We all know that sleep is so important. But we often struggle with it. I cannot count the times I have googled “ways to get to sleep fast.”
For me the issue is not staying asleep. For the most part I can stay asleep, even past the alarms! For me it is falling asleep. My brain typically will not shut up! Unfortunately, most of the things I am going to talk about do not help you at 3am when you cannot fall asleep, but they will help you avoid the 3am google search.
First: A clean room = a clean mind.
I am sure I got this from my mom in an attempt to get me to clean my room at a younger age. But it holds true! When my room is cleared of all the junk that makes it a mess I sleep better. This means creating a room as much like a hotel room as possible. Minus the old TV! The bedding is of a solid or little pattern. The walls have few pictures and the surfaces are cleared of all junk. The closet can close and everything else is in its place.
Don’t get me wrong, my room is still my room! There are pictures of the things I enjoy on the walls, the hamper is usually nearly fully, and my gray blanket pops with a big soft pink one! The night stand has the books I am reading, and over all it is MY space. But it is as clutter free as possible. Clear out the TV, we all know that! But also clear out the things that can find a home in a different room (or a different house!)
The smells we smell all day long give us different signals. It is natural that sleep should have a different smell than dinner, or working out, or even the car! These place and events all have some type of smell. It does no good to smell dinner when trying to sleep.
For me it is a calming essential oil blend put in my diffuser. They make blends for everything! Find a smell that helps you relax and go to sleep. At the very least make sure nothing smells too strong of dinner or the office.
Third: The reason for the Bed room!
When my girls were little we were told to not let them play in their crib too much. They would come to see the crib as a place to play. But, they were also to go down in their crib for nap time. You know, using a bedroom for sleeping. Something we know we should do! We know to take the TV out, but also using the bedroom for sleep (okay and adult time!) is the only thing it should be used for. I know some of us have offices in our rooms, but try to move it, get in the habit of using your room for sleep.
Fourth (and last): Write it down and breath.
Okay, this is kind of two things. But if I know I have a lot on my mind I will make sure I take the time to write it down. Plan tomorrow, vent about my stress, jot down that blog idea, or whatever is on my mind. YES, this can totally be done in bed! During my writing I also make sure to breath. There are many ideas on how to breath for the best sleep. I simply breath deep and slow. Calm the body down and get in the mindset of sleep. By releasing the worry of my mind on the page, and the stress in my breath I tend to sleep 100% better.
Still, sometimes I find myself up at 3am. All I know is that 3am me is motivated to make changes, get things done, and face the day (after a nap). I try to use that motivation when I can (although it is hard when the house is sleeping). Find something that is not too intense and be productive with your time, don’t just sit there counting the few minutes of sleep you could get (if you fall asleep right now!), and do something with your time.