Is better quality sleep something that you struggle with? You’re not alone, more and more people report that their sleep patterns change regularly. Some fall asleep with no problems only to wake throughout the night. Others struggle for hours to get to sleep but then sleep soundly only to be rudely awaken by the alarm clock.


So what can you do to help yourself?


Here are 5 key tips:

1) Bedroom environment

Keep the bedroom for sleep or sex only! Take out all distractions, including all electrical items (computers, iPads, TVs etc) – tech free. Keep the room clutter free and dimly lit. The brain will then associate the room purely for relaxation only each time you go in there. Use essential oils to calm and soothe. Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Frankincense are excellent essential oils to but in an aromatherapy diffuser in the room just before bed.  Temperature should be comfortable, so not too hot or cold.  Also, check your mattress - it's amazing how just changing this can make a big difference.

2) Sleep routine

Try to go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time every day. Routines aren't just for children, they have been shown to work for adults too.


3) Uppers and Downers

Avoid all stimulating food and drinks for up to 3 hours before bed. This includes all caffeine fuelled items – coffee, black tea, green tea, colas, and chocolates. Sugar is generally stimulating so that’s a no-no too. In the same vein, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs will not help and only prove to disrupt the natural sleep patterns. In fact you’re more likely to wake up during the night and the quality of sleep will be very poor.  Try to eat a few hours before bed and stick to relaxing herbal teas.

4) Get up and Go

Get active during the day. Whether you are a gym bunny, a yoga fan or just simply enjoy a good walk – do something every day. Try and do this during the daytime or early evening but not too close to bed time as it could have the effect of waking you up instead. Creative hobbies are also great for calming the mind – such as art, gardening, cooking or even doing a jigsaw.


5) Stress free zone

We all know that at the most stressful times our sleep is rubbish. So what can you do? Exercise as above is great. Meditation or some simple breathing exercises just before bedtime could also be helpful. Aromatherapy in the room or bath could calm the mind enough to allow sleep. Some form of relaxing complementary treatment, such as a massage or reflexology has been shown to relax and de-stress.

If churning thoughts keep you up then keep a notepad and pen by the bed and write everything down as it’s in your head that way you can relax knowing that it’s there for you to deal with in the morning. However, if you really can’t sleep don’t lie there tossing and turning, get up out of the room and do something elsewhere in the house for a short while. Then return and try again.

All content within Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies and Rima Shah are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies website or blog. Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.


  1. Ola Agbaimoni on April 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I used to think that I didn’t have a sleep problem until I realsied that what I was doing was working late into the night because I couldn’t sleep. I run my own business so there is always an excuse to stay up working. I’ve decided to try going to bed early so that I get more rest. I am hoping that the things you have suggested will make it easier for me to sleep so that I don’t end up too exhausted. Thanks for your helpful tips.

    • Rima on April 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Ola

      Yes, when being self employed it’s so easy to fall into the trap of working every hour that we can spare – even if that means staying up into the middle of the night. Well done for making the decision to get to bed early and sticking to it, as it’s not always easy when running your own business. Good luck and I hope that your sleep continues to improve 🙂


  2. Kelly on September 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    This is a great blog, thanks.

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