Just so we’re all on the same page and everything lines up check out Part 1 of ‘How to get A Good Nights Sleep By An Insomniac’ before reading this. In part 1, I shared my favourite tried and tested techniques that incorporated into your evening routine can help give you the best nights sleep. Continuing on that same theme, today I’ll be going a little deeper and sharing helpful tips that ACTUALLY help. If you’re riddled with worry, anxiety, stress and insomnia I have amazing tips for you. I am very familiar with anxiety induced insomnia so I hope by me sharing what helps me, I could also help someone reading this. Ok, let’s dive in….
So you’re in bed and a million and one things are racing through your mind. My advice to you and one that my Mother taught me is; “If you’re laying in bed and you can’t sleep – get up”. It’s that simple. There is a second option but bare with me and I’ll get to that in just a second. There is no use laying in bed worrying and thinking about things that have happened in the past or are yet to happen in the future, because the truth is – what has passed has passed, the future is unknown and in that present moment nothing can be done. Agree? Once you’re up try and occupy yourself with a mundane task or by watching something on TV. Sooner or later you’ll realise that you’d much rather be in bed and return.
The other option is to simply let it go. Whatever is keeping you up at night, take a deep breath and let it go. You deserve to have a peaceful rest and the rest can wait until tomorrow.
A night routine is crucial to getting a good nights rest, especially for those of us who tend to take the days stress to bed. A night routine is the bridge that separates the days work from your ‘putting the day to rest’ time. That bridge can be filled with lots of things that replenish your energy and mindset before you call it a night and face the next day head on. If you’re one of those people who get into bed knowing that there is so much to worry about then this is for you. Don’t take the day to bed. Instead follow the tips mentioned in Part 1 of this post or do Yoga designed to relieve stress and irritability, read a book, journal, make lists,meditate. Your mind and body will be thankful.
I mentioned using aroma therapy scented candles to help relax the senses in the first half of this post and now I’d like to mention essential oils. Using essential oils can be so helpful and takes the use of relaxing scents to the next level. They can aid sleep like no other and what’s best is that they’re 100% natural. You can add a few drops into a massage oil and apply it to your skin, add a few drops into a warm bath or into an aromatherapy diffuser, The options are endless. Lavender, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot are a few essential oils that work well with aiding sleep.
Temperature has a huge part to play on getting a good nights sleep and I briefly touched on this before so I won’t drone on but having a shower or bath before bed and stepping into a cool room makes your temperature drop. This is perfect because it sends a signal to your body which slows down your heart rate and breathing which results in you feeling more relax and fall asleep faster. Drinking a cold glass of water helps too. I also read once that wearing socks to bed can have the same effect.
This next part is for all my Jaw clenchers, teeth grinders and night sweaters. This is the not so pleasant part about having anxiety induced insomnia that no one wants to talk about. I’ll start with teeth grinding. Invest in a good mouth guard or visit your dentist and get a custom one made. If you’re looking for an instant fix, I learnt this trick a while ago –
TRICK: Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your two front teeth.
This creates awareness and makes it almost impossible rest your back teeth down.
In terms of night sweats. That’s a tough one. I honestly think it’s often related to a deep rooted type of stress. Do what ever is in your power to relieve mental and physical stress. Sometimes natural remedies help and sometimes you need to seek a doctors advice. (or if you’re like me you’ll just cut out the middle man and buy over the counter stuff). One instant and easy things you can do is to take deep full breaths. Practice ‘Lions breath’ or this 4-7-8 beathing technique designed by Dr Andrew Weil.
OTC (Over the counter) Sleeping Pills and Natural sleeping aids. – This next trip might not be for everyone and i’m not certified so i’ll tread carefully. If you’re dealing with mild anxiety and none of the natural techniques are helping, you might be pleased to know that there are natural remedies you can buy OTC and take such as St Johns Wort which relieves the symptoms of a low mood or mild anxiety. Kalms is another great supplement which helps with day to day worry, stress and irritability. Bachs literally come to the rescue with their glorious range of products that combat anxiety and negative emotions.
Now if you’re struggling with sleep specifically you can opt for a herbal supplement (again Kalms do a great one) or an OTC sleep aid such as Nytol which contains Diphenhydramine. Check with your Doctor to see if it would be suitable for you,follow the instructions and read the possible side effects.
Ending on something simple but effective; sleep with a sleep mask. Something about wearing a sleep eye mask makes me sleep much better. I’m not sure if it has something to do with blocking out light completely or the fact that it makes opening my eyes and checking my phone seem like hard work but it works. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
And that my friends is a wrap! Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or topics you’d like to me write about, feel free to ask and leave a comment down below!