I didn’t get hardly any sleep last night. So, I thought it would be a good time to post about insomnia. I have suffered from not being able to sleep properly since high school which is very unfortunate. I do not have sever insomnia, however about 2 times a week I have difficulty sleeping. It always happens at the same time every night, always 2:15 A.M. As soon as I wake up I know that I will not be able to fall back asleep for hours. I just lay in bed and think to myself “What do I need to get done tomorrow? Will my alarm go off? Did I forget to turn off the oven? What will happen when we move back to Sweden?” It just seems like there are never ending questions going through my head over and over again. When I first had problems sleeping I immediately started to take Tylenol PM EVERY NIGHT!! I know, this is horrible. I knew it at the time too but I really didn’t care because all I wanted to do was sleep. Eventually, I started taking melatonin supplements and this was difficult in the beginning because they did not help at all. I had to take 3 mg of melatonin in order to fall asleep. Now, I am trying to go down from 3 mg to 1 mg and in the end hopefully just take melatonin a few times a week. So, we will see how that goes. Although, I do have problems with insomnia I still have a few suggestions to help aid sleep.
1. Go to bed the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning, even on weekends. This helps to train your body to sleep through the night. If you are going to bed at different times every night and sleeping in until noon on the weekends it sends your body out of balance which will make it harder to fall asleep in the future.
2. The bedroom is only for sleeping! (and sex, of course) Don’t watch tv in your bedroom, don’t talk on the phone in your bedroom, don’t eat in your bedroom, don’t… well, you get the point.
3. The bedroom needs to be dark and quiet. I find that noise is a problem for me. A month ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep because I kept counting how many times I heard the clock passing seconds, yeah.. crazy, I know. So, I started to sleep with a fan and it definitely helps drown out the noise.
4. If you lay awake worrying about things, write a to-do list before you go to bed or in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep to help ease your mind.
5. No caffeine after noon!! This helps a lot! If I even have caffeine in the early afternoon I can tell a difference at bedtime.
5. Have a routine that you follow every single night so that once you start to do these things it clicks in your head that it is almost time to go to sleep.
My nightly routine:
I usually start my nightly routine about an hour before I go to bed. The first thing I do is take a shower. I found that this helps to relax my muscles and my mind from the previously long day. I don’t watch tv at all during this hour because most of the time it keeps my mind wandering after the show is over more than books do. So, I usually sit down to a good book for about 15 to 20 minutes (sometimes a lot longer). While I am reading my book, I usually sip on Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea. After I have started to wind down for the day, I get all of my stuff together for the next day. I pack my lunch, make sure that I have all ingredients for a healthy breakfast on hand, set my alarm clock, pick out my clothes, etc. That way you don’t wake up in the middle of the night wondering what you are going to pack for lunch in the morning because it is already done. After this I take my melatonin supplement or you can eat some cherries as a nighttime snack because these are full of melatonin as well. Then I lay down to go to sleep. If I can’t fall asleep within the hour, I always get up and do something like homework, clean the house, read some more, etc. I hope this helps any one who suffers from not getting enough sleep because it truly sucks!
I don’t really have any photos about insomnia so I will leave you with a photo from last year in Paris!
Traveling to Paris with Hans was the most amazing time of my life at that point! (It was before our wedding)