Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Week #26

This week I started to eat clean, you can find a ton of inspiring posts around the internet about clean eating but this is the best I've found. It has been 4 weeks since getting my appendix removed and I am still healing. I went to my first gym class for over a month and it felt good to be back and exercising. I have finished my first year in my college course and it was pay day (not a very good one though seeing as I couldn't work for a whole month and I didn't get any sick pay). 

What I used (seeing as it's no different to the other weeks, I'll list everything):

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Week #25

This week I was still off work due to having my appendix removed. The main thing that happened in the week was I saw Blondie live with my mom (it was her late birthday present- and they were amazing!). I finished college and went to the gym for the first time since my operation.

Things I used:
This is my dashboard where I keep my sticky notes for easy access. I used the big pastel yellow and the top green sticky notes this week. 
I also used the top right pink sticky note
I also used the washi tape from this masking stickers set which I got from eBay.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Butlins, Minehead.

On June 10th me and my boyfriend went to Butlins in Minehead, Somerset. We spent 4 nights there for his 18th birthday, and it was my first time ever at Butlins. I really enjoyed it, but I knew I wanted to do a detailed review of the place for others who had never been on what to expect. I read a ton of reviews on TripAdvisor and it actually made me less excited to go, mainly because a handful of the reviews commented on the cleanliness of the rooms. But once we arrived I sort of forgot about it and my excitement returned. I'll talk you through the holiday from start to finish:

 Our trip started at 10am with two different trains and a long bus journey from Taunton to Minehead. If you go by train, you may want to consider booking your seats because we had to stand up for the majority of it (it was a 4 hour journey all together!). Once we had arrived, we went to the check in to get our keys. We arrived just before 4pm so we didn't have to wait long to get into our rooms, we were very tired and just wanted to sit down. We waited at the check in for a little train which took you around the resort and dropped you off where you were staying. We stayed at Oyster Bay which was the standard self-catering apartments. 

This is what the hallway looks like with the front door ahead.

This is the 'master' bedroom with the double bed (my minion on my side!). The only problem I found with this room was the window would not shut properly, so it would bang throughout the night, keeping me awake. We had to tuck some of the curtains between the window to stop the banging.
This was the spare room where we kept our suitcases, towels, and clothes.
The other side of the spare room with our suitcases and swimming gear. We'd just been swimming!

This was our bathroom, small but very nice, and the shower worked well. The only problem I found was the toilet roll holder was too high for my preference, I ended up taking it off and putting it on the sink for easier access.

This was the front room, dining room, and kitchen in one. It was pretty big and spacious, with quite a nice view from the first floor up. You were only allowed to watch 5 main channels on the TV, and you couldn't get a guide either. None of the heaters worked, I'm not sure whether you have to request it or pay for it, but none of the switches would turn on.
This was was kitchen and dining area with the living room being slightly to the right of this photo. It was bright and spacious, and surprisingly clean (apart from the windows and oven, those were a MESS!). The fridge had enough space to fit food for the week, but the freezer part was very small. The kitchen cupboards already have plates, cups, and cutlery (not a lot I must add). As you can see I ended up drying my hair in the kitchen because none of the other plugs worked!
This was the 'backgarden' view from the spare bedroom window. The apartments are in a square set up so these are the backs of Oyster Bay apartments.
This was the front view out of the living room window. Not as good of a sight as the back, but it was quite peaceful either way. The road in the middle was where the little train dropped us off. It took us a little bit of time to find where the apartment was.

