11 Tips & Tricks For A Good Night's Sleep (from a Seasoned Insomniac)
Posted: Jan 31 2018
Did the whole counting sheep thing ever stress out anyone else? Like where are all the sheep going after the jump? Do they ever get a break? What do they count then they can’t sleep? Is counting sheep cruelty free?
After reading that it should come as to no surprise that I have had chronic insomnia for about 10 years now. Stuff like this keeps me up at night. I know a thing or two about waking up on the wrong side of the bed (I once tried sleeping on the opposite side of the bed and things were not pretty).
Check out a few tips I have for a more restful night sleep:
1. Have a strict routine. When I had roommates this was hard so you kind of have to define what routine means to you. Try and brush your teeth, wash your face, change into your PJ's, etc, all in the same order and around the same time. One thing I always do when I begin my routine is light a candle in my room; it's kind of like a signal to my body that my night time routine is starting. But please blow out the candle (I will not be held responsible for any fires).
2. Drink a night elixir. Part of my routine also usually consists of some sort of beverage...not a night cap. I usually do non-caffeinated (decaf still has some caffeine) tea with ingredients such as Mint, Chamomile, and Valerian Root. A Golden Latte with Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory ingredient rich in curcurmin, can also be so soothing and yummy before bed. While we are on the topic of beverage lets talk about Caffeine. Personally I don’t consume caffeine past 10am and I stop with any sugar as early as possible. I see so many people on the ‘gram posting about “insomnia” on their stories, but I also saw them post a pic of their afternoon latte at 4:30pm so….. If you MUST consume caffeine late in the day make it tea or matcha because that kind of caffeine gets out of your system in a more timely fashion.
3. Journal your thoughts. Keep a note pad next to your bed to write down things that come to mind. Write them down immediately, don't sit there and let it fester! I recommend a pad of paper/journal and not the Notes app on your phone. Screen time = BAD (see #7).
4. Walk it off. If you are not asleep within 15 or so minutes of getting in bed, get up! Walk around your house. Get some water. Stretch. Whatever, JUST GET OUT OF BED. The longer you lay there, the more frustrated you will get.
5. Sleep and sex only. There are only two things you should do in bed — sleep and sex. Technically you should not even read in bed. And for the love of Beyonce, never ever do work in bed. Even if you love your work, your bed is not the place. It’s for catching some serious Z’s and sexy time.
6. Get a diffuser/humidifier. I add lavender to mine since it's so soothing. Makes me feel like I’m in a fancy pants spa getting a mud mask or something. Not only is it relaxing but it also adds moisture to the air which is fab for your skin in the Winter, when it's all kinds of dry.
7. Avoid screens after dark. It’s true, screens stimulate the nervous system and mess with your bodies clock. Replacing screen time with reading helps big time. Sometimes I get a bit too into my book so, this is weird, but I will read cook books or catalogs. It’s so mindless. But yes sometimes the cookbooks make me hungry. This one may make me sound crazy, but I often tell myself weird random stories. Gets my brain focused on something instead of all the stressful things in my life or the fact that I don't have a 401k.
8. Talk sleepy to me. There are a few great podcasts you can buy on iTunes. Sleep With Me is a podcast in which the host talks about very boring topics in a boring and drawn out manner. Legit could not tell you the topic of any of the episodes. If you don’t like the idea of headphones at night you can get a fancy pillow like this that plays music/podcasts through the pillow. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.
9. Invest in your bed. A great mattress, pillows, blankets, and sheets go a long way. They say white is best because it's so pure. As far as mattresses go I have a Tuft and Needle and la-la-la-love it.
9. MAKE. YOUR. BED. Bed hygiene is so important and the easiest way to have good bed hygiene is by making your bed everyday. If I don’t have time in the morning it's the first thing I do when I get home even if I’m going to bed five minutes later.
10. Bed Hygiene Part 2. Your bed is your holy place. So pure. So clean. So comfy. So uncluttered. Moral of the story: don't treat your bed as a storage shelf and wash your sheets often.
11. Last: Get Artsy. This is by far the weirdest thing I do. But for whatever reason I find watching people paint or watching people do makeup to be extremely comforting and soothing. You can search on YouTube. It’s so weird. I know but it really chills me out. I know it goes against my screen time rule but if you must do screen time I recommend something like this or Planet Earth/Life.
So here they are —11 tips for a good night’s rest. But like anything, we recommend finding what’s best for your unique needs and lifestyle.
For those of you who struggle with getting decent sleep or any sleep at all I FEEL YOU! As always, happy to discuss more with you. Shoot me, Kallie, a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet dreams 💤