A woman wearing a sleep mask look content in bed, lying next to a nightstand with a journal and pencil, open book, pair of glasses, and illuminated alarm clock on top of it.

How I Get a Good Night’s Sleep

If you’re anything like me, you need a good eight hours sleep each night to function like a regular human. If I have a bad day with my IBS I might need more or I may even take a looooooong nap during the day if I can.

In the UK the NHS recommends that adults need between six and nine hours sleep a night. It’s an important time where your body rests and resets in preparation for the next day. It’s crucial and for me, a huge priority.

How to sleep well with IBS

Here’s how I prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Go to bed at the same time every night

This can be hard to stick to, depending on what your day's plans consist of, but I find it much easier to fall asleep and wake up if it’s the same time every day. Something I definitely struggle with now I’m freelance. Ideally, I like to be in bed close to 10 pm and wake up around 6:30 am.

Get lost in a good book

There is nothing I enjoy more than sliding into my sheets with a good book to get stuck into. It allows my mind time to switch off from reality and into the pages of a good rom-com, my go-to for an enjoyable, easy read. I’ll consume as much as possible until I start to feel my eyelids getting heavy.

Write in my journal

Every night, for the past two and a half years, I’ve been journaling my high and low point from the day. It’s something I was doing before I attended a course of CBT last year, but something my therapist recommended I continue. It gives me a chance to channel any thoughts which may be preoccupying my mind into words, which allows me to reflect on what the day held for me. I can get it all out of my system and sleep easy, putting to bed any anxieties.

Wear an eye mask to shut out the light

I’d be lost without my eye mask, it’s like a comfort blanket, pulling it on each night. Creating the ultimate darkness, it also signals to the brain to start producing melatonin, the sleep chemical, so your body knows to prepare for sleep.

Run a body scan

The final thing in my sleep routine, once I have my eye mask on, is to perform a full body scan. I enjoy the process of checking in with my body before I drift off, and this practice often helps. I lay flat on my back with my arms by my sides. I start by concentrating on my breath, breathing in and out deeply and slowly. Once I’ve fallen into a rhythm I start by scanning down from my head to toes. I check how everything feels, where I’m holding tension or discomfort. It allows me to really highlight any certain sensations and understand my body. It also relaxes me so much so that I often drift into a slumber mid-way through.

What do you do to help get some sleep?

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