In my last post, Understanding Insomnia, I talked about insomnia, what it is, and how it can affect your daily life. I also covered each of the 5 kinds of insomnia and how they all relate to this one thing called a root cause.
If you read the post, which I highly recommend doing before reading this one, you probably noticed that I mention root causes a lot. That’s because the root cause of every case can be different.
BUT that doesn’t mean that they can’t be treated without sleeping pills.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The secret that healed my insomnia was something that I probably should have thought of earlier.
My Nightly Routine.
Armed with a plan to solve the root cause of my insomnia problem, I re-evaluated my Whole Nightly Routine and totally changed it to correlate with the solution to my problem. I was a naturally high-strung person that drank WAY too much caffeine during the day (to try to make up for the fatigue) and I never had time at night to truly relax.
When I finally did that, SHOCKER, it worked. Just a few days later, I could already see the difference in my sleeping patterns. I was sleeping through the night and getting to sleep without tossing and turning. The best part was that I actually had energy when I woke up!
I’m going to share all of the things that I included in my nightly routine to help me FINALLY get the good night’s sleep and REST that I really needed and that I know you need too!
Here's my Ex-Insomniac’s Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep!
1. Get Down The Root:
The first and most important step to crafting a good routine that helps you heal what’s causing your insomnia in the first place. You can do that by talking to your doctor to see if there’s an underlying medical issue and doing research, as well as journaling about your problems.
For example, if you are suffering from insomnia because of feelings about a big life change, you can journal your feelings about the whole thing. Journaling your thoughts can help you organize them and is REALLY cathartic.
2. Make Your Bed A Sacred Space:
Do you spend a lot of time on your bed?
If so, then that might be contributing to your insomnia. One of the causes of insomnia can be that you spend too much time sitting or working on your bed.
If that’s the case, then you should definitely find a new space for that.
Your bed should really be reserved for sex and sleep only!
From now on, try to stay off your bed, until the right times.
3. Ditch Your Devices:
The blue light that comes from your electronics like the TV, laptop, and your Smartphone all have blue light radiating from them. Blue light decreases your body’s level of melatonin or the “sleep chemical“.
To help balance your body’s level of melatonin, and therefore help your sleep, shut off your devices at least a couple of hours before you go to bed. If you still need light, candlelight can set the perfect ambient tone to fall asleep. Just don’t forget to blow them out before you fall asleep!
4. Cut Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine creates a brief spurt of energy and alertness, which can suddenly crash. The length of a caffeine “high” is never certain, but the crash is.
However, the caffeine chemicals can last in your blood for up to 24 hours, leading to effects on your sleeping pattern.
You can help yourself to fall and stay asleep better by cutting off your caffeine intake after 2 pm. You can supplement your caffeine with herbal teas, natural juices, and of course, water.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a reaction of the brain to a stimulant that you can feel, hear, taste, etc.
Examples of these stimulants can include the sound of a fan (white noise), the feeling of something warm and fuzzy, or even the taste of chocolate. Some people report a tingling sensation in their scalp, all the way down to their limbs.
Check out ASMR Sleep on Spotify or this Youtube Video!
6. Binaural Beats
Binaural Beats are when two tones of a faintly different frequency are played simultaneously in each ear. Binaural beats in the delta and theta frequencies are both very effective for sleep and relaxation purposes.
For some Bedtime Binaural Beats, check out Binaural Beats: Delta Brainwaves on Spotify or this soothing Youtube Video.
7. Nature Sounds:
Nothing can ground you like nature, but it’s not easy for everyone to just open a window to hear the tree frogs. Nature sounds are doused by the sounds of traffic and neighborhoods.
However, a really good alternative is to listen to the sounds of nature before you sleep. My personal favorite is the hypnotic call of the common loon.
Here are some calming nature sounds to help you drift off to sleep.
Keep in mind that the sounds of waterfalls, rivers, and rain can trigger the bladder.
According to Psychology Today, studies have shown that there is success in healing insomnia through daily yoga practices. After a hard day, yoga is the best gentle exercise that unwinds both the mind and the body. You can learn more about yoga here.
3 Yoga Poses that will help you doze off:
Forward Fold: Activates the part of the nervous system known for making the body fall asleep.
Staff Pose: Helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and boosts circulation in your legs
Supine Spinal Twist: wrings out tension using form and breath.
If you want to do a full yoga flow, check these out:
If stress is the root cause behind your insomnia, meditation can help you solve that problem.
Meditation is a highly recommended method of relaxation. (And, It’s so dang easy!) The key is to focus on the movement of your breath and nothing else.
Try these guided meditations for sleep to get started!
This mega-popular guided meditation on Youtube
I am a big advocate for journaling. It’s so effective in more than just writing about your deepest thoughts and secrets.
Sometimes, you can be kept awake by an overactive mine, even when you’re physically exhausted. Journaling about your thoughts, even mindless thoughts that you think don’t really matter, can help you fall asleep.
Take a notebook and write down all the things that come to your mind, until nothing else comes up. When your mind is silent, it’s easier to drift off to sleep.
Don't know what to write about? Check out these journal prompts
Through this whole series, I’ve covered what insomnia is, how it affects your life, AND how you can heal from it without sleeping pills. Like I always say, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any medical issues you have, and to come to a decision on a treatment plan TOGETHER.
I’ve given you these secrets that healed my own insomnia so you can add them to your nightly routine and start getting the rest that we both know that you need! If you need help creating the perfect routine for you, check out my Routine Rundown!
Until next time, Sweet Dreams xoxo