Recently, I was having a ton of trouble sleeping. I would fall asleep fine but then I’d get woken up at midnight or 1 a.m. and then couldn’t go back to sleep…like all night. I found myself being awake from 1-5:30 a.m. and trying over and over to get rest. I was tired, frustrated and feeling desperate for my body to get some rest. The only thing I didn’t want to try right away were sleeping pills or herbs. I know many people do that but you should really consult a doctor before taking any pills or even natural supplements. Also, your body can start depending on those pills to sleep and you won’t be able to get rest without them. I’m not a huge fan of depending on pills for anything so this wasn’t a great option for me. I started researching and found that millions of people struggle with sleepless nights and there were so many suggestions of what can easily help. Here’s what ended up working for me:
Therapy: As I’ve stated in the past I’ve had anxiety so talking to a therapist is a regular event in my life. I go every two weeks or so just to check in. It really helps to talk through your stresses that may be keeping you up at night. I think it can also help to get an outsider’s perspective on things too and it can help you feel more peace after you express your fears and worries. Stress can easily keep you up at night so finding a counselor or therapist you trust may help you rest.
Sleepy Drink: I know, I know this seems silly but over and over I saw people suggest a warm drink before bed. I found a recipe on Holistic Health Herbalist for a sleepy time concoction that would help you not only sleep but stay asleep all night. I thought it was hogwash until I tried it and I’ve been sleeping through the night ever since I started drinking it. Many sites also say to drink warm milk or almond milk before bed because of their high levels of potassium and magnesium, which can make you feel more calm and relaxed. I decided to mix the two items I found together. I took the sleep drink and mixed it with the sleep recipe I found. Here’s the recipe for my nightly sleepy time drink:
- Fill half a mug with milk
- Fill other half mug with almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
I put it all in coffee mug and heat it microwave for 1 minute and 40 seconds. It melts the coconut oil and gets nicely warmed. I think it tastes slightly of sugar cookies. You can read all about why this recipe helps you stay asleep here: http://www.holistichealthherbalist.com/simple-sleepy-time-recipe-falling-asleep-staying-asleep/
Since I started drinking this nightly I’ve slept through the whole night. I will say it’s probably important to drink it before 8 p.m. or so. If you drink it too close to bed you may have to get up and use the bathroom. I love the way it taste and I think it does help me stay asleep.
Sleep Genius App: This was the hardest for me to try because you have to spend $5 on it. I only bought it because I was completely at my wits end and was utterly exhausted enough to try anything. The App creators say they invented their sleep technology for astronauts with the help of NASA. Pretty cool right? They claim they will help you sleep much better and help keep you asleep all night. It’s been featured on several media networks like the Today Show, ESPN, The Huffington Post and more. I would say it was worth all $5. Since day one I’ve used this App, as well as the drink listed above, I haven’t woken in the middle of the night. Can you believe it? That never happens to me. I usually have to at least get up to go to the bathroom and I’ve been sleeping through the night. It’s amazing! Also, I totally feel more rested in the mornings. I even get up at 5 a.m. now to paint or read because I feel so refreshed. If you want to find out more about the technology used in this App visit: http://sleepgenius.com
Regular Bedtime: I read about this again and again. Set a regular bedtime and wake time for yourself. It will help you’re body regulate itself and set into a regular sleep schedule. You’re body’s internal clock can get especially messed up during the winter months when it’s dark out more often. I try to always be in bed before 10 p.m. since I need to wake at 6 or so. I also think it’s important to have no electronics in your room and keep it as dark as possible. Try to let your mind rest.
Let Kids Sleep with You: I have two toddlers and they were waking me up all night. One way I solved this was to just let my 2 year old sleep with us. For some reason if she’s not in our bed she’ll wake every night but if she sleeps with us she’ll sleep through the night. I know there’s lots of mom shaming about kids sleeping in bed with you but if they are over 1 I would say it’s pretty safe and we are both finally sleeping through the night after 2 1/2 years. To me it’s worth having to share a bed to get some rest. I do keep a pillow in between us to prevent her from kicking me or rolling on me during the night, which could also wake me up.
It can be really frustrating to not sleep at night. I’ve struggled with it my entire life and it got worse when I had kids. You need to believe that your body is capable of sleep. It may need to be retained on when to sleep and how to stay asleep but it can do it without pills. I urge you to give a few of these things a try before you run to pills. If pills or herbs are your solution, then please see a Doctor for proper dosing before you take them. I hope this post fills you with hope and you are able to get some rest. Happy sleeping!