So that was our apartment. I was quite happy with it, the only downside was the fact it was quite a walk away from the main place within the resort. It took us about 10 minutes to walk to splash world. On the second day (Tuesday) we went swimming in the morning. We were told on the brochure that it opened at 10am, so we got there 10 minutes early. There was a pretty big line already, and we ended up waiting in line for around half an hour before being allowed in. Once we got in, we put our stuff into the locker, jumped into the shower (they ask you to get 'wet' before entering the pool) and then went in. It was so full.. Uncomfortable full. Some guests got to go in earlier, and it seemed like half of the people staying at the resort were in there before us! We managed to get into the lazy river, and all I did was bump into people and drink a ton of nasty pool water. I felt hot and sick (I've not been swimming for years!). We stayed in there for roughly 3 hours, spent some time going on the slides (which were really good fun! Except we got stuck on the Master Blaster).

ARCADES!!! This is where we spent practically ALL our time!

All of the prizes we won from the arcades.
Me with my cute minion (we bought him).

The arcades were really good fun, and quite addictive. I'm not a big fan of the 2p ones, but I ended up playing non-stop for 2 hours trying to win an ice-cream, a cat, a cupcake, a panda, and some other things. We spent majority of our money there!! Some of the games you get tickets from, which go towards some gifts (which to be honest most of them you can buy off eBay for less than £5). On Thursday which was our last full day, we won the jackpot on one of the games and ended up getting a total of nearly 2,000 tickets. The guitar at the back right was the one my boyfriend won for 1,500 tickets. All the little figures were won on the 2p machines (my favourite is the cupcake, that was the first one we got). My boyfriend won me the Sponge bob from the 30p machine (I must of had about 30 tries to win him!!! Was such a happy bunny when he finally won it). The Zingy (back left) I won on my own for my boyfriend but he ended up giving it to me because I love them. He bought me the minion from the Butlin's toy shop because I am in love with Despicable Me

We went to Scoop for ice cream, this was quite expensive but worth it. It was real Italian ice cream and we just couldn't pass it up... We went twice! They had quite a lot of flavours to choose from, including cookie dough, oreo, strawberry milkshake/cheesecake, fudge, mint etc. For two ice creams it cost just under £10. We also went to The Sun And Mood Inn for a lunch before going swimming on the Thursday. Again this was very expensive for two meals, two cokes, and one desert (came to just under £30), but it was worth every penny. I had a jacket potato with beans and cheese, and my boyfriend had the big cheese and bacon burger. It was filling and delicious! And the desert was HUGE! I forgot both my phone and camera so couldn't take a photo, oh how I wish I could've because it would've blown your mind.

The first time we went to Scoop, we both got the three scoops and it was way too much to handle, but was so delicious at the same time. I had mint, vanilla, and cookie dough (left); and my boyfriend had strawberry cheesecake, oero, and cookie dough (right).
Our second Scoop experience. We opted for two scoops instead of three this time. Expensive but worth every lick, tehe :3 Also, excuse the slightly sun burnt rosy cheeks.

The last place we went to was Minehead town. We passed the beach but didn't go to it as the weather wasn't the best. There wasn't many exciting places, we walked through the main part and went for a meal in Wetherspoons on Wednesday. The meals there were again expensive, but not as expensive as the Butlins prices of course. The meals were lovely and filling. I chose a burger and chips, whilst my boyfriend had a lasagna. There are plenty of "seaside" stores all around the place so you won't forget to buy your friends some rock, or get a souvenir.

The beach from afar. The weather wasn't the greatest, and the tide was out.

Butlin's have pretty good entertainment throughout the morning, afternoon, and evenings from Monday to Thursday. We didn't know about it until Tuesday, so we missed the Adele tribute and a comedy act which sounded good. We did however see three tribute acts in the evenings of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Firstly we saw The Rolling clones. These were okay, they did look and sound like them, but not my taste. I only knew one song and felt a little bit bored. Wednesday we saw the best tribute act I've ever seen! We saw Tina Turner and Tom Jones act, they sang their songs together and were absolutely amazing! Thursday we saw a Jackson's act, they dressed up and danced and sang the songs, but didn't sound like them, so it wasn't a 'full' tribute act. They were very good though, I would definitely see them again. The only thing we were disappointed with them was that none of them did the moon walk!
Looked and sounded like Tina and Tom, would see it again for sure!
Tom Jones and Tina Turner act - the best act!!!

