I have had a relationship with insomnia for many years. I think I have it under control and then wham another night with two ten minute naps and I am sitting at work struggling to focus.
It was so bad at one stage, that my sister kindly send me a version of the image attached, reminding me that as an insomniac I only had two sleeps to wait until Christmas (6 months ahead).
After a particularly bad bout of sleeplessness recently a friend said to me ‘Kerry, you need to think less’. Simple but it was a bit like a lightbulb moment.
I have a lot going on at the moment, working notice is my current job, preparing for a new job, wondering where I am going to live, house hunting, some personal issues, packing, the list goes on. When my friend mentioned the idea of thinking less, I thought I had to try it. Combined with my other insomnia busting tricks listed below, I had a fantastic night’s sleep and was woken by the light shining through the gap in the curtains. I had even slept through my alarm.
Here are some of my old and new tips to combat wide eyes at night. Now all I have to do, is remember to follow my own tips.
- Work out how long you need to sleep – I need around 6 hours. At one stage I was so tired I was heading to bed around 10 exhausted and then of course I was awake and tossing and turning from about 4 am. I tend to aim for 11.30, have a little read and then lights out. My alarm goes off at 6 and then I have the choice of a little slumber before hitting the shower.
- Bath before bed. Nothing like it – it is a real treat to run a hot bath with some nice lavender oil and relax while soaking. Straight into bed after that and out like a light. Read about my bath time ritual here.
- No screens in the bedroom. My TV is downstairs, as is my laptop and iPad. Work is not for the bedroom. I am still guilty of this as I keep my phone by my bedside. Apparently the light mimics daylight and tricks our brains. I really must try to plug it in downstairs and leave it. Not quite sure I am ready though.
- Crisp clean sheets. If I have been having a bad patch, that hot bath is followed up with a slide into crisp clean sheets.
- There is nothing worse than being cold. I have an underactive thyroid and this sometimes means my body cannot get warm. I love my electric blanket and even admit to using it on the chillier nights in the summer.
- Aroma moments. Aromatherapy is a hobby for me. There are always little bottles around the house for one remedy or another. While lavender is an all time favourite, for sleep I use german camomile. The tip was given to me by a friend years ago. It is bright blue! Put a few drops on a hankerchief or cloth and tuck it under your pillow. Sweet dreams ensured.
- Think less – finally added to my list. Empty your mind and remind yourself that your worries and thoughts will still be there tomorrow. It is time for sleeping now not thinking. I have even read about the idea of writing things down in a book – and leave them there for the night.
So now will wish you sweet dreams.