Tossing and turning. Watching the clock. Counting down the hours of rest that you could be getting if you fell asleep RIGHT NOW. Flipping around to different positions for hours. Feeling jealous of the person sleeping right next to you. Feeling tired allll the time, even after an entire night's rest. Dragging all day, feeling exhausted at work. Does any of this sound familiar?
If you are having trouble sleeping then I feel for you! I remember how terrible it was. Unfortunately it was my "normal" for a long time, until I made some changes. The worst was my husband asking how I could possibly feel tired when I got 10 hours of sleep?! My answer was always an exasperated "but I didn't sleep!!"
Luckily things have changed. Once I am in bed, I am out in about ten minutes, which is a small miracle! I wake up maybe once or twice during the night, and fall right back to sleep. I wake up early, every day, and feel rested. I work 12 hour shifts as a RN and I have so much energy, no matter how busy the day is! This is my new normal. Do you need help in this area? Here are my seven ways to a better night's rest.
1. Stop taking naps and make an effort to go to bed around the same time every night. I try for about 10 or 11 pm, then set my alarm for 7-8 hours after that. This is perfect for me, to feel rested and my energy levels throughout the day are great!
2. Have a routine. This shouldn't just be thought of for kids, we respond to evening routines as well. Do whatever relaxes you, a hot bath, a cup of tea, reading a book.. I love to take a shower then sit with a cup of tea on the couch. I keep it quiet at that time and dim the lights, I set up a glass of water by my bedside out of habit and start diffusing essential oils. My go to oils for sleep are cedarwood, lavender, sleepyize (a kids blend for sleep that I love!) and peace & calming!! P&C is seriously so good! You can apply them to your skin, the bottoms of your feet, your spine, etc. But I love to diffuse them. My entire room is full of these beautiful scents and those are a reminder to wind down, especially when you use them for that purpose specifically.
3. Keep TV out of the bedroom. This is huge for me. When I lived alone I would watch TV until all hours of the night and it caused serious insomnia. My husband and I made the choice to only have a TV in the living room, and I will forever keep it that way.
4. Find a mattress that works for you and gives you the support you need. We bought one of those foam ones that come in a box all rolled up and puff up when you lay it out, it is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on! I didn't realize how much the mattress alone was helping me until we went on a vacation and both of us woke up a few times more than normal.
5. Try eating healthier. This might sound crazy but foods that cause inflammation can hurt us in a lot of different ways. Sugar spikes and crashes don't help either. Try clean eating, cut back on sugar and processed foods, you'll feel better in a lot of different ways. You will most likely sleep better. Proper nutrition is essential!
6. White noise. There are so many white noise machines out there, some of them are wonderful. Think waves on a beach, rain, or simple spa tunes, find one that you prefer.. or use a good old fan, turned on the high setting.
7. No caffeine in the evenings. The other day I made this mistake and had a cup of coffee at about 4:30pm. I could NOT fall asleep, it reminded me of my old ways, of always feeling frustrated and tired. It reminded me to write this post actually. From now on I'll just have my cup in the morning :)
I hope this is helpful for you! You deserve to sleep through the night and wake up rested. Our lives are demanding and we need sleep to function. We need to take care of ourselves to stay healthy. Try a bedtime routine and I promise you will feel like a different person!
I wish you wellness.