Growing up, I slept like a baby (or now that I’m the mom of a 14 year old, should I say I slept like a teenager?). I never had trouble falling asleep. Nor did I struggle with the inability to stay asleep. For me, those night time hours were pure bliss which I would wake up from feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to face a new day. But then came babies. And long night time hours. And before I knew it, I was struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep….even long after they were sleeping through the night. No number of sheep jumping through my exhausted brain would help me put it to sleep and so, I began to do a little research on why I struggled to sleep and started to discover some simple ways to fight insomnia.
For me, the first step to getting a better night’s sleep was realizing that I was not alone. In fact, there are many people who like me, are up all hours of the night looking at the clock and stressing about how quickly (or slowly) morning is coming. Some struggle to fall asleep. Others struggle to stay asleep. Still others toss and turn. But I was thrilled discover that The National Sleep Foundation provides great resources and tips for all of use who suffer from sleep healthy issues!
After spending a little time on The National Sleep Foundation’s website, I began to figure out a few simple tips that work for me in battling insomnia. Here’s what’s been helping.
Don’t Stress About Sleep
For me, when the sun goes down I start to stress about the ability to fall asleep. By the time it’s actually time to go to sleep, I’m so worried and worked up that any chance I have of a good night’s sleep is already out the window.
While I’ll admit that it’s hard to turn my brain off and stop with the worry, for me it’s an important step in seizing a good night’s sleep. As soon as I start to feel myself wind up or begin to worry, I take deep breaths and calm down, knowing that I have much better chance of getting to sleep and staying asleep if I’m not all types of stressed out!
Have a Deliberate Wind Down Time
Equally as important to me is having a wind down time before I attempt to go to sleep. As a busy mom, I’ll admit that there are times when I find myself finishing the craziness of the day and then trying to jump right into bed. Truth: it doesn’t work. I need time to slow my body and my brain down from the day and prepare myself for sleep.
This might include a cup of tea. It may include a little light reading. But by taking that time to transition from the business of the day to the calmness of night, I’m able to achieve a better night’s sleep.
Find Tools that Help with Sound Sleep
For everyone, something different helps with a good night’s sleep. It might be running a fan. It might be opening the windows to hear the outdoor sounds. For me, it’s a sleep machine. The “white noise” that my sleep machine gives out signals to my body that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep.
It keeps me from laying in bed jumping each time our house creaks or moans. It keeps me for listening for every little sounds in the house. And it helps to lull my brain to sleep. Finding a simple noise that helps keep me asleep has greatly helped me battle insomnia and help my body get to sleep easier.
While the tips and tricks above have helped me, the biggest tip fighting insomnia for me has been to simple relax and let sleep happen. This has meant stopping putting a “I-must-be-in-bed-at-this-time” in my brain and instead listening to my body and going to sleep when I’m tired.
It has meant staying in bed when I wake up and allowing myself to fall back asleep instead of thinking that I might as well get up and do something else since I can’t sleep. It’s meant giving myself a little freedom to simple rest. And so far, it’s been working.
If you’re like me and struggle with sleep, you may have a sleep health issues such as insomnia, narcolepsy or cataplexy. Please know, you are not alone. Just like I have, you can find ways to sleep better and sleep longer. To start, be sure to have a conversation with your doctor if you’re having sleep issues. You can find some great resources to start that conversation at The National Sleep Foundation website! But don’t stop there. There is help out there and a multitude of information to help you sleep better. Be sure to check out beyondtired.org as you do your research. It’s a great resource for people who suffer from insomnia across the country and is a perfect place to find advice and be inspired to get a better night’s sleep!
So, start today with making small changes that will have you saying goodbye to the inability to sleep. Be sure to visit www.sleepfoundation.org and www.sleep.org for more information. And if you’re suffering from insomnia, don’t forget to stop by www.beyondtired.org.
But wait! Want to learn more about sleeping better AND win big? Right now, you can enter to win one of five (5) $100 Amazon e-gift cards and one (1) Grand Prize $250 Amazon e-gift card! The giveaway is open from now until November 23rd so don’t miss out on your chance to enter and win! Then, you could be counting the dollars of your prize as you drift off to sleep! To enter simple use the form below.
I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (6 winners).
Now tell me, have you ever struggled with going to sleep or staying asleep?