Hi guys, today I want to talk to you about sleep, the importance of it and how much we all get. Most of us love to sleep, most of us also don’t get enough of it. Whether that be down to a busy schedule, working antisocial hours, babies, noisy neighbours or pure insomnia, I’m sure I’m in the majority when I say I’d like better sleep.
Sleeping well is an important part of a balanced lifestyle. You all know that I love to throw the word ‘balance’ into my posts every once in a while. But it’s true. We often thrive on the idea of being busy, whether that’s actually being busy or appearing busier than we are to our peers. Looking busy, having no time, etc makes us look like we have stuff going on, we’re thriving! You know what really makes you thrive? Sleeping well and being on top form the following day to achieve all of those things you have going on.
I’m not preaching here. Sleeping is something that does not come easily to me. I’ve had chronic insomnia pretty much my whole life. Apparently, it runs in the family (thanks dad). Originally, I was going to include my insomnia history in this post too, but it got to about 1300 words and I hadn’t even got to the point of the post. I’d be happy to post that separately if that’s something people would be interested in?
But, due to my insomnia, I’ve looked into almost every method of sleeping better that’s out there. Back then, nothing worked for me. But, as my natural sleep rhythm has improved as I’ve gotten older I’ve found that a few things do help me drift off easier.
In the original
essay post I was going to put up, I explained that since my early twenties my insomnia has been in a much better place. Back when it was really bad, I would frequently go days without any sleep at all. Now, I sleep more like a ‘normal’ human. And by normal, I mean sleep is something I do daily rather than twice weekly.
So, how do I sleep now?
Right now, my sleeping habits are the best they’ve ever been. To the average person, they’re still not great. But if you’ve ever suffered from insomnia you’ll understand me when I say this is quite the achievement.
I currently sleep around 4-5 hours a night. The only way I can sleep is if I’m in a dark and silent room and I sleep very lightly. Hotels are a nightmare.
After years of insomnia, late at night is now when my brain is the most productive. Meaning my sleep schedule is slightly askew with those of the average person. My 4-5 hours are usually 3am-8am. I’m definitely a night owl, I’m not a natural early riser. I’ve always been able to get by getting up early because my body never required much sleep to function, but I would never naturally wake up at 5am. That’s more likely to be the time I fell asleep.
So, we know that sleep is amazing and we all want more of it, but why should we be sleeping more?
Why do we need sleep?
Our body performs miracles when we sleep. It repairs things inside our body, including muscles. Blood pressure drops, energy is restored, you’re better rested for daytime function. That’s not to mention looking better the next day when you’re well rested.
Even though I can sleep now, I’m always trying to find ways to make it easier. I’m happy with the amount of sleep I get, because it’s more than I ever have, but I would love to sleep deeper. I’m all about a better quality of sleep at this point, rather than quantity.
Recently, I was contacted and asked if I’d like to try a vegan sleep supplement. And by supplement, I mean supplement, this isn’t a sleeping pill. The ingredients are all natural and are supposed to help aid in you getting a better quality night’s sleep. The formula was developed by doctors, biochemists and nutritionists, so I felt safe taking it.
What’s in it?
The ingredients are broken down into three sections on the label, sleep quality blend, sleep cycle support and mental wellbeing blend. The sleep quality blend works to reduce fatigue and increase serotonin in the body. You know, the stuff that gives you that feel good feeling after exercise (and other things)? The sleep cycle support is supposed to help regulate sleep patterns, so you know it’s time to wind down. And the mental wellbeing blend is supposed to be calming and help you switch off. You can read more about the purpose of each individual ingredient here.
Neuro Rest retails at £24 for 60 capsules, although can be bought cheaper if purchased in bulk.
I thought as someone who has had major struggles in the sleep department, I would be a great person to test the product and see if it actually works. Welcome to my mini sleep diary.
The instructions are to take one tablet for four nights and then one or two tablets every night thereafter. I tried two for a few nights, then switched back to one. I’ve been taking them for just under four weeks now and I have actually noticed a few changes.
Did I sleep better?
Initially, it was so subtle I almost didn’t realise it was happening. I’d been taking the pills around a week and then I went through a phase of five or six days where I was really struggling to get out of bed on a morning. I’m sure that’s something that lots of people struggle with anyway, but as a light sleeper, I’d never really had issues there. It was only after a few days of having to force myself up that it dawned on me that I must have been experiencing a deeper sleep than usual if I was struggling.
This realisation was very exciting for me. Then I did the unthinkable. I tried going to bed earlier. And by early, I still mean 1am. So, off to bed I went and I found myself drifting off within 30 minutes of going to bed. That’s unheard of for me that time of day. My next question was would I sleep longer or rise earlier.
Well, both, kind of. For the next week or so I was finding myself waking up an hour to two hours before my alarm, but able to sleep in a ‘snooze’ state until it was time to get up. Wake up at 6am, it’s too early, fall back asleep for 10-15 minutes, wake up, still too early, back to sleep and repeat this cycle until my alarm goes off and I have to get up. As I’d been semi-awake for a while, getting up was no longer difficult.
In complete shock that I was able to fall asleep at my ‘early’ bedtime, I tried to continue the routine for as long as possible. Last week, I would take my pill, do my skincare routine, get myself ready for bed (at 1am!?) and hope for the best.
I was falling asleep almost instantly. Then, on Sunday (without an alarm) I woke up at 6:40am. On a Sunday. My natural body clock woke me up before 7am. And I don’t mean snoozey awake, I mean awake awake. I felt well rested like I’d had a good, deep sleep and I was awake that early. The next day, I woke up at 5:40am feeling the same way. Waking up at 5:40am was not something I wished to repeat, so I readjusted back to my usual bedtime.
Going to bed at 1am and waking up at 5:40am meant that I’d had the same amount of sleep that I usually get, but I woke up feeling like I’d slept more. Better quality of sleep achieved, which if you recall, was the actual goal.
My usual bedtime had similar results, this week I’ve been waking up just before the alarm was due to go off, having slept for 5 hours (it’s been 5 rather than 4 most nights) and feeling very well rested when I wake up. My quality of sleep has definitely improved. Even though I’m not sleeping more, I’m waking up knowing I’ve slept well, which is something I never thought I’d say.
I’ve found my experience with Neuro Rest very beneficial. I’m falling asleep faster and getting a more relaxed, better quality of sleep.
What do you do to improve the quality of your sleep? Would you ever consider taking a supplement? And would you still like to see my insomnia story post?
Until next time,
See my handbag essentials for tired skin here.
*This post was kindly sponsored by Utmost Me. All opinions are my own.