it is just the most SOOTHING thing. I also rub it into any knots I get on my back and I can really feel the muscles relaxing. I’m weird about what I spend my money on but I definitely think $20 for this little bottle is worth it. It lasts an incredible amount of time too.
Those are my top 5 tips for an improved sleep. Hope this post has been helpful and please let me know if you have any other sleep hacks that should make it to the list! x