Me watching the Tina and Tom tribute act (and being very tired)

If you're planning on going to Butlin's, whether it be Minehead or another place, I hope you enjoy it and have a ton of fun. If you're self catering, remember to either bring food with you, or go to the Tescos or Morrisons stores which are a 10 minute walk away from the main entrance of the Minehead resort and stock up (unless you're going out for food). Let me know your experiences!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Week #24

This is my first week post which is inspired by filocuteness and paperlovestory. I went on holiday this week from Monday to Friday with my boyfriend for his 18th birthday to Butlins (which I've written a review of here). I wanted to keep a note of everything we did throughout the week in order to write the review, so I wrote everything down on sticky notes and stuck them on each day for a reminder. Then once I got home and wrote the review, I took the sticky notes off and realized the page was unbearably bare and I needed to fill it with something. So I ended up writing everything we had done on each day.

Things I used this week:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How to bleach and dye your hair

When you first dye your hair you might feel incredibly nervous, you don't want to do anything wrong and cause damage to your hair. It's normal to feel this way, and it can be beneficial to be worried and want to find out how to do things correctly in order to avoid blunders. 

I've been bleaching and dyeing my hair since I was around 10 years old. My nan was a hairdresser for years and owned her own salon, my mom and sister dabbled in it, and I just learned techniques along the way. I barely went to hair salons, I didn't need to with the amount of experience my family had, and they were more than happy to let me experiment and go own my own little hair adventure. I'm 18 now and I've been every color of the rainbow, and I always do my hair myself. I will share with you my experiences and what I've learned throughout the post. I hope to answer any questions you have, if not please comment below and I'll answer asap!

Am I able to dye/bleach my hair?

Mostly anyone can have their hair bleach or dyed, but before you do either you must do an allergy test to make sure you aren't allergic to any of the products being used. Potential reactions can be detected by carrying out the skin allergy test 48 hours before you wish to use the product. Mostly all hair dye and bleach packets will include a leaflet which will explain how to carry out the test (you can also have this done at a salon), but if you don't have this then here is how to carry out the test:
  1. Using a cotton bud, apply a little of the unmixed colourant product sufficient to cover an area the size of a penny (1 – 2cm²) behind your ear.
  2. Re-apply two or three times allowing it to dry between each application. Carefully reseal the colourant container.
  3. Leave for roughly 48 hours without washing, covering or touching.
  4. If during this period you notice any abnormal reactions such as itching, redness or swelling in or around the test area, wash the product off and do not use the product again - this means you're allergic to the dye.

Home VS Salon

Another common question is whether to go to a professional or do it yourself. I would always recommend someone who is doing it for the first time to go to a professional, whether that be a family member, friend, or at a salon. I had my family and some hairdresser friends do mine over the years when I wasn't sure on how to do something. If you're just putting a simple colour dye over your natural hair, you can do this at home. It will be cheaper for you and really is very simple to do. I will go through this later on.

If you're wanting to bleach your hair (whether it be highlights or your whole head) I would suggest going to a salon or professional who knows what they're doing and is very experienced. When I first bleached my hair, I had a hairdresser friend who used the cap method for highlights, and OH MY GOSH it hurt. It wasn't the bleaching process that hurt, it was the pulling and tugging of the hair through the cap using a needle that hurt! I wouldn't do it again, that was the first and last time for me. Most people use foils when bleaching hair now, which is a much better way of bleaching hair than the cap method. The foils help to keep the bleach warm, helping it to work better and strip more colour from the hair.


 "Will my hair fall out?"

If you are going to bleach or dye your hair occasionally, and you take relatively good care of your hair, it won't fall out any more than normal (we humans lose up to 50 hairs a day). If you're going to bleach it multiple times frequently, you will find your hair becoming more weak and brittle, leading to more hairs breaking off easier than usual. This doesn't mean you'll go bald, it just means you find more hairs in your bath plug than normal, and that you need to lay off the bleach until your hair has recovered. 

