I don’t suffer from insomnia, but I have in the past. During times of extreme stress, the mind doesn’t shut down, it goes faster. You are tired, and yet you can’t sleep. Your eyes shut and your mind doesn’t drift off into dream land like it should. I’m no doctor and don’t have a solution for this issue, but what about those regular ol’ nights where you just lie in bed, tired, and can’t get to sleep right away? You stare at the ceiling pondering the ways of the world. You know that in T-Minus 6 hours you have to wake up and that’s not quite enough sleep. Here are some of the things I’ve personally tried that have helped me get some quality shut eye.
Apps: By far my favorite app for sleeping is called Dorimo. I have the IPhone and it works beautifully. It has sounds of Lake Michigan, with subtle waves and birds, it has a crackling fire, rain, and my personal favorite, a good old fashioned thunderstorm. There are also ambient noises available and sleep coaches talking you into a deep sleep. It also has a timer to shut off after a set amount of time so it doesn’t kill your phone. I love it. Also- It’s FREE.
Drinks: I have tried this drink I found on Pinterest to help me get to sleep. It’s a warm Turmeric and Almond Milk drink. Turmeric is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to help your body relax and replenish at night. I got this recipe from Nutrition Stripped.
- 2 cups of homemade almond milk (I like Silk brand)
- 1 tablespoon local honey, optional
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger (fresh is best)
Sleep Aids: I have tried both Tylenol PM and Melatonin, and having tried each only once, I vote for Melatonin. It’s a replacement for the natural chemical your body releases when it falls asleep, and the Tylenol PM made me groggy in the morning. You can get some Melatonin at your local pharmacy.
Smells: I have a great Lavender / Vanilla room spray from Bath and Body Works. Lavender is a natural calming scent and should help sooth you into dream land. Stay away from anything too invigorating in the bedroom like citrus scents or strong perfumes.
Pillows: I am the most finicky sleeper. I toss, I turn, I have 3 blankets and 2 pillows to choose from depending on my mood. One is a memory foam pillow, firm and yet forgiving for my head, and great for keeping your head elevated. I also have a fluffy feather pillow (from IKEA) that sinks in deep and I use when I just want a little support. Sometimes I don’t want a pillow at all. Try a few and see what works for you. If you are uncomfortable, you will have a harder time getting to sleep.
Other Advice: If you are trying to get some good quality sleep, opt for reading a book as opposed to a tablet or a phone screen. The lights your tablet and phones project are bad at kicking your mind into sleep mode. Try soothing music at least an hour before bed like some great classical. My choice: Bach.
Again, I’m not a professional, or an insomniac, but these are things I’ve tried that have worked for me. I am a known worrier, and naturally anxious person, so sometimes I need a little nudge into the land of nod.