As I have previously mentioned in my last post, I am not really good at this whole sleeping thing. A very long time ago I was absolutely amazing at it, I mean I could have won a medal. But then the whole life thing happened and I became best mates with stress and anxiety. It is got to the point where I am seriously considering writing the screenplay for Mission Impossible 6: Insomnia, but the lack of sleep means I don’t have the energy to do it.
Of course, I haven’t just given up trying to sleep partly because seems necessary for my existence but also because of that feeling. The feeling I am talking about is the moment when you naturally wake up from a perfect 9-10 hours of pure blissful sleep. Gosh, it is a brilliant feeling. If you could turn it into a drug, package it and sell it then I bet you’d become a millionaire. Unfortunately , I haven’t the science to do that yet but I can share a few things I do to try and sleep when I can’t.
There are quite a few things on this list for the main reason that they don’t always work. Some nights one method will work but then it completely useless the next six times I try it. Sometimes things I think will never work end up being fantastic for about a week or too. My point is that I don’t have the cure but I have some aids to share with you.
Read a book
Our phones do keep us awake at night. I know we don’t like to hear this because we do it all the time but that is the annoying thing about facts they are just true. I realized at night when I am aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook that I am not doing it because I care what Jake thinks of Brexit or because I want to see pics from Jasmines 21st. I am doing it because I am bored and I want distraction.
Once I realized that I actually started picking up my Kindle again. It sort of lies on a shelf whilst I am at university waiting to be taken on holiday so it can be read on the plane and by the pool. Obviously if you don’t have a Kindle then go old school and pick up a book. It won’t keep you awake and people write some cracking stories that are far more interesting than your dads Facebook updates. Also people who read are more interesting, so get a chapter in before bed.
Little warning though make sure you don’t get too into the book. I love to read sort of trashy rom com books to relax and one night I read What Happens Now? by Sophia Money-Coutts . Great book! Literally did not put it down and stayed up till 2:30 am reading it. The drama was so juicy I just had to know and couldn’t deal with the cliff hangers. So read book before bed but maybe not that one.
I wasn’t too sure about aromatherapy until I got a diffuser for Christmas. I am now converted and love to use lavender at night to fall into a nice sleep. I have only been using it for about three weeks now but I can’t lie when I use lavender I feel super relaxed and cosy in bed.
Lavender actually has a ton of benefits:
- It relieves anxiety
- It interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA (this helps to make you feel less restless)
- It has antibacterial capabilities
- It can reduce inflammation.
If you don’t fancy using a diffuser you could try the alternative of getting a lavender spray that you can spray on your pillow before bedtime.
Write Down What Worries You
At night my brain sometimes decides to think about any possible bad thing that my imaginative can conceive. All problems, which do have a rational solution, become impossible challenges that my scattered brain struggles to discover a way to overcome them. After listening to the podcast, Owning It, I found out why. So when you sleep you actually can’t access the rational part of your brain instead you go into fight, flight or freeze mode. Perhaps at one point in time this frustrating experience might have been a benefit to humans trying to survive but worrying about the emails I have to send definitely is not helping with the survival of the human race.
One thing that I find helps when my brain just won’t shut off and let me sleep is to write down all my problems. I say to myself ‘Okay, you can’t deal with this all now so I will sleep and when I wake up I will deal with them all in the morning’.
Often when I do wake up the problems don’t even see like problems anymore.
Listen To A Podcast
One of my favourite things to do when I can’t sleep is listen to a podcast. However, I can only listen to certain podcasts to sleep. Some that have been made with sleep in mind, I find way too boring and my brain becomes restless without any distractions. There are others where I find annoyance in the presenter or too many co-hosts that it keeps me awake. Finally some of them are just too good that they make me think about the world and all I want to achieve in life. When I get into my determined to make a difference mindset then sleep becomes a thing of the past.
Here are a few podcast I actually use to fall asleep to:
Myths and Legends is a fantastic podcast where the stories are interesting enough to keep you engaged. Sometimes I fall asleep before the end but it doesn’t bother me since I just start the same episode at the point I last remembered being awake for.
The Memory Palace is another podcast which I find very relaxing. The episodes are brief but it calming tone of the host puts me into a relaxed state.
Modern Love is a brilliant podcast where celebrities read essays written by people about their experiences of Modern Love. Often I stay awake to listen to the whole episode but it always puts me in a calm mode ready to sleep.
Good Luck Sleeping !
I hope some of this stuff can help you put an end to your sleepless nights. What is important to remember is that it is all about trial and error and that not everything will work every single time. Sometimes life might be super stressful and a little bit of Lavender won’t solve everything but know that it will pass. I hope you get a good night sleep soon and remember:
Hey, It gets better