With dyes, your hair won't be as badly damaged as it would with bleach. With bleach, you're stripping all the colours from your hair, but with dye you're just overlaying another colour onto your current hair. To stop your hair from becoming weak, dry, and brittle, it's important you take good care of your hair, especially after bleaching/dyeing it. I will go into more detail about aftercare later.

How to dye your own hair

Of course having the help of someone else to dye your hair is a lot easier than doing it yourself, but some of us haven't got an extra pair of hands and need to make sure we get every spot. If you're able to get a friend or family member to help you reach those hard to reach places, or even to do your whole head for you, that would be a great help!

Firstly; you need to choose what dye you want. Remember, if you want to go a lighter colour than you already are, you will need to bleach your hair. Have a look around for what colour you like. Most hair dye boxes have a "before and after" hair colour chart on the side of the box for you to compare your own colour with. You will also need a towel you don't mind getting dirty, or an old t-shirt to wear whilst dyeing your hair. Hair dye can be quite messy! If you're allergic to certain gloves, you might want to buy your own just in case the ones in the box are the ones you're allergic too.

Once you've chosen the dye you want, you'll need to make sure your hair is freshly washed and dried for the dye to stick well. Read the instructions before you do this, as some dyes are better on damp hair. The instruction leaflet should let you know how to mix and apply the dye, and how long to leave the dye on for (it's roughly 30-45 minutes). Make sure you massage the dye in and comb it all through your hair so you don't miss out any places. I personally like to get a little messy with mine and massage my whole head to make sure it gets everywhere before clipping it out the way and leaving it. 

Once the time is up, just rinse the dye off in the bath/shower with either cold or lukewarm water (cold water helps the dye to stick better and last longer). It is also a good idea to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as normal, and continue to rinse with water until all of the colour is out and the water runs clear from your head. Then towel dry or blow dry, and wha-la!

How to bleach your own hair

This is similar to dyeing hair, but a little more complicated if you've not done it before. Like I said I would recommend a professional to do this for you, but sometimes it's not possible, and salons can be very expensive, so from my experience here is a guide to bleaching your hair. Again in the bleach kit you will find an instruction leaflet on how to apply, allergy testing, and so on.

I would recommend using Jerome Russell's bBlonde kit. You will have to buy the cream and powder separately, but it works very well in my experience. In a box you get 4 powders, and one bottle of cream goes to one powder of bleach. You will also need to mix it in a hair dye/bleach bowl and brush which is available at most chemists and drug stores such as Boots and Superdrug. These aren't very expensive and are re-useable.

Most bleaches recommend leaving the bleach on for no longer than 30 minutes, I personally have never left it on longer than 45 minutes and even then my skin wash itching like crazy. When you wash off the bleach, make sure you wash all of it off with warm/hot water. I like to wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner twice, and use a deep conditioner afterwards for 30-60 minutes. When I bleach my hair, I find that using a good, thick conditioner such as herbal essences or tresemme works wonders. Don't be afraid to put a lot on a deeply massage it onto your scalp. I would recommend leaving it to dry naturally as your head as been through a lot of heat with the bleach, but if you need to then try and use some protection to minimize the damage.

Aftercare for bleach/dyed hair

Like I mentioned, using a good shampoo and conditioner will help your hair to recover from the products used. Washing your dyed hair with cold water will help the dye to stick longer, and I find it makes your hair and scalp feel a lot healthier. Washing your freshly dyed hair with a colour friendly shampoo will help decrease the chance of bleeding onto towels, pillows and clothes etc (although usually it will come out on a hot wash). Be gentle with your hair, try not to use so many heating tools such as hairdryers and hair straighteners. Use heat protectors if you are going to use styling tools. Some good heat protectors I've used are the Vo5 sprays and creams, but others may work better for you. I just use whatever my mom has in the cupboard.

