My alarm clock glared 1:30am again. Ugh!
Why could I not sleep through the night like my husband?
As a recovering insomniac, I’ve tried it all. Sleep and I have not been friends for years. With the stress of the last few years weighing on us, many people are now struggling with sleeping through the night for the first time. I can fully relate!
These 5 things are not full proof, but they are what have helped me get into a healthy sleep routine.
1. Drink a shot of tart cherry juice.
- Tart cherries are naturally rich in melatonin which can help you get into a deeper sleep. This has to be the real stuff, not a juice from concentrate. It’s super sour, but I really started to like it. If the melatonin is not powerful enough in the cherry juice, then you can also take a melatonin supplement. I found this to be particularly helpful when I was dealing with insomnia.
2. Get a reliable sound machine.
- If it’s good for my baby to fall asleep to, then it’s good for you too! White noise is the sound in particular that will help your brain quiet the noise and slip into sleep mode. I’m so sensitive to noise that I even double up with ear plugs along with my noise maker for extra help in blocking out the night sounds and distractions.
3. Brain dump and pray.
- This works particularly well if you have a busy mind. I keep a pad of paper by my bed, but the notes app in your phone works just as well. Before bed, quickly scribbled down all the things your mind is thinking about, worrying about, or trying to remember to get done. Get it all out! Then simply pray over the list and give it to God, trusting Him to help you leave it in His hands and rest for the night. You can glance at the list the next morning to see if there is anything you need to remember to accomplish that day.
4. Use a Weighted Blanket.
- Some people love them and some people hate them. When I was dealing with insomnia related to anxiety, putting a weighted blanket on in the middle of the night was the trick to help me get back to sleep. It feels like a full body hug and can truly calm your nervous system if it gets heightened at bed time or in the middle of the night. Weighted blankets are known to stimulate oxytocin which helps your body to calm itself down.
5. No screen time an hour before bed.
- I completely understand that this feels next to impossible, but the nights that I actually keep myself away from a screen for 30 minute to an hour before my head hits the pillow were much easier to get into a deep sleep. We know now that even the blue light from our screens can literally block melatonin in our bodies and keep us from getting into sleep mode at night. Blue light blocking glasses are a good alternative, but getting away from screens is even better.