You lay your head on the pillow feeling tired, but you just can’t fall asleep. You try counting sheep, you try counting backward from 100, you try shutting down the noise in your brain, but all of your efforts are in vain, no sleep or very little sleep occurs. Or you fall asleep easily only to awaken 2 to 3 hours later going through the same scenario as described above. I’m going to share tips, tools, and ideas that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Nutritional supplements that can aid in better sleep.
Magnesium, Passionflower, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Valerian, Chamomile, Time-Released Melatonin, GABA, Tryptophan, Glycine, CBD, Tranquil Sleep, Terrific Zzz, and Deep Sleep are just a few examples of the many sleep formulas available. Adrenal Support Adaptogenic Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Schisandra, and Eleuthero can help your body deal with daily life stressors. By nourishing the adrenals and handling stress more effectively the body is able to maintain better sleep cycles. Also, a very effective homeopathic remedy for quieting the noisy mind is Coffea Cruda.
If you decide to incorporate nutritional supplements into your routine be sure to check with your pharmacist to see if there may be any interactions with any medications that you may be taking. Also, check with your pharmacist to see if any medications you are taking have insomnia as a side effect.
Get at minimum 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Walking, swimming, biking, playing tennis, or rebounding.
Get out in nature and enjoy the natural lights.
Exposing yourself to natural light helps you maintain a natural wake-sleep cycle.
Choose your food, drinks, and mealtimes wisely.
Let go of the caffeine by mid-afternoon. If you drink alcohol, try eliminating it for 2 weeks to see if your sleep improves. Alcohol can help you fall asleep but after a few hours, it can act as a stimulant and disrupt your sleep. Have your evening meal be light and stop eating 2 hours before bedtime
Create a Sleep Routine
Establish a new set of calming habits to do a half-hour to an hour before bedtime. This will be a way of communicating to your brain and body that you are moving from wake time to sleep time. This is a good time to ditch the electronics. Read a book, meditate, practice positive visualizations, write a list of things you are thankful for, do breathwork, take a bath, massage your face (Gua Sha), or any calming and relaxing activity. One activity I like to utilize when my brain is not slowing down is to do a “thought dump” for 5 to 30 minutes. Take out a journal and write all your thoughts that are taking up space in your brain onto paper. Once your time is up, close the journal and tell yourself “Now, it’s time to sleep. I don’t need to think about any of this. The journal will be here in the morning and I can pick up where I left off”
Make your room a sleep haven.
Keep your room as dark as possible. You can get black-out curtains or shades or even an eye mask to help with this. People tend to sleep best when temperatures are on the cooler side. Keep the tv in a different room. If you are someone who has to have some noise going in order to sleep, have it be as non-stimulating as possible. You could use white noise machines or calming slower tempo music
Don’t watch the clock and don’t struggle
Keep your clock turned so you cannot see it. If you are awakened and are still tossing and turning after 20 to 30 minutes allow yourself to get up and do one of the relaxing sleep routines. (Read, meditate, breathing practice for a bit, and lay back down.)
There could be many reasons, beyond medical reasons, for sleep disruptions. If you are wanting help with ways for you to get consistent, restorative sleep, if you want to learn relaxation tools and techniques, and if you would like to learn ways to manage your stress and emotions effectively, I can help. As a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Certified Professional Life Coach, I can help with all of that.
Timmie Jackson, AFPA Certified, TA Certified, B.Sc. Natural Health