I hope this helped answer any of your hair dyeing/bleaching questions. If not please comment below and I'll be more than happy to reply and help as much as possible!


Thursday, June 06, 2013

My experience with Appendicitis (and surgery)

What is Appendicitis?

Main symptom includes a pain near your navel
Appendictis is an inflamation of the appendix. It's located in the lower right-hand side of your stomach, and doesn't hold an important role so is not dangerous to remove. Most people who get appendicitis are between 15-30 years old, and will require surgery to remove the appendix before it ruptures. Nobody is sure what causes appendicitis, but it is usually a small piece of faeces which is blocking the entrance of the appendix, causing it to swell.

How do I know whether I have Appendicitis?

According to, appendicitis typically starts with a pain in the middle of your abdomen (tummy) that may come and go. Within hours the pain travels to the lower right-hand side, where the appendix is located, and becomes constant and severe.
Pressing on the appendix area, coughing or walking, may all make the pain worse.
If you have appendicitis, you may also have other symptoms, including:
  • feeling sick
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • a fever of 38ÂșC or higher
  • diarrhoea


 What should I do if I think I have Appendicitis?

If you're experiencing abdominal pain that's gradually getting worse, contact your GP or local out-of-hours service immediately. If these options aren't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 4647. If the pain is bareable, try to see your doctor or go to a walk in clinic so you don't have to wait hours at A&E to be told it's constipation or something which doesn't require emergency care. If they suspect you may have appendicitis, they will recommend you to the hospital and ring up for you so you don't have to wait hours. You should call 999 for an ambulance if you get a pain that suddenly becomes worse and spreads across your abdomen. These are signs that your appendix may have burst. If the appendix bursts, it will release bacteria, which can cause serious infections, such as swelling of the inner lining of the abdomen and blood poisoning. Leaving appendicitis can lead to the appendix rupturing, which can cause an infection and ultimately death.

My experience with Appendicitis

On Saturday May 25th 2013, I started to experience abdominal pains near my belly button in the morning. I assumed it was just general pains from gas or indigestion, which will pass. It did go so I thought nothing of it, until it returned a few hours later with even more pain. I wasn't sure what it was, my boyfriend suspected it could be appendicitis from where the pain was located, but I wasn't too sure. Throughout the day, the big pain would come and go around my belly button, but the dull ache was constantly there. I felt sick and uncomfortable, I didn't eat much and just wanted to curl up and sleep.

The Saturday night the pain got really bad, I agreed to go to the walk-in GP clinic near to my house on the Sunday morning to see what it was and maybe get some pain relief. I filled in the form and waited for roughly 60-80 minutes before being seen. I went in and explained my symptoms, the lady assessed me and suspected appendicitis. I was sore and swollen with a high temperature. She rang up the hospital and said that I needed to be seen straight away. I was given a letter and sent to A&E where I waited for another hour before being seen by a triage nurse. She also suspected appendicitis from my symptoms and said her son had his appendix removed and was playing football 5 days afterwards.
About 2 hours since I came into A&E, they put me into a cubicle, two doctors individually assessed me, blood was taken and I was given pain relief. About another hour I was moved into a females ward with the majority being elderly ladies. I felt slightly better knowing it most likely was appendicitis and they could do something about it to stop the pain. I was told not to eat or drink anything until the morning when I would have the surgery, so I went 24 hours without food or drink and was so thirsty! They also put me on 2-3 drips to keep me hydrated and get me regular pain relief. By 11am I was going into surgery, I was slightly nervous but before I knew it I was back in the ward. I had the laparoscopic surgery procedure where they make three incisions and insert a camera, they then fill your stomach with gas so they can see what they're doing, move some of your intestines around to find the appendix and then remove it if it's infected or inflamed. I was told mine was inflamed and was going to rupture, but I didn't have much of an infection so didn't need antibiotics.

