While sometimes I am clearly to blame, going to bed to late knowing I have an early morning the next day, but this is not always the case. For several years now I have been fighting the battle of insomnia. It seems to alternate between not being able to fall asleep and waking up in the middle of the night for very long periods only to find myself wishing I would drift back into a deep wonderful sleep.
Although this insomnia does not occur every night, it occurs often enough that sometimes I just dread going to bed. The fear of lying awake for hours upon hours has led to many late nights. Although I have done some research here and there and made a few lifestyle adjustments I will admit I have yet to tackle the problem full force – until now.
Aside from wanting to avoid the feeling of crawling out of bed feel beat up and worn down every morning, lack of sleep is also detrimental on one’s health. Cognitive dysfunction, decreased immune system, increased appetite, and moodiness are just a few side effects of chronic sleep deprivation.
I recently reached out via Twitter for advice from some like-minded individuals. Some of the suggestions I received include the following:
- Epsom salt bath and magnesium citrate
- Passing on coffee after the AM hours
- Saying no to electronics at least one hour before bed
- Reading a book
- Taking melatonin
- Using Beddit Sleep Tracking
- BluBlocker glasses
- Implementing the 4-7-8 breathing strategy at bed time (4 seconds of breathing through your nose, 7 seconds of holding your breath, 8 seconds of exhaling through your mouth)
After reviewing all the suggestions I decided to start easy while keeping the other ideas in the “bank” to use later if needed. Over the next few weeks I will be revamping my bed time routine to include no electronics, reading before bed, no coffee after the noon hour and jotting down things on my mind before hitting the pillows. And to ensure I will not be tempted by electronics, my phone will be spending the night in another room…back to the old school alarm clock for this restless gal!
Don’t forget to check back in with me in a few weeks to get an update on my progress of sleeping through the night.