Donâ€™t you just hate it when no matter what you do, you canâ€™t fall asleep?
Or you wake up in the middle of the night, knowing that you have to get up at zero-dark-thirty, and you lie there looking at the ceiling even though you canâ€™t see it in the dark?
Insomnia is increasingly common as we get older for a variety of reasons. Hormonal changes, stress, changing schedules â€“ all of these (and many more) contribute to our wakefulness and therefore our crankiness. The only people that like insomnia are the coffee companies.
Really, how much coffee does it take for you to function after a date with insomnia?
Here are some ways that you can possibly beat insomnia once and for all.
Have a Schedule
Inviting sleep into your bed may be as easy as creating a routine. Have a glass of wine, take a bath, and then go to bed at the same time and in the same order every night. Â Get up at the same time every day even if it is your day off. Technically it should become habit and your body will move in that rhythm.
Sleepy? Go to Bed
If you find yourself yawning and nodding at 9:00, just go with it. Instead of staying up for another show, you should go straight to bed. Sleep happens in cycles and if you resist it the first time it may not come around again for a couple of hours.
Try investing in a noise machine or get an app for your phone (some of them are free). These create sounds like ocean waves, rain, wind, or what is called â€œwhite noise â€“ just a rushing sound. The sounds hide other, more disturbing sounds and lull you to sleep.
Keep a Journal
Writing down all of your thoughts, problems, and worries right before you are ready for sleep will clear your mind and allow you to sleep. Think of it as cleaning up the cache on your computer.
Keep the TV Out of Your Room
Watching TV in bed sends your body the signal that your room is a multipurpose room so it is OK to stay awake. In addition, watching TV just before you fall asleep can get your adrenalin going and so it is counter-productive.
A cup of herbal tea can help you relax in the evening. Choose the teas that are especially made to help you relax. Celestial Seasonings and Traditional Medicines have several types, but many other companies do as well.
Donâ€™t depend just on the tea, however. Add a bit of lavender essential oil to some warm baby oil and massage it into your body. You can also use a lavender spray on your bedding and pillows. Lavender is known to help people relax.
Yes, everyone knows this. It is true. You should stay away from caffeine after 6:00 pm. Watch for it hiding in places besides coffee because it can sneak into your body pretty easily.
- Hot chocolate
- Chocolate milk
- Anything with chocolate â€“ even chocolate ice cream or a chocolate chip cookie
Try different things until you figure out exactly how to beat insomnia and then continue to do whatever it is until it doesnâ€™t work anymore.
photo credit: Judit Klein