Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for me if I’m going to be productive throughout the day. If I’m tired and cranky, you can guarantee that I’ll slack off getting the important jobs done, I won’t eat healthy things and I’ll generally be a grump.

Doctors say eight hours is the right amount of sleep an average human needs, but I’ve found that sometimes seven can be completely sufficient, six if it’s a really good deep sleep. So today I wanted to bring you 8 tips on how to relax when the sun goes down and you’re all tucked up in the land of nod.

1. Put away the technology – a simple one, but one that most people struggle with. I don’t have a TV in my room anymore and I’ve moved my laptop into my living room where it stays when I go to bed. I also try to switch off my data on my phone so no notifications come through in the middle of the night waking me up.

2. Soothe with a smell – I spray lavender oil on my pillow and rub it into my temples which really helps me drift off quickly.

3. Breathing – There are breathing techniques you can follow to help you fall asleep but I find just switching off, being in the moment and concentrating on deep breaths relaxes me within minutes.

4. Temperature – I always sleep better with the window open slightly because I get warm very easily, plus I’d much rather snuggle down under the duvet than be so hot I’m throwing the sheets off every two minutes. Try and find your perfect temperature and sleep will soon come.

5. Reading – I’m in the middle of a real cheesy chick lit book at the moment by an author called Victoria Fox. The reason I chose this book is because it’s a fun read but it doesn’t really stimulate the brain all that much – that way I can switch the light out when I feel my eyelids get heavy and not be laid awake thinking about the personality traits of the lead character.

6. Have a warm drink – I always find heating warm milk up with a hot chocolate and sipping this before bed helps me to relax. I choose skimmed milk and the light Options just because anything too heavy may have the opposite effect and keep me awake.

7. Exercise – If you use up all your energy before bedtime at the gym you’ll no doubt fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. Go between 5-7pm if you can so your body has time to calm itself, and your body temperature and heart rate have returned to normal before bedtime.

8. Routine – Just like you do with children, sorting a bedtime routine is also a great idea for like likes of you and me. I always have a hot shower, moisturise, have my hot chocolate, brush my teeth, curl up in bed and read a chapter or two of my book and my body knows instantly that it’s now time for sleep.

I wanted to put this post together with British beauty brand Sanctuary, who are currently running a campaign to help women relax, breathe and #letgo. Sanctuary knows how much pressure women put themselves under to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect employee. – in fact with 7/10 women feeling immense pressure to be “perfect” in every way.

But sometimes it’s good to just let go and switch off for a while. It’s about being in the moment, putting the phone down, enjoying the company of those around you, living, breathing and appreciating that very second you’re alive. Over the past couple of months, my biggest mission has been to stop planning for the future and instead, live for today. It’s still something I’m working on, but I’m getting there slowly. I know this is something we’re all guilty of sometimes, so take a minute and watch this film Sanctuary have put together and see if it makes you think like it did me.

*Post sponsored by Sanctuary

About Victoria

Hello! I'm Victoria, the founder of multi-award winning interior design blog, Apartment Number 4. I can't wait to share my tips and tricks on creating a beautiful place to live on a budget, regardless of whether you're living in your forever home or your home that's perfect for now.

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