This was one of my incisions which is super bruised and painful!
After the surgery in the recovery room, I apparently had an asthma attack. I say apparently because I cannot remember what happened. I slightly remember not being able to breathe and not being able to open my eyes and coughing a lot, but then I remember waking up in the ward with an oxygen mask on my face. My oxygen levels were low so I had to have oxygen for the next 12 hours or so until they rose to a reasonable level. It was so uncomfortable to sleep with! My mother came and saw me a few hours after the surgery. It took roughly 4 hours for the surgery and the little incident in the recovery room, longer than I expected. I was very tired and swollen. I was then allowed to eat and drink, although I wasn't in the mood to do so, I knew I had too and I'd feel better for doing it. I had to buy 24 hours of TV in order to watch something and keep myself occupied. It was hard sleeping at night in a ward full of people coughing, walking around, talking, throwing up etc. They were all lovely, but all very unwell.
I was in hospital for a few days recovering. I had a fever most of the time and was sweating night and day. I started to recover well and my cough was getting better, so I started asking to go home as soon as possible. They changed my dressings, gave me prescribed medication to go home with, and my mom came and picked me up. I was told to keep the wound clean, be on bed rest for at least 4 weeks (this didn't happen. It happened a week ago and I'm at college right now!). I am going on holiday next week so will have to take it easy. I am in a lot of pain. It took me roughly 3-4 days after the surgery to have a bowel movement. Going to the toilet even for a simple pee hurt, because I couldn't push down on my stomach muscles in order to help the pee come out. At times I had to just sit there and wait for it to come out itself. I ended up waiting until I was about to burst then I'd go. I was meant to stay in bed, but I ended up doing house work and gardening to keep busy. I stayed in my pajamas all day for over a week and was dying to get outside and enjoy the nice weather whilst it was here. I walked home from college yesterday, a 30 minute walk, and by god it felt like dealth. I was in so much pain with every step, my stomach is so sore and bruised, that made it even worse. Last night I was up feeling ill and couldn't sleep. I've been told this pain can last up to 6 months. I can definitely feel myself getting better everyday, but it will take time to fully recover. This morning I was speaking to a woman whilst waiting for the bus and she was so surprised I was walking around so quickly, but in all honesty I have no choice but to do so.

If you've had appendicitis or an appendectomy, I hope you're recovering well!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

How to get into a good sleep routine

My first post is all about sleep. Sleep is very important, no matter what age you are. Everyone needs a good amount of sleep in order for their brain to function normally and efficiently. Little sleep can cause you to become tired, stressed, lethargic, lazy, and moody. It can and most likely will affect your day to day living, especially school work, hence why a good sleep routine for teenagers is very important.

Why do we need sleep? What's so important?

Everybody needs sleep, full stop. You couldn't live without it, literally! I'm sure you know when you've had "a bad night's sleep", you're generally grouchy and tired all day long, all you long to do is climb into your comfy bed and nod off for hours on end. Mostly all teenagers will hear their parents moan about you not getting enough sleep, staying up until the early hours of the morning, only to be late getting up for school. Don't get me wrong, some people including teenagers can genuinely have a sleeping problem called Insomnia where they find it mentally and physically impossible to fall asleep, no matter how tired they are.

Sleep is seen as the body healing itself from a long, hard, stressful day. You should wake up feeling less stressed than when you went to sleep. You may still be tired, but you throughout the day you should find you have more energy to carry out daily tasks. Everyday is different, every sleep is different, so it's hard to tell what your morning is going to be like. But this doesn't mean you can blame it on that alone, it is also to do with your routine of sleep, and how much sleep you get. 
Does this look familiar to you? Unable to stay awake during class? Your sleep pattern may not be right for you, and you'll most likely need to "train" your brain to get into a habit of sleeping.

