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World Sleep Day - Top Tips To Improve Sleep

Friday 15th March was World Sleep Day, I have experienced professionally and personally the devasting effects sleep deprivation can have on one’s physical and mental health. At one time much of my therapy work was on ‘wellness’, in particularly working with women peri or menopausal, my role was to ensure their pillars of health was in order.  Before I even looked at changing their diet or introducing movement, I wanted to improve their sleep.

I know anyone who has experienced sleep deprivation and now gets good quality sleep will look back and realise the devasting impact.  Sleep deprivation feels like, you can literally write off a whole day, due to feeling fuzzy in the head, headaches, lethargy & feeling grumpy. Not sleeping well for a few days you truly feel you are losing it, or do lose it! You can lay in bed physically exhausted but your head will not switch off, anyone relate? When this carries on for weeks, months an individual’s health rapidly declines.  

The good news, in my experience I have helped hundreds of individuals improve their sleep. Below I have listed my top tips but obviously you meet someone where they are at. To not create overwhelm I would suggest slowly over the days, weeks made subtle changes and find what supports you and your quality of sleep.   


Drink lots of water - maintain good hydration - if dehydrated the body responds with a stress reaction -yes you guessed it, more of that cortisol. 

Avoid stimulants after lunch time - no caffeine, no sugar. 

Dim the lights of an evening, keep light levels low or have candle light or a small lamp whilst watching tv, then nothing at bed time. 

When in bed - no tv, laptop, phone. 

Magnesium - Recommended for Women 500 - 1000mg  per day, amazing for sleep and relaxation. 

Sleep Supplements – In one study, people who took 5-HTP went to sleep quicker and slept more deeply than those who took a placebo.Researchers recommend 200 to 400 mg at night to stimulate serotonin, but it may take 6 to 12 weeks to be fully effective. *Please note always discuss with your GP as 5-HTP should not be taken for those individuals on SSRI’s (common anti-depressants). 

Smoking – If you are a smoker your body may be waking at around 4am with nicotine withdrawal. I would highly recommend contacting a Stop Smoking clinic who can offer free nicotine patches to help you quit.  

Try this tension release and breathing exercise.  

Tension Release

The aim of this exercise is to increase your awareness of letting go and allowing yourself to relax.  1. Lying comfortably, focus on your breathing, let yourself melt into the bed, you can keep your eyes open if you prefer. Slowly breathe in and breathe out, you could put one hand on your chest and one on your tummy and aim to feel your body push into your hands as you breathe in and return to normal as you breathe out.   

2. Push your heels away, hold, relax, repeat 5 times 

3. Clench your backside, hold relax, repeat 5 times 

4. Clench your hands, hold, relax, repeat 5 times.  

5. Tightly close your eyes, hold, relax, repeat 5 times. 

 Just Breathe

Slowly breathe in for the count of 2-3 seconds and breathe out for the count of 2-3 seconds, you could put one hand on your chest and one on your tummy and aim to feel your body push into your hands as you breathe in and return to normal as you breathe out. Repeat the breathing 10 times and each time allow yourself to sink into the bed some more.  

You Could Also Try

Epsom salts in a bath 2-3 times a week. 

Drop of Lavender oil in the bath or on your pillows.

Now I am a Clinical Sexologist of course I would also recommend an orgasm in the evening and see if that improves the quality of sleep!

Any questions please contact,  Much love always,Michelle 

Michelle Jermy MSc, PGDip, BSc, PGCE Clinical Sexologist/Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist

COSRT Registered