If you are like myself and you battle with the should be simple task of falling asleep at night, you will appreciate the four tips I am going to share.
Falling asleep has never been exceptionally easy for me, even as a teenager. I’ve always had this issue with being alone in quiet spaces. My mind starts to wonder, I start looking around, and next thing you know I’m trying to find something to occupy my mind. I go through this nightly process of tossing and turning, searching for the right position, until I am so mentally drained, I have no choice but to pass out. It is this fear of being alone that resulted in my need to either be on the phone with someone or have some form of stuffed animal in the bed. I became dependent on co-sleeping with my son, refusing to kick him out of the bed, when his dad would work overnight. I just found I slept better when I didn’t feel alone. For me, being alone means thinking about a bunch of random things, that will then lead me to start looking up things, that then leads me to absolutely no sleep. Every choice and decision that I made in my day reappears just before it is time to shut my eyes. It is almost as if I am programmed. Being a worrisome mother has not eased that anxiety in any way. Whether I am constantly getting up to look at the kids, or I was checking to make sure they were still breathing when they were babies, or I’m slightly listening for any random movements in their rooms, I find a million excuses not to sleep at night. Unfortunately, my body pays for it during the day, but the show must go on whether I have slept 8 hours or 2. Lately, I have gotten a bit better and I want to share some of the small changes that have helped me with this ongoing battle.
1. PUT THE PHONE DOWN
This seems simple right? I can recall the weekend where I got the most sleep, was the weekend I unplugged from all social media and left my phone dead for most of the day. It was so refreshing to not stare in a screen mindlessly for hours. Many of us tend to scroll through our phones late at night, checking out social media, online shopping on Amazon, researching blogs, etc. While it may just seem like mindless entertainment, clicking one website or one video can turn into hours of screen watching, which then cuts into your sleep. I started trying to get into the habit of not answering my phone after a certain time and putting it on silent so notifications wouldn’t distract me. I also started turning my phone face down because the light from the phone can also mess with your sleep. This small technology detox can be so helpful because your mind is focusing on falling asleep and not how to master the latest TikTok trend.
2. SET THE TONE FOR GOOD SLEEP
If you are like me, I cannot sleep with multiple lights on and excess noise. My kids both have to fall asleep with the TV on. Once they are sound asleep, I get up to turn it off because the noise from their tv’s constantly wake me up. The temperature in the room has to be just right and what I sleep in has to fit perfectly with the room temp. I tend to get hot at night which also affects my sleep pattern. For this reason, I sleep generally in some form of shorts and a tank top, nothing too thick & the air is generally pretty cold. I do this on purpose. My thermostat, whether it is air or heat stays between 68-70 degrees. I know that even if I fall asleep shivering, I will wake up burning up, throwing off covers. To avoid this, I switched out my bed sheets to ones that were think enough to stay warm but thin enough for comfort. Most nights, I will even set a humidifier so the air doesn’t get too dry. I keep my room pretty dark and I rarely have my curtains open. While I may watch a show until I doze off, I make it a point to turn the tv off so I have complete darkness. The idea is to stage the perfect sleeping environment in hopes of increasing your sleep.
3. LEAVE YOUR STRESS AT THE DOOR
You know the saying, leave your personal life at home, work is work, personal is personal? You should apply the same logic to bed time in your home. No matter what issues took place at work, what mess your kids may have made, the laundry you didn’t have time to fold, or the silly argument you had with a friend or spouse earlier, leave it at the door. I know that can seem easier said then done and I am an example of allowing stress to get the best of you, but calming your mind just before bed makes so much of a difference. You sleep more peacefully and you wake up less drained and anxious. I use to boggle myself with thoughts about the kids and my relationship, school and work. It was endless and before I knew it I was googling the issues I couldn’t seem to come up with answers to myself. One article would lead to another article and the mental drainage just continued to increase. I had to remember that no day is going to be perfect & that there will be things we cannot control that try to test us in our day. As a mother, the job of cleaning up behind kids is endless, so if a load of laundry was not finished or I didn’t get to clean someone’s room fully, oh well! Tomorrow is another day! Move that task to the next days to-do list. My sleep is my sleep and I am no good to anyone in my house if I am exhausted.
4. TALK TO SOMEONE
My best friend deals with sleep anxiety similar to myself. Sometimes when we are both up late at night, we text each other to encourage one another and reassure the other that the issues we are stressing over will work themselves out. Often that one small conversation takes my mind off the very issue that was causing me to lose sleep in the first place. Talking to someone does not always have to be a professional. That someone could be a spouse, family member, or close friend. Sometimes you discover that the people around you are dealing with the same issues and can offer you some tips that have helped them along the way. My best friend recently sent me some herbal tea in the mail to help me sleep better, all as a result of one of our late night talks. Finding an outlet is way more healthy than just bottling the issue in.
What ways have you found help you sleep better at night? I would love to know if any of the above tips have been beneficial for you.
Until next time,
❤️Peace & Positivity❤️