Wondering how to get the best sleep at night? If you feel like you’ve tried it all, here are three ideas that maybe – just maybe – you haven’t tried yet.
For the vast majority of my life, I’ve taken deep, deep pride in being an utterly fantastic sleeper. I’m talking the eight-blissful-hours-of-slumber-every-single-night kind of sleeper. Whatever else was going on in my life, I always knew I had that going for me.
And then, a few months ago, all that changed.
Being completely new to the vast world of being awake at night, I did what any newbie insomniac would do: I took to the Internet!
And then tried it all: meditating, exercising before bed, eyemasks, white noise machines, CBD … you name it.
And now, although I am certainly not entirely back to my former years of slumber perfection, I HAVE figured out three things that work reasonably well for me. So if you’re like me, and you feel like you’ve tried everything, then I’m hoping maybe – just maybe – you haven’t tried these.
Get the Best Sleep with Bedtime Stories
Kathryn Nicolai, who is now officially one of my favorite people on the plant, has both a book and a podcast by the same name: Nothing Much Happens. Her concept, which I wholeheartedly abide by, is that when we’re in bed trying to either fall asleep or fall back asleep, our mind needs a “place to rest.”
Kathryn gives us just that with soothing short bedtime stories packed full of coziness and comfort, and where, you guessed it, nothing much happens. Snuggling up with a kitty on a rainy day. Visiting a country cottage at the end of the summer. Walking among the lilac bushes. This is the stuff of Kathyrn’s stories.
I prefer her book to the podcast because I find it helps me to keep my phone out of my bedroom, but her podcast is awesome too, read in her own soft and calming voice.
Get Cozy & Comfy with a Gratitude Journal & Visualization
A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be a big commitment – it can be simple, short, and sweet. I like to sit in bed as I write down my three favorite things that happened in a day. It helps my mind to focus on the things that made me happy as opposed to the things that I might be worried about. They don’t have to be grand or robust either – for me it could be things as simple as making my nephew giggle wildly, getting to eat my favorite meal for dinner, or hearing some kind words from a really happy client.
Recently, I’ve taken my gratitude journal one step further. It used to be that after writing I’d put down my journal and forget all about it. But now, as I lay down to sleep, I think about those three things I wrote about. I really settle and sink into them, visualizing myself there again having those experiences, and feeling that joy. Often it calms me enough to fall asleep.
Get Tired Again by Getting Out of Bed
I’ve set a general rule for myself that I don’t lay in bed trying to fall back asleep for more than one hour. Once I hit that 60-minute mark, it’s out of bed to do something different: wash the dishes, do some light cleaning, read a book in the living room, color in one of my coloring books – I even finished painting my bathroom cabinets once!
I find after an hour of engaging in some non-bed activity in the middle of the night, I start yawning and my body pulls me back under the covers. NOTE: It’s best to stick to activities that don’t involve a screen of any kind if you can.
There are no two ways about it: insomnia is not fun. We so badly want there to be a magic pill we can take that completely cures our lack of clumber, but in the end, it’s usually a whole lot of trial, error, and perseverance that will bring success in the long run. From one person who knows sleeplessness to another, I wish you the best of luck!
Looking for more sleep help?
For more self-care related posts from Janelle at Ellanyze, try these other soothing sleepy time quick reads: