Can we talk about sleep for a minute? I have been really struggling for the past month or so with my sleep. March was a rough month. There were nights when I was barely getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night. This is not healthy for anyone especially if you have a past history of seizures. I tried taking some natural treatment like calms forte and melatonin, but these did not work for me. So I had to resort to a sleeping aid to get my body back on track (doctor’s orders). I do not like taking any type of medication, so this was a struggle for me. Now that I am back on track with my sleep I am going to work on better sleep hygiene. It’s just like working out, it’s something we need to do for our bodies and minds. Here are some tips and suggestions if you have trouble sleeping or bouts of insomnia.
First off relax! If you are like me and you have a few nights of no sleep you can easily get anxious or stressed out. Just relax. If you always associate negative feelings with going to sleep and worry that you may not be able to sleep it will keep you awake. Try writing in your journal before bed, listening to mediation guides (I love sleep ezy tonight on youtube), or pray.
I take some supplements to help me sleep as well. Magnesium supplements can help the calm your nerves and lessen anxiety. I take my supplement Magnesium Glycinate about 1 hour prior to going to bed. It can also help with muscle soreness. If you prefer you can take an Epsom salt bath with some lavendar essential oils to increase your magnesium.
Limit caffeine. This is a big one for me. I cannot even have decaf coffee after a certain point in the day. I make sure I drink my coffee before 10 am. I am very strict about this. I only drink two cups per day.
Eat! Don’t go to bed hungry. However, don’t eat a large meal too close to bedtime. If you are hungry eat something small before bed that contains tryptophan. Like turkey slices, eggs, or sip warm milk. I like to steam a cup of almond milk with some cinnamon and turmeric and sip on that before bed if I am still hungry.
Exercise. Be sure you are getting enough exercise. Include a variety of daily exercise including interval training, strength training, yoga and walking.
Make your room a comfortable sleep environment. If I get too hot I cannot sleep, so I keep my room cool. The ideal temperature is between 60-67 degrees. I prefer 64 degrees. Use blackout curtains if your room is too light and make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillows.
Get some down time. For me I have to have at least an hour before bed for some down time to just relax and so something to calm your mind and body. Maybe you watch HGTV like I do or maybe you read a book. Do what you need to do to wind down before bed.
One last note about technology. Try to avoid using technology too close to bed. Stay off your computer and your phone if you can.
One last thing (I really need to work on this one)! If you can’t sleep get up and go to another room and try to relax. Maybe read a book, meditate, or make a list of what is on your mind. If you lay in bed and stare at the clock you will just become anxious and stressed and then you really will have trouble falling asleep.
I am still working on a lot of these areas in my own life. I hope that these tips will help you get a good night’s sleep!
Of course I am not a doctor and these are merely tips and suggestions that work for me. Always seek your doctor’s advice before starting any type of supplements or sleep aids.