Can't Sleep?

It’s that time! You just finished your nightly routine and you’re undressing your bed. It’s been a long day and you can’t wait for it to be finally over. All you can think about is how good the cool sheets will feel after a hot summer's day. The lights dim down as they shut off like they too are saying goodnight. One last sip of cold water before you crawl in. The softness of your pillow as you lay your head and it sinks in. You let out one last yawn and shift around to get settled. Everything is perfect. Tonight is the night you will sleep soundly.

*ding* Notification! You choose to ignore it. Your eyes still shut, you take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Wait, did I set my alarm? You turn and reach over to grab your phone just to make sure. The brightness of the screen awakens you again. Yes. All set! You shut it off and get comfortable again. You try to clear your mind in hopes to drift off sooner. Then another thought pops up. Did I turn up the volume or is my phone on silent? You're up checking again.

Ugh! Does this sound a little familiar? You’re all ready for bed and it seems like your mind can’t quite shut off? Whatever the case may be, minor annoyances, replaying your day, thoughts about what you have to do tomorrow. It's keeping you up and causing an interruption. I tend to struggle with this and I know I'm not alone. So, here are a few tips that I find helps to settle me in for the night.

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Set your alarm and volume

Just like I described above one of the easiest distractions is our phone. The different sounds of notifications and the flashing and illuminating. This all tends to keep us up, alert, and thus keeping you awake longer. The average person checks their phone 90+ times a day! So I recently invested in this digital alarm clock. It sits on my nightstand and I turn my phone on silent while it charges. I will say, it has drastically helped.

Avoid caffeine 3-5hrs before bed

We've all heard this one before! It's pretty simple as caffeine is a stimulate and that is the last thing we want to do to ourselves as we want to drift off to sleep. Instead, make a cup of green tea, if your doctor says it's ok, to help give you a little pick-me-up in the early evening. With ~35mg versus ~100mg of caffeine, your day shouldn't end with a caffeine overload.

Say NO to last-minute sugar cravings

Sugar is another stimulant. A sugar rush lasts around 40 minutes and can disrupt your sleep throughout the night. It's very possible you won't sleep as deep and you'll experience restlessness; leaving you fatigued the next day. The same principle goes for items labeled sugar-free as they still contain a form of sugar.

Have a notepad and pen

Before you shut your lights off, write down any last-minute thoughts you have. Whether they are important at the time or not. You don't want to have to turn on the lights or your phone once you've settled in. I find it handy to have a notepad and pen on my nightstand, or if you like to journal, I found this amazing evening Gratitude Journal

Do some light stretching in bed

This is a must for me! I have found that I can get comfortable more easily and quickly when I stretch and loosen my muscles. I do a variety of stretches depending on my physical needs. My favorite go-to stretch is the supine spinal twist or supra matsyendrasana for my yogi's. I know it stimulates internal organs but I find that it also helps to relax tension, especially in the lower back.

Try putting on sleep music

I've done a lot of research on the different sounds and music you can play to help you drift off. YouTube makes it easy to find ones that are 8hours up to 12hours long! If you opt to make your own playlist be aware that some videos may have advertising and could actually defeat the purpose and wake you. Definitely spend some time researching what helps quiet your mind if you're the type of person who can't stand total silence. 

If you're interested in more information on the topics above, let me know in the comments! Also, what have you found to help settle you in for the night?  Sweet dreams always!

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