Lately I have been trying different ways to relax and unwind. I especially wanted to increase the amount of sleep I got. For me, I often have to do work until later in the evening and find it tricky to drift off. I also hate getting up in the morning and need to catch up on lost hours. This post is all about exploring ways to potentially sleep better.
So, there is nothing radical here but I do hope there will be even more suggestions in the comments below. It is always great to share ideas on a blog article. I learn so much this way and maybe you will pick up some tips along the way.
1) Make sure you do something physical
It sounds fairly obvious but it makes a massive difference. If you get some exercise during the day, you are much more likely to sleep more soundly.
I find that if I do have a sedentary day, catching up on admin and paperwork, I am less likely to sleep well. If I mix in a fast walk or quick gym session, the quality of sleep I get that night will normally be enhanced.
2) Create the right atmosphere
A dark room, with some calm music or a quiet soundscape should do the trick. I had some curtains that weren’t blocking out the sun in Summer. They were letting in that sunrise and waking me up far too soon.
Alongside good curtains, it is worth finding a suitable podcast or app to listen to. I love turning on the Calm app which has plenty of sleep stories, music and a variety of soundscapes. Sometimes I prefer a woodland backing and others I want flowing water.
3) Keep to a routine
Going to bed at different times every day can be disruptive to your sleep pattern. If you keep confusing your mind and body by having late nights and early ones, your sleep will be messed up.
As annoying as it can seem, I have found going to bed at the same time every night really helps. I try to make sure I squeeze in eight hours of sleep but often it ends up being more like seven.
4) Consider a scent
Sometimes having a fragrance in the bedroom can aid with better sleep. Often a diffuser with a scent that is not too overbearing will help to create that sleepy atmosphere.
Alternatively you can buy little sprays that you pop on your pillow before you lay down. They usually have lavender in them and are meant to promote nodding off.
5) Have regular naps
We all have busy lives and sometimes catching up on sleep is tough. Many people opt to have naps during the daytime and this can be very useful in making sure you get the sleep that you need.
I love to have an afternoon nap at the weekend and on Fridays when I work more flexibly from home. It is really beneficial to have an afternoon nap and can make you feel revitalised and fresh.
There are so many things that you could try if you want to improve the amount and quality of sleep that you get. These were my suggestions based on my own experiences and I would love to know your thoughts on this subject.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article about making sleep better. Please comment any tips you may have and consider following my blog for future similar content.
For another of my lifestyle articles about entertainment, have a read of Read, Watch, Listen which includes a book, TV show and podcast recommendation.
It has been some time since I last wrote about handy ways of making life easier. I’m all about sharing good ideas and love reading other people’s ideas for becoming more efficient at work and home. This article is all about simple life hacks that I use all the time and can fully recommend.
1) Fix food stains with washing up liquid
I spilled some salad juice (technical term) over my work shirt the other week and was told to quickly rub it with washing up liquid. It was fairly oily but I did as I was told. Later when I popped it into the washing machine, it came out sparkling clean.
I am not saying this will always work, but it did happen again after a visit to my favourite Italian restaurant. Once again the stain vanished.
2) Fill the washing machine immediately
This one sounds obvious but why leave washing in different places or pile it up or pack it into a basket? You can just save time and energy and pop your dirty clothes straight into the washing machine. As soon as it gets full, switch it on. Job done.
3) Utilise banking app rewards
My banking apps are always offering tempting rewards. One deals with mainstream shops and offers cash back if you use your bank card to buy from them. The only thing you have to remember is to activate the rewards. That way, the next time you use that shop, it will count. A few weeks later you will receive cash back into your account.
Just make sure you take up the offers and use them within the allotted time frame.
4) Never ignore a coupon
I often get little letters from Co-Op or Tesco superstores telling me about my points balances. Often I open these hurriedly and then recycle the paper but recently I have been scooping up the coupons and realised they are actually made to suit my shopping habits (Who knew!?)
How silly was I to ignore these tailored coupons. Since then I have started using the apps and finding electronic versions of coupons. These clever supermarkets know I buy cartons of orange juice, for example. As a reward, they offer me vouchers for 20p off etc. Until recently I’d been missing a trick for soooo long!
5) Watch whole TV series FREE
Recently a show that I wanted to see became available on Paramount Plus but I didn’t have a subscription. I decided to do a seven day trial and watch all six episodes episodes of ‘The Flatshare’ and then cancel the membership before it started to charge.
6) Spread the alarms
When you set those annoying alarms to go off in the morning, spread them out. I tend to have my phone one side of the bed. This goes off first. Then a few minutes later the iPad will chime. Because it is further away I have to get out of actual bed to turn it off.
Whatever type of alarm you have, be it clock or a device, make sure you put them beyond arm’s reach.
7) Read chapters at work
If you are bookish like me, you’ll want to squeeze in as much reading as possible. One of the ways I do this is by using the kindle app on my phone.
At work, once I have eaten my lunch. I read a few pages of a novel. If I get any other time to fill, I open up a chapter and go for it.
8) Make To-Do lists work
I used to mock friends who kept endless to-do lists but lately I have been converted. My to-do lists tend to be on post-it notes stuck to my laptop. Or lists made on the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone. They have changed my life and I rarely forget to do stuff. Now I have fewer conversations involving, “I’m really sorry but I forgot all about it.”
