Monday, August 6, 2018

10 things to do when you can't sleep ....

A week ago, I finally realized that I had a sleeping problem. Since school started for B, I have not been able to sleep for more than 3 hours straight. This has resulted in a temperamental, sluggish version of myself. I also experienced massive headaches, near blackouts, and failing memory.

I would snap at the smallest thing, feel too tired to leave the house, get blinding pain in my head, and forget anything that I didn't write down. It was bad. It was horrible. It was a slap in the face for all those times in my youth where I turned my back on sleep.

This was exactly how I felt. I prayed. I stayed still for hours and nothing happened. I tossed and turned, overturned my pillow, cursed at whoever was supposedly thinking of me which caused me to lack sleep (old wives tale), and just went on being mad at the world and sluggish until I finally felt the need to ask friends.

I posted it on Facebook because I had to excuse myself from events and also explain why I haven't been attending a lot of events in the last month or so. The feedback and recommendations I received were overwhelming.

To help fellow insomniacs or people with sleep problems, I am compiling a list of all the recommendations that I got. If one person sleeps for more than 5 hours straight due to this, then I have paid it forward.

1. Lavander.

The smell of lavender has been proven to relax a person enough for them to fall asleep. Surround your room with the scent using a humidifier. I'd recommend starting the humidifier 30minutes before you are to sleep so that when you enter the room, the scent of lavender surrounds you.

2. Melatonin

It seems that the body reacts to melatonin and when you take a tablet, it induces sleep. This has been truly effective for me. I've taken melatonin 3 days now and I have fallen asleep really well.

3. Balm

This has a soothing effect on the body and it calms the nerves which trigger the body to relax and fall asleep. These balms have been my ultimate savior. The lavender helps with triggering sleep and the chili oil found in it feels so cool to the head when I inhale it. The pomegranate is perfect for massages too. You can order from Ezekiel, just mention that I referred you so they can accommodate you. 

4. Full body massage

We already know the benefits of a massage. When you get a full body massage, your entire body relaxes and your nerves are calm. You also get rid of any body pains you may have. This definitely aids in getting you a better sleep.

5. VCO

Drink 3 tbsps of this every day and before you sleep, massage this on your feet for 10minutes each.  I order from this place to ensure that I only get authentic VCO. 
6. Meditation

A friend of mine recommended an app called Insight Timer. Initially, I struggled against this because I have never been good at quieting my mind. However, when you are sleep deprived, you are willing to do anything and so I gave it a go.

Guess what? The app actually helped me.

7. Dim lights

To induce sleep, you need to make your mind believe that it's already time for sleep. Bright lights, loud noises, and the like are not conducive for sleeping. Dim the lights, put on soothing ambient sounds and make sure that your body and mind are both prepped for sleeping an hour before your target time of sleep.

8. Soothing sounds

This is probably the one thing that I have used since the time that I was working in a call center. A good friend of mine gave me a recording back then of the sound of rain and thunder but nowadays, you just need Spotify and there are so many playlists that cater to this.

You can also try this YouTube video using black screen and sleep-inducing sounds

9. Red wine

I've never been a big fan of red wine but I gave this a try. A glass is enough to induce sleep but since I'm scared of becoming addicted to it, I didn't want to drink a glass daily no matter how much people say that it's healthy.

10. Stick to a schedule.

Your body can be programmed to sleep at a certain hour and wake up at a certain hour. Of course, there will be deviations but if you can stick to a time as much as possible, it will also help your body recognize when it needs to go to sleep.

For me, not all of these tips work. I think that's normal because every person is different. What worked for me was a combination of lavender scent, meditation, melatonin, mint balm, dim lights, and soothing sounds.

The red wine only lasted me 4 hours of sleep. The full body massage did not induce sleep at all. For M, a full body massage is what's needed for a good night's sleep.

So for those who may be interested in what has cured my sleeping problems, this is my sleep ritual nowadays. I've experienced a minimum of 5 straight hours to 9 hours of sleep now. It has been heaven!

An hour before my target hour of sleep, I stop watching my series. I start my lavender humidifier and dim all the lights. When I'm done showering, I drink a melatonin tablet. Afterward, I lie down in bed and put my feet up for 5 minutes. I click on the meditation timer on the insight app, do deep breathing while my feet are up and when 5 minutes is done, I lie down in bed, inhale the mint balm for 6 consecutive breaths, and then turn on the meditation timer to my targeted hour of sleep. If it's a weekday, I aim for 6 hours and on weekends, I go for 8 to 9 hours. The meditation timer gives me the ambient sounds that I need to induce my brain to sleep and for some reason, IT WORKS.

My suggestion: Test these different options to see what works and when you find the combination that works for you, stick to it and savor it.

Let's all have a good sleep every night shall we?

Hope you finally get a good night sleep. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for this great post. I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that. Mindfulness Meditation


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