Sleep tight? Or Good Luck?
It can be tough a get a good night’s sleep if you have trouble falling asleep in the first place. Lying there, with good intentions of drifting off peacefully but then nothing happens. Minutes pass, maybe hours. You might feel you are already behind the dreamboat, losing REMs and then your mind starts racing with thoughts, including “why am I still awake?!”
I have a natural talent of falling asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow. It’s like a 5-second sleeping rule. Pretty impressive, really. Usually. But not lately. The past few weeks, my sleeping patterns have been really erratic. Starting a business, accommodating house guests, dogs with fleas (!); all these roads lead to eyes wide open, tossing and turning and checking who’s outside at 2am…The answer is no one. I cherish my sleep though, as most people do. Our bodies need the physical rest and without quality sleep, we aren’t serving ourselves or others as well as we could be. I recognized a few things that needed to change for me to get a good nights sleep and so those are now part of my self-care plan.
If lack of sleep, or restless sleep is something you are experiencing, you may want to consider the following tips. After putting them into place for a week or so, they will become second nature.
1. Turn off electronics a good while before you go to bed. I turn off the Wi-Fi and Data on my phone and have the silencer set between 10p-7a. I will also unplug the router from the wall if no one else is using it to reduce the glow of the lights on the unit. It also saves a tiny amount of electricity and makes it safer against hackers. 🙂
2. Get comfy. You’re going to be lying in bed for hours, so try to make it as restful a space as possible. Invest in soft sheets that fit the mattress well. Perhaps, hang room darkening shades or curtains if the morning light will wake you too soon or you like it dark. See above about the glowing lights. Find a pillow that cradles your head how you like it. It may take a few tries. Wear pajamas that won’t get tangled up on your sheets.
3. Read. The act of reading a book a magazine before falling asleep helps your mind transition smoothly from your active day into your restful period. I wouldn’t suggest opening mail in bed to avoid thinking about bills, appointments, etc. I usually read a book in bed and there are nights when my eyes get heavy after just a few minutes.
4. Say your Affirmations. If you have read any of Jen Sincero’s books or other authors who encourage positive affirmations, you know what I mean. I have an affirmation playlist that I think to myself each night (and when I meditate). If you don’t fall asleep after the first round, say it again. And again. It works.
5. Make sure everyone has used the bathroom. This includes you; so you won’t have to get up, your bedmate; so he or she doesn’t wake you up; and pets; because they don’t care if you’re sleeping.
6. Run a diffuser. We recently started putting lavender essential oil in the diffuser and the first night, it worked like a charm. The second night, I forgot to add more oil so it was just water…did not work as well. Mine has a mechanism that turns the diffuser off when the water level gets too low, usually after a few hours. You may try another scent that works for you like frankincense or cedarwood but lavender is highly regarded for its calming and relaxing properties.
7. Lavender Eye Pillows. I am fortunate to have one of these very special ones. I keep one in my yoga bag and one by my bed for when I can’t sleep. The weight of the herbs feel grounding and calming on my eyes and of course, the scent is chosen for inducing a peaceful rest. Heated rice bags are great too, escpecially if you are being kept awake by an ache or pain in your body.