9) Never waste a trip upstairs
At home, when you go upstairs for whatever reason, make it worthwhile. If you are making that trip to the loo, take some ironed clothes with you and put them away. On the way down, collect any rubbish and bring it with you. Tidy up as you go along and no journey will be wasted.
10) Have some battery lamps ready
My mum bought me two little battery powered lamps in summer. They were very cute and had holders so they looked more like lanterns.
She said they were in case I ever had a power cut. I reassured her that we never have them where I live. Not in twenty years at least. Weirdly, a few months later, the electricity went off and they came in really useful.
11) Limit soap dispensers
I had this problem where too much soap would come out of a handwash dispenser. It ended up spilling too much down the bottle and onto the surface.
I discovered that if you wrap a rubber band around the neck it lets less soap out. Instead of squeezing a cupful out each time, it only allows a few drops. Perfect!
12) Always have the bare essentials with you.
Have a routine where you make sure you check your pockets for keys and whatever else you always need.
For me, I always want my keys and wallet, phone and hand santiser with me. I keep the keys in my right pocket and my phone in the left. My coat then houses my sanitiser (since Covid I can never be without it) and my back pocket holds my wallet.
13) Keep things in the same places
I grew up with a step-dad who was forever losing his keys. In fact, he never put anything in the same place more than once, so we were forever on wallet hunts or searching for letters or random items.
When I got home from school and wanted my fave TV show on, I could never find the remote. This drove me crazy! Especially in those days when TV shows were not available on streaming. You had to watch them live or spend ages setting up a VCR to record them.
I soon developed a strategy of my own and it’s simple. All I do is put things in the same place every time. As a result, I can rely on the remote being on the coffee table and my keys hanging in a certain place in the hallway. Phew!
14) Use a spoon to keep bubbly fresh
Put a teaspoon upside down into an open bottle of sparkling wine before placing in the fridge. I thought this was nonsense at first but so far it has worked rather well. I do like a glass of bubbly but never a whole bottle. Allowing it to stay fresh is a MUST!
15) This last one is for lazy gardeners (like me).
One thing I have learned since having my garden redone is that weeds will always claw back any empty soil. My good intentions are not enough to keep these horrible weeds at bay.
One solution I have found is to buy alpine plants such as dianthus and creeping thyme. They seem to get established easily and thrive throughout all of the seasons. Best of all they keep the weeds out of the way and don’t need replacing after flowering.
These may seem like basic things but they are life hacks that I use regularly and am grateful for. Perhaps you have some top tips of your own that you could drop in the comments and share. Also, if you are interested, take a look at How to be more productive on my blog.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. Please follow me if you want more similar articles in future. See you next time…
Collaborative post – All suggestions and opinions are my own.
We all hear about just how much everyone seems to be struggling with money at the moment. In Britain, ‘the cost of living crisis’ dominates our news programmes and most people are looking for ways to make extra savings or earn more cash.Saving money is in most of our thoughts and we all need to share any good tips we come across.
For me, I have found that energy bills have risen massively and the cost of petrol has hit my pockets hard. As well as this, I have found the weekly shopping become more costly too. So I am definitely looking very closely at my finances and trying to make cuts wherever I can, without allowing my standard of living to slip unnecessarily.
Watching the Pennies
It is important to set yourself goals and these include when saving up for things. I always have holidays in my head, so before I begin playing around with my money, I usually work out what I will have to pay for in the next six months. I have also got possible repairs and emergency money in mind when I make long term financial decisions.
For working out how long it will take me to reach a certain amount, I now use online calculators such as SavingsCalculator.Org which allow you to work out how much you are likely to need to save per month to reach a target or how long it is likely to take to get to that figure.
As well as working out how much I need for future projects and holidays, I can also work out the shortfall in income or the amount of overspending I am doing. Once I have this sorted, I begin to look for ways to cut back.
Some of my favourite ways include:
– Go through my subscriptions to apps and TV packages. Which do I currently not use much or can I do without? Sometimes it can be painful but ditching a streaming platform for six months can make a real difference to my bank balance.
– Look for easy ways to increase my income, such as opportunities to sell a few bits and bobs on ebay. Again, it is not always easy to say goodbye to possessions but sometimes a good old clear-out makes you feel better as well as helping to inflate your savings a little.
– Use the round-up option on banking apps to save small amounts each time you spend. When I pay for something, the Nationwide Building Society asks me of I want to save the amount that would have rounded my spend up to the nearest pound. This then goes straight into my esavings. It is a Ninja way to save pennies without really noticing.
It is important though, to do some calculations and have some potential figures in your head. Then you know what to aim for and exactly how much to reduce your outgoings by, if you are going to make it work for you.
I have written about my suggestions of how to potentially boost your income in a previous post:
In A Nutshell
Even though we are going through challenging times financially, there are several ways we can change our dealing with money to make sure our savings keep growing and that we don’t drown in debt.
Using a useful website you can change parameters and make predictions about how to build your savings. At the same time you can make reasonable adjustments to your outgoings or add additional income sources to top up your bank account.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article about how I prefer to save money and shave off my spending habits.Small changes have made such an impact on my own savings and helped me to continue to afford indulgences such as my recent trip to Antwerp to see the Christmas lights. For more of my suggestions about saving money, check out my other article.