There's nothing worse than sleepless nights. If you are an insomniac, I feel for you. I used to suffer night after night, so I am well aware of how the curse of wakefulness can run havoc on every aspect of your life. A lack of sleep causes mental and physical fatigue, stress and anxiety. It causes brain fog, moodiness and a general malaise that sucks the life out of life.
The secret to sleep isn't just about bedtime. It's something that we must prepare for during our waking hours. Deep sleep is a result of all aspects of our lives being in balance. Sleep has to do with diet, caffeine intake, stress levels, ability to relax (even during the day!) So don't just wait until it's time to get under the sheets, start preparing beforehand.
Here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way to help you sleep. No more rolling around, watching the hours pass, stressing about and dreading the day ahead. There's hope yet!
1 BLACK OUT YOUR ROOM & ELIMINATE ELECTRONICS
If you do nothing else, this is the one thing you must try. This made the world of difference for me. Once I blacked out my room, I not only slept, but it was a deep sleep. A kind of deep sleep you only dream of. Cover your windows with black out (or dark) curtains, and get rid of or cover all lights. No digital alarm clocks, no type of electronic device that has a light. Even the smallest of the smallest light will shine bright in the night. And put your phone on airplane mode while you're at it! No electronics one hour before bedtime, too stimulating.
2 DON'T LOOK AT THE TIME
Knowing that it's 2am will not help you... if anything it will stress you out even more. You don't need to know the time, just trust that your body regenerates even while you lie there awake. Getting rest if better than nothing. So keep trying, or if you must, get up and do something for else for 5 minutes and then try again. Sometimes a re-set is all you need.
3 NO CAFFEINE AFTER 2PM
The caffeine in coffee or tea can stay in your system for hours, so cut yourself off in the afternoon. It will be worth it, i promise!
4 FIND AWARENESS
Insomnia has to do with our thoughts ruling the show. The repetitive mind chatter prevents us from accessing that delicious sleep trigger. Try getting into your body, and out of your mind. Quiet the thoughts, but feeling into the body instead.
5 RELAXATION TECHNIQUES OR MEDITATION
Focusing on breath in the body is the perfect way to release tension and fall asleep. Follow the breath into the belly and as you exhale, notice parts of your body relaxing. Over and over, don't give up! Take up restorative yoga or a meditation class, relaxing during the day helps to prepare you for a good night sleep and teaches you HOW to relax.
6 HOT BATH
A Dead Sea Salt bath before bed is a great way to detox and de-stress.
7 JOURNAL YOUR THOUGHTS- MAKE TO DO LISTS
Writing everything on your mind on paper, releases your mental stresses. It's all written down, it will be there for you tomorrow. For now, you have to focus on sleeping!
8 LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
A few drops of Lavender goes a long way. It's proven to reduce anxiety. So give it a try! Good luck, and whatever you do... don't stress!