March 7, 2017

How to get better sleep

One or two years ago there was a time I just could not sleep at night. I am not gonna lie, it was horrific. You are not the same person when you lack sleep. I felt unbalanced, exhausted and insufferable. I guess the trigger of my sleeping problem was shift work: On some days I had to work until 7 am and went to bed at eight in the morning, but two days later work started at 8 am. However, there was just a lot going on in my life, I was overworked and I just could not sleep. After a while, I felt anxious to go to bed and afraid of lying awake in my bed at night for hours. I guess it was some kind of insominia, which is not that far-fetched since my Mum was suffering from it for years as a teen. My sleeping problem lasted for approximately one month and I tried a lot of things to sleep better. Nevertheless, the good thing is that I can share everything I learned this time with you now :P
1. Pay attention to your body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. Also, avoid sleeping in (even on weekends!) and naps in the afternoon. 
2. Relax. If the stress of work, family, or friends and anxiety or chronic worrying is keeping you awake at night you might need help with stress management. It is easy to say, but you need to relax. I used to freak out when I was still awake at 4 am and only had two or three hours left until the alarm clock rings. Breathe. Take long deep breaths whenever you cannot fall asleep. It really helps me to relax!
3. Create a bedtime ritual to wind down.  Always make sure your bed is comfortable and that the room temperature is slightly cool (around 18° C) with good ventilation, but also freezing will keep you awake. Lower the lights from your phone or tablet since the soft blue glow may hurt your sleep.
4. Life a healthy lifstyle. Exercise and eat well. Do not go to bed either hungry or stuffed. 
5. Sleeping pills are no solution. I used to take them twice, but did not fall asleep and got all the side-effects. Try to take valerian or try the scent of lavender to calm down, but please do not use those harsh chemicals (that did not work for me either). 
6See the doctorWhen your sleeplessness lasts for a month or more go to the doctor, it might be insomnia, which needs to be treated professionally. Also, talk about your problem.
What are your tips for sleeping better?
Nati xx 

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