I have been struggling lately with severe insomnia. Part of the problem is that my husband snores and that wakes me up, at which point I am unable to fall back asleep. The other problem is that my anxiety hits me at night often and I have trouble “shutting off my brain” to allow me to fall asleep. This isn’t the first time I have struggled with sleep problems. In case you were suffering from insomnia as well, I compiled a list of things that work for me and some suggestions you could try.
- Try reading a book before you go to sleep. This can backfire though so be careful! I find that reading one or two chapters at a maximum helps me to focus on something other than my problems and gives my mind a chance to relax, allowing me to fall asleep.
- Drink something warm and decaffeinated to relax you before bed. The old saying is to drink a cup of warm milk (BLECH!) but I find a decaf tea works well too.
- Diffuse some lavender or other soothing essential oil. I use both Lavender and Serenity from doTerra but use whatever brand you like. This helps me fall and stay asleep.
- Don’t eat before bed. I limit what I eat and drink before bed. Eating makes me wired and drinking too much almost always leads to a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I have to be really careful about what I put into my body before bed.
- Stay away from online activity before bed. Keep the smartphone off and don’t check social media one hour prior to bedtime. Screen time is a surefire way to ensure you stay awake longer than you planned.
- Make sure you are comfortable and the temperature is good. I can’t sleep in uncomfortable clothes and it has to be cool in the room for me to sleep. Find your happy temp and stick to it.
- White noise may help. I run a fan year round in my room for white noise. You can use an app if you don’t have a fan. Anything to give you a little noise (NO music) to help you relax will work.
- Practice deep breathing. I not only deep breathe but I pray before bed. This helps clear my mind and allow me to fall asleep.
- Avoid strenuous activity before bed. Don’t exercise right before bed. The body will react in a way so that you won’t be able to fall asleep.
- Don’t force it. If you can’t fall asleep, get up. Staying in bed, tossing and turning, only makes you more anxious. Get up and read a book, drink some decaf tea, or take a bath. When you get sleepy, try going to bed again.
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