Do you ever have trouble sleeping? I know I do. When you have kids and work and stress, it can all add up to one big sleepless night. And I know that I don’t function well on too little sleep.
I find that when everything gets quiet and everyone else drifts off to dreamland, I find myself staring at the clock and watching the numbers shift on and on. And, even if I do manage to fall asleep fast, it is almost a guarantee that something (or someone) will wake me up at some point during the night. Sleepy people stumbling to the middle of the night bathroom breaks. Or, a dog barking at something outside. We even live a fairly good distance away from a train crossing, but some nights I can hear that whistle being carried over the wind.
In fact, there was a point just about 5 years ago, that I struggled so much with sleep deprivation that I actually developed a medical condition as a result of it. It scared me enough that I started studying meditative hypnosis so that I could help myself (and others) fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep.
I’ve even used my method on my children when they “can’t sleep” or say “I’m not even tired” at 11:30 on a school night! It totally works. And, I have a free session ready for you (see below for details) if you want to give it a try.
So, how did all this come about?
I started studying this in college when I’d spent one too many nights up late, cramming for exams, and drinking too much caffeine. I was taking a psychology class and started learning about circadian rhythms and the different sleep phases.
Years later, after having my first child (who I had to check on at 2 a.m. every night due to a medical condition) and then having 2 more kids in less than 2 years, I knew I had to do something to save my sanity and my health. There was a point where my home was full of wall to wall insomniacs (did I mention that my husband is the world’s lightest sleeper?). This was when returned to my studies and learned all I could about the best way to survive and thrive during those night time hours.
Here are just a few tips to get started on getting a better night’s sleep (and you can start these tonight):
Step #1: Brain Dump
In business, a brain dump is usually a way that we brainstorm ideas for creativity purposes or for coming up with some sort of content for sales. But, for the purposes of sleeping, this is when you should sit down with a notebook and write out everything that is on your mind. Just take 10 minutes before you go to sleep and write down some notes. Things to do tomorrow. Your hopes, dreams, and fears. What the kids have going on this week. Something you forgot to tell your hubby. Whatever. Just write it down. And, if you don’t feel like writing, just use your voice recorder on your phone or call your own voicemail and record a message to yourself. Let it go.
Step #2: Clean and Care
Moms are terrible about taking care of everyone else day and night and then neglecting ourselves when it comes to self-care. In fact, we will be the very last person to fix our plate for dinner or take a relaxing bath. But, trust me when I tell you that taking that nice relaxing bath or shower before bedtime can do wonders for your internal clock. Bathe, apply soothing lotion, use some aromatherapy, make sure the room temperature is not too hot and not too cold. And, don’t forget to eat a healthy dinner and avoid caffeine 2 hours or more before bedtime. Simple measures lead to amazing results.
Step #3: Banish the Blue
What is Blue Light? Blue light is created by anything that emits artificial light. For example, all the things we usually do before going to bed (such as the television, computer, cell phone, etc.) Studies have shown that these lights emit a wavelength that can disrupt your body’s normal sleep-wake cycle. There are more complexities to these studies and some evidence that too much blue light exposure can cause certain illnesses. But, let’s just keep it simple and say that you should limit blue light exposure near bedtime to help improve your sleep.