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Tips for sleeping better – seven steps to achieving the perfect night’s rest

Sleep expert shares top tips on how to set up bedroom to get the best night's sleep

A lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect in many ways. Getting too little sleep can lead to lack of motivation and focus, as well as an increased sense of irritability, stress, anxiety, and depression.

There has also been research that proves lack of sleep can have an adverse impact on our hearts, lungs, and immune system, as well as leading to weight gain and coronary heart disease.

According to Nicci, author of ‘Manifest your Everything’ published by Cico books and holistic health and wellbeing practitioner (, if you are struggling to sleep, it could be because of insomnia, chronic pain, mental health or simply your lifestyle choices.

She added: “Even things like an overly busy mind, emotional turmoil, a lost job, or sleepless nights from a baby can play havoc with your routine and internal clock. Externally, sleep deprivation can also cause dark circles and puffiness under the eyes – and a duller skin tone.

“Prioritising your sleep has so many benefits, and deep, restorative, and restful sleep can enhance energy, better your mood and increase attention span.

“Regular sleep also helps you wake up refreshed and better able to cope with everyday challenges.”

As everyone deserves the chance to have a good night’s sleep, Nicci recommended seven tips.

Switch off your computer and other devices at least an hour before bed

Looking at your phone, computer and TV can have an adverse impact on sleep, said Nicci.

“Melatonin, known as ‘the sleep hormone’, is what we produce to make us sleepy and by keeping your devices on, the blue light that comes from most screens can suppress its release into the body and can cause a disruptive night’s sleep.

“Avoid having your phone next to you at night. Put it away from you – and make sure you shut down your computer! Having a cut-off time for your phone and computer can also help avoid over-stimulating your brain – giving time to relax before bed.”

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Focus on ‘sleep hygiene’ with a regular routine

Sleep hygiene is not just about clean sheets and fresh pyjamas. Nicci explained: “By planning your nightly routine you’re training your brain to prepare for a good night’s sleep.”

To do this she said to try:

  • Making your bedroom your ‘haven’. A relaxing environment is a happier and more comfortable place to be.
  • Following a nightly routine of dimming lights, having a warm bubble bath or shower and listening to calming music.
  • Sticking to going to bed and waking at the same time every day. This adjusts your body clock so your mind and body will get to know when it’s sleep and awake time.
  • A comfortable mattress and pillow are important factors for a good night’s sleep.
  • Opening a window for a cool temperature in a dark room helps promote sleep.
  • Including regular exercise in your daily routine to relieve stress and promote the ‘feel-good-factor’.

Crystals can give you what you need

The powerful vibration of a malachite crystal helps you to relax and have a good night’s sleep, claimed Nicci.

“Hold it for an hour before bedtime and then put it next to you on a bedside table – or sleep with it under your pillow. Blue calcite is especially soothing for children. Place it under their cot or bed. Rose quartz gives you love and is wonderful for soothing and relaxing. Relax in a rose quartz and rose essential oil bath to give yourself some love before you go to bed.

“You could also try placing a handful of rose quartz tumble stones in a warm bath, add five to 10 drops of rose essential oil and a tablespoon of coconut oil or sweet almond oil and then lay back and relax.”

Keep a night journal and write down what’s on your mind

If you go to bed feeling overwhelmed with lots going on in your head, write it in a journal, said Nicci.

“This is a wonderful release to help you relax and sleep – knowing you won’t forget what you need to do the next day.”

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Meditation calms your mind, relaxes your body and gives you an inner peace

There are different meditations such as focusing on your breathing, playing soothing meditation music, or listening to a guided meditation, said Nicci.

“My favourite is the ‘Word Meditation’ which helps you focus on calming positive words that you repeat to yourself over and over again such as ‘I feel calm, relaxed and peaceful’ or ‘I am calm, happy and in a good place’. Choose positive affirmations that resonate with how you want to feel and allow the words to be absorbed by your subconscious mind.”

Avoid caffeine for at least six hours before bed

If you suffer from insomnia, cut out caffeine or reduce it to mornings only.

Nicci said: “Research has shown that caffeine can disrupt your sleep patterns and if you’re especially sensitive to caffeine, or have trouble sleeping, make sure you don’t consume it too close to bedtime. Remember, caffeine can be hidden in things like tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks, it’s not just coffee that is the culprit.”

Anchor your way to sleep

‘Anchoring’ helps you remember a positive memory by connecting it to a physical action, explained Nicci.

“You can bring any memory into the present moment that makes you feel good. This can be recalling a calming, relaxed memory to remembering a confident and happy time. Practice anchoring a memory that will relax you before you sleep.”

  • Close your eyes and think of a time you felt peaceful Imagine stepping back into the moment as though you are there again
  • Squeeze together your thumb and forefinger on one hand
  • Enhance the feeling of reliving this lovely memory. Turn up the volume. Double it; triple it.
  • Remain in this lovely calming memory until you fall into a beautiful restful sleep.
  • Repeat every night.

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