Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My sleep failures and (moderate) successes

I am jealous of my husband. When he wants to sleep, he just lies down and closes his eyes and presto, he sleeps. Come to think of it, I am jealous of our cats too. They sleep like pros!

For me, it's not that easy. Sometimes I fall asleep easily, wake up 2 hours later, and then don't sleep through the night. Sometimes it takes me hours to fall asleep.

I throw a party when I sleep 6 hours in a row at least. Most of the time I don't get there. This past week there was only one of those nights and in the morning I was so happy I cried.

I have done sleep studies and have been to a neurologist. Had some tips from her, and added some vitamins/minerals I was low in level on to my daily regime. Still, sleep just sucks.

Here is what I have tried and sometimes failed at. I will keep posting about this, because lack of sleep surely influences my creativity, or explains the lack of it.

Track my sleep
This one is essential for me and explains so much. It makes me feel like a failure at times when I see that I have only had 3 hours of sleep on Monday for instance.
I track my sleep using a Fitbit flex 2 and have done so for the past month. This and some other things I track, like my asthma and pain levels and food, start showing a pattern on how either of them affects my sleep.

Go to bed at the same time every day
This is a fail. I sometimes get my best creative ideas at night, and then sit down and write them down before I even think of sleeping. Sometimes my mind is so busy that I first watch a show or a youtube video to relax.
A slight improvement is that now my Fitbit alerts me that it is time to go to bed at 11, and I have taken to put away all my electronics except for my Kindle, and then read until I sleep. Still, there are times where that doesn't work and I resort to watching videos again.

Bullet journal
The other day I posted this on Instagram. Just the simple act of closing down my day in my bullet journal and setting up for the next is enough to clear my mind sometimes. On others I still am anxious and I put on a show I have already seen in hopes I fall asleep again.

Bedtime yoga
This works miracles for me at times and at others, it doesn't. I follow a simple yoga routine similar to this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jisa5wy7UME

White noise 
I had this app on my phone to help me fall asleep at night. Within minutes I was ready to strangle birds, start to hate the stupid waves and before long my brain is way too active killing things to sleep again. So white noise is a big NO for me.

Listening to the most boring podcast in the world
During one of my sleepless nights this weekend, I came across a podcast called sleep with me. It is BRILLIANT. I listened to the Disneyland episode and fell asleep in an instant. As this is a new habit, I can't talk about any long term effects yet :)

Use my own valerian tincture
I have made my own valerian tincture. It stinks! It did help me to sleep the night I took it, but it made me feel very groggy in the morning. Might have to play with the dosage again, but... the smell of valerian is just horrible.

Peppermint tea
This not so much helps with sleep, but it does help keeping my stomach from acting up, so indirectly, it helps

Hot bath
I love my baths. I love it when they make me feel so drowsy that after my baths I usually get out of my bath, put on my jammies and crawl under the blankets to sleep.

Use essential oils
I use eucalyptus to clear my breathing before sleeping. It keeps my asthma from acting up while I fall asleep. Coughing makes for bad sleep. So that is a win. As for oils for sleep, I have tried lavender, which didn't make me feel as relaxed as I would hope, and cedar wood. I have also read good things about neroli oil. Definitely worth exploring more.

Have you tried any of these options? And what are your tricks for better sleep?

1 comments:

  1. Lavender often (but not always) works for me, especially as a tea or in lemonade.

    The other thing is that I've instituted a winding-down routine. About an hour before bed is time to switch to reading a book or whatever it takes to quiet myself. Racing thoughts are a big issue with me.

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