Now it’s no secret that I have issues with sleep. I have a stressful job and my lifestyle more than likely doesn’t help me either. So when Barker and Stonehouse asked me to try out different sleep remedies throughout the course of a month I couldn’t say no, I’d do anything for a decent night’s sleep.
My first week’s sleep remedy was Cherry Juice, which I had no idea how it would work so I did some reading up (the scientist I am can’t help myself). Research shows that cherry might help increase the sleep hormone melatonin, helping aid length of sleep. Low melatonin levels are a problem in many people, and are linked to smart phone use (light breaks down melatonin, hence why you wake up in the morning) and as a heavy smart phone user I could see that they may be helping disturb my sleep too. I drank cherry juice in the morning for a week (I didn’t want to in the evening as I try not to drink too much before bed). By the end of the week I found that it was easier to get to sleep, however I still found myself waking up for a period when it gets lighter in the morning. I think if I were to try for longer it may help with that, although better curtains in my bedroom might help more!
On my second week I had to try out a hot bath before bed to help aid my sleep. There’s a lot of research into the relaxation of baths and how they lower blood pressure and it’s thought this will help aid sleep. Now I have to admit that it was difficult to do this as I had been struggling to keep my eczema at bay and a long time in the bath makes it worse. So I switched to warm showers before bed, using a moisturising shower gel and a snuggly towel afterwards. I have to admit I actually found this really effective from day one. I usually sleep well on nights where I run and have a shower after, but I found myself more relaxed after a shower, even without the run. It’s probably the process of letting the day wash away. I still woke up in the early hours so no help there, but I was generally more relaxed overall.
My third week involved using listening to a Relaxation CD to help aid my sleep. This is something that is kind of tried and tested with me, although I usually use audio books to help me sleep when I’m having a bad night (usually due to a stupidly busy day at work). Admittedly I was dubious of the music, would it be annoying or be too much but I had to try it. I popped the music on to my iPhone and played it when the lights were out. I was pleasantly surprised, I found the music easy to get on with and before I knew it I was drifting off. Out of all the remedies this has been the most successful in getting me to sleep because I can’t actually remember the point where I fell asleep! I had a few early morning wake ups but generally slept through this week. Although I think I’d switch back to my audio books in the future though.
For my last week I had to use a Lavender Pillow Spray to help aid my sleep. As a child I remember my mum would make us use lavender bubble bath before bed to help us sleep better. The fragrance of lavender is proven to help relax and even lower blood pressure. The only issue really with the pillow spray was that Mr W was not a fan, so I would spray it a couple of hours before bed so the smell would dissipate, whereas I would have rather sprayed a little bit more. I do love the scent though and it really is relaxing whilst reading a book before bed. I think this coupled with an audio book would be the perfect combination for a good nights sleep!