I struggle all of the time with trying to fall asleep. Not only that, but staying asleep too. I have streaks where I don’t have any problem sleeping, and then I will go a week… or even multiple weeks where I get so overtired because I just can’t sleep ever! It gets really frustrating. I know that I have talked about struggling with sleep before, but I figured that I would elaborate on it a bit more. It is harder for me to sleep when my anxiety level is up, I am stressed, or there is something (or multiple things) eating away at my mind.
The most important thing for me to even be able to sleep at all is the room temperature has to be COLD. I like to be freezing before I get into bed, so that I can get in and have the weight of blankets piled on me. It helps me to feel safe and secure when I go to bed. From there, I will try to visualize happy thoughts, and staying on a schedule is key for me too. From there, I ask Alexa to turn on fan sounds, tuck a pillow between my legs, adjust my position, and drift off to sleep!
Having a routine really helps me with my sleep schedule… usually… During the week, I strive to go to bed between 9:30pm and 10:30pm. I do my best not to take a nap (when I have time to) during the day, so that I will be exhausted by the time I am ready to get into bed for the night. I always feel better when I am getting into a clean bed, so I shower beforehand, and I put clean pajamas on, so that I am clean as well when I crawl into my fresh sheets!
I have tried in the past to not use screens before I go to sleep, but that just does not happen typically. I like to watch Netflix before I fall asleep. I do not fall asleep to it though because I turn on my sound machine prior to falling asleep, which helps me to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night… MOST of the time. If I am feeling agitated, or like I will have a hard time falling asleep, I will drink some hot water with honey or sleepy time tea and try to do a quick meditation to calm my mind before I even try to fall asleep. If I have a clear mind, am well exercised, and have my list for the day completely checked off, I can usually assume that I am going to sleep well.
I recently got the blue light reduction glasses and I am in LOVE with them. They have significantly improved how fast I am able to fall asleep, and my quality of sleep. I highly recommend them to anyone who looks at screens a lot prior to going to bed. I don’t use them all of the time, but I will put them on after I am showered.
Some other things that tend to help relax me before bed is having a candle next to my bed… not lit by the way… but just to have the faint smell with the cover off of it, knitting, reading, and journaling. Journaling has helped because if I have something on my mind, I am able to work it out on paper, so that it helps to calm my mind a bit.
I do my best not to take any sleep aids because I do not want to become dependent on them. I want to be able to fall asleep without having anything to help. As I have said before, I do NOT like to take any medications, so the less I take, the happier I am! That being said, the past few nights I have opted to take ZzzQuil, which I had never tried before, but I have had a lot of things on my mind that were preventing me from being able to sleep well. Let me tell you, I have tried so many different sleep aids in the past and nothing worked. In fact, I had adverse reactions where I would be up all night long! But for the past few nights, I have slept pretty freaking well! Woo!!
The main things that prevent me from sleeping: the fact that I focus WAY too much on how much sleep I am going to get, where I am constantly looking at the time- which makes me worry that I won’t get enough sleep if it is getting too late, and eating sugar before bed. I can’t have caffeine, so sugar is something that gives me energy and will keep me up for a bit if I have too much before bed.
Sleeping can be tricky, but you just have to find what combinations of things work for you!