Are you struggling with sleep? As someone that has had a lifelong battle with insomnia, I totally feel your pain. I am not a sleep doctor by any means, but here are a few things that have helped me kick insomnia to the curb.
Set a Bedtime Alarm.
I know it sounds a bit nuts, but, as silly as it sounds, it really does work. I typically set a silent alarm on my phone as a reminder to drop whatever I am doing and get ready for bed. Usually when this alarm goes off, I am sitting on the couch mindlessly watching yet another House Hunters episode. It’s the perfect cue I need to get up and start brushing my teeth. In recent studies, people that use bedtime alarms are actually getting more sleep. Yes!
Pick Up a Book.
Watching TV (or Netflix) in bed is THE WORST idea if you are trying to go to sleep. Many studies have shown that one of the biggest impediments to a great night of sleep is television. The exposure to the light of the television actually negatively impacts your biological clock making it harder for you to fall asleep because it affects your melatonin production. Also, it’s SO easy to get sucked into watching just one more episode, which usually turns into two or three. As much as I miss snuggling up to Nike at Nite reruns, I’ve started reading before bed every night instead. I, personally, find it to be a more relaxing ritual and so do my eyes.
Create a Bedtime Routine.
On nights when I’m feeling a bit anxious or restless, I do my simple bedtime routine. Studies show that creating a bedtime routine can help your body and mind realize it is time to go to sleep. I start my routine by making my sleepy time tea. The simple act of slowing down and sipping my hot tea, in itself, is super relaxing. Then I rub lavender essential oil on the inner side of my wrists. This smell is so relaxing to me. It reminds me of yoga and relaxation.
Focus on Your Breathing.
I love using the 4-7-8 breathing method as a tool in stressful situations. However, I have found that it also helps me unwind at the end of a long day. Take a deep breath in for four counts. Then hold your breath in your lungs for a count of seven. Then exhale for eight counts. Repeat three to five times. It calms the chatter in my mind.
Written By: Kayla Kleinman, Creator of fitness and wellness blog Kayla in the City.
Member of the Kali Girl Tribe.