sleep hygiene

Does anyone else have trouble sleeping sometimes?

My husband would probably die laughing if I told him I had trouble falling asleep, because 95% of the time I fall into a deep sleep within a few minutes. No joke! My Fitbit data will back me up. Often my husband will poke me or stick his finger under my nose, just to make sure I’m breathing and alive.

So, yes. I’m often a really heavy sleeper. But sometimes I struggle falling asleep and even more time I wake up way too early (or even in the middle of the night) and cannot go back to sleep. This happens the most when I’m sleeping alone (and all of the night shift LEOWs said amen).

I know I’m not alone in this struggle, so I thought I’d share with yall some of my tips for good sleep hygiene.

  • Be mindful of your screen time. Okay, so I’m not the best at this. I actually fall asleep to Netflix most of the time, and totally scroll through my phone in bed. All of the experts will tell you that this is a huge no no, and they’re right. However, I also know that it’s a little unrealistic to limit your TV/iPad/cell use the hour before bed. If you can, great! A thousand props to you. If not, make sure that you’re putting your device into ‘nightshift’ mode, or download an app that blocks out the blue light (which is what tells our brains to stay awake). I also make sure not to watch scary movies or crime shows before bed (I’m a huge pansy) because I know it’ll make me extra alert to each and every little noise that comes around midnight.
  • Get into a routine. Whatever it may be-the order in which you brush your teeth and put on your pajamas, the temperature of the bedroom, the side of the bed you sleep on, the background noise, the cup of tea you drink. Develop a bedtime routine that works for you, so that when you start it your body realizes it’s time to start winding down. I, for example, am obsessed with the Bigelow Sleepytime Tea and drink it pretty regularly in the hour or so before I go to bed. Regardless of whether it’s the calming ingredients in the tea or the soothing routine it provides for me, having my nightly mug of tea helps remind my body and my brain that it’s time to start winding down for the night.
  • Put your brain at ease. For me, that means safety. I double check that all of our doors are locked and alarms are set, because if I don’t I’ll just be lying in bed wondering and worrying. My officer works nights, so it’s extra important for me to secure the house to my standard in order to get the rest that I need while I’m alone. That could also mean writing a To Do list-if things are floating around in my head around bedtime I jot them down in the note on my phone so that I’m not worrying about forgetting it the next morning. I also have a weird thing about alarms, so I set several on my phone and double check them before falling asleep. Do what you can to take care of whatever it is that helps relieve the worries drifting around in your head.
  • Pray. Yall, this might be the easiest and most obvious one, but it’s something that’s often treated as a second thought. Yes, I pray before bed. But sometimes it’s super quick and completed while I’m already half asleep. I find that if I set time to pray before I’ve snuggled into my perfect comfy position and ask the Lord to bless my sleep I wake up feeling much more refreshed, and wake up less during the night.

I could go on and on. There’s limiting sugar and caffeine and alcohol, not exercising too close to bedtime, avoiding eating big meals before falling asleep…and tons of other tips and tricks and advice. Everyone has different things they use to help sleep-these are just a few of the ones I’ve found to be the most helpful. Please share your favorite bedtime routines with us!

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