 For example; if you get roughly 8 hours sleep every night and you wake up around the same time every morning, you will most likely find it easier to get up, and you should feel more awake when you wake up. But if you get a variety of sleep every night, say one night you sleep 4 hours, the next you sleep 6, the next you sleep 5, you will notice your body cannot find a pattern to settle into. You might wake up easy on certain days, usually when you get less sleep, this doesn't mean you've had enough sleep, it means your body isn't used to the pattern and hasn't fully fell into a deep sleep whilst you were sleeping. So you might feel wide awake for a few hours, but you'll most likely crash and feel tired and weak the next few hours.

How do I get into a "sleep routine"?

Your sleep routine is personal to you, it will most likely vary from your friends as we are all different and our sleep needs vary. Firstly, you need to study yourself and get to know how your body works. You may have to experiment with different amounts of sleep for a few nights to see how well your body copes everyday. Once you know how much is enough for you, then you will find it easier to slip into a routine. 

Sunday night; you have school in the morning and you need to be up by 7am. For the first night, you could choose to get 6 hours sleep, meaning you'll go to sleep by 1am. When you wake up, note down how you feel as soon as you wake up, and just before you leave for school. Then note down how you felt throughout the day energy wise when you get home.

Monday night; you will increase your sleep to 7 hours, meaning you'll go to sleep by 12am. You will repeat the note taking process throughout the day.

Tuesday night; you will increase your sleep to 8 hours meaning you'll go to sleep by 11pm. You will repeat the note taking process throughout the day.

Wednesday night; you will increase your sleep to 9 hours meaning you'll go to sleep by 10pm. You will repeat the note taking process throughout the day.

Thursday night; you will increase your sleep to 10 hours meaning you'll go to sleep by 9pm. You will repeat the note taking process throughout the day. 

Once you have done that, on the Friday or the weekend you can look back to your notes of each day and assess the days. Which day did you have the most energy throughout the day? Which morning did you wake up feeling most awake and alert? Which day did you feel most tired? You will then find out the amount of sleep your body roughly needs to be able to function each day. Most teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night, this can be hard to achieve but you must attempt to try and get at least 8 hours. 

 What else can help me get into a good routine?

A lot of factors can affect your quality and quantity of sleep. This again is personal and you need to find out what you like and dislike when going to sleep. Do you like lights in your room on or off? Do you like doors open or closed? Do you like windows open or closed? Is your room too hot or too cold? Are you comfortable in your bed? Is your bed clean and comfy? Follow some of these tips and you might find some may help you get a better night's sleep!
  • Clean bed sheets and pajamas.
  • Taking a shower/bath before bed.
  • Burning a scented candle for 15-20 minutes before you go to sleep.
  • Getting your clothes out for the next day so they are ready and easily available.
  • Making your lunch for the next day so you don't have to do it in the morning. 
  • Getting darker blinds/curtains.
  • Keeping the room cool/warm.
  • Having a humidifier (especially if you have chest problems such as Asthma).
  • Tidying your room before you sleep.
  • Drinking a hot drink such as decaffinated coffee or tea before sleeping.
  • Having a glass of water before bed.
  • Turning off all switches and lights.
  • Shutting doors and windows if necessary.
  • Having a night light on.
  • New bed sheets, pillows or duvets.
  • Exercising an hour or two before bed.
  • Not eating an hour before you want to sleep.
  • Turn the TV, laptop, and lights off.
  • Get everything that needs to be done that day and the next day done before you sleep. 
  • Take medications before you sleep, or when you wake up.

I hope some of these tips help you to get to sleep from now on, don't be scared to experiment with how your room is, changing the temperature or darkness/lightness. Do what relaxes you and tires you out. Some people do yoga before going to bed as it makes them sleepy, whilst others have a hot drink or bath. Another tip: DON'T nap in the day. Turn off your laptops and computers, tvs, anything that will keep you up. 

Let me know whether any of this advice helps you, and any of your own advice which could help others!