06 July 2016

An Insomniacs Guide To Sleep

I've struggled with insomnia for all of my teenage life. It was brutal and one of the most awful things I've personally ever experienced. I feel insomnia often gets overlooked and people who don't experience it can't really comprehend what it's like to go multiple days without sleep even though you're exhausted and feel like you can fall asleep anywhere. You think you can't get any more tired than you already are and then boom as soon as you turn out the lights you know you're not going to fall asleep anytime soon. That was my life from the ages of 14-18 (+on and off now). When I was dancing 5 days a week and training for a career in dance/competitions is when it was the worst. I think it definitely had a lot to do with stress. 

Over the years though I've really been able to overcome my sleeping problems. I am by no means a great sleeper. I rarely wake up fully rested and I stir all night, but it is a world of difference from a couple of years ago. If any of you struggle with insomnia then I will be sharing a few tips I've learnt over the years that really help me! I hope this can help some of you out!

Make the best of the situation. This is my far my most important tip. When it's been 4+ hours since you've been in bed and you still haven't a wink of sleep just trick yourself into thinking you have. You've been laying down for multiple hours. Surely that has to help in some way. Be grateful for any rest you're able to get, even if it doesn't include actual sleep. 

Stick to a routine. Everybody is different. Some exclude electronics after a certain time, others need it to relax (I am the latter, electronics have never been the source to keep me up.). Let your body and mind know it's time to wind down. I always find reading, stretching, or watching something lighthearted (The Office, Parks and Rec) really help me to relax and lets my body know its sleep time. I also limit food and water after a certain time so my body doesn't have anything heavy to digest and I don't stay up peeing all night, lol. 

Placebo products. I am a fan of products that claim to help you relax. I have all kinds of essentials oils, body oils and pillow sprays to trick my mind into thinking its relaxed. I also give myself a head massage when I feel a headache coming on. You could also use magnesium spray as I've heard that helps your muscles relax and aides in sleep (consult your doctor first though!). One of my favorite things to do is spray my pillows with lavender. The smell is really calming to me and I notice I'm able to drift off a wee bit quicker ;).

Get up. If you've really lost your patience and are starting to feel hysterical (trust me, it happens) just get up and walk around. Maybe get yourself a drink of water. Sometimes I even turn the lights on and start reading something easy for the brain. After a while I'll start to get bored enough that I'll finally fall asleep. 

Deep breathing. Something I always try when I feel anxious or am high on endorphins. I breath in for 8 counts, hold for 10, and exhale for 10. This really helps to slow my heart rate down. I also am a nose breather so it sometimes helps me to get into a regular breathing pattern when my allergies are really bad. 

Keep it cold, dark, and a little noisy. This is a little more personal for each person, but for me I sleep best when it's cold, dark and a little noisy. Too much quietness and my brain can't relax. I get lost in the sounds of my thoughts very easily. If its hot I can't get comfortable no matter how hard I try, in fact I even feel a little sick. And to keep it dark I cover any extra light sources (my laptop, alarm clock, crack in my blinds) to ensure there isn't any disturbances to the lighting. I don't have light blocking curtains though as I like to sunlight to wake me up. 

And those are the few tips I have for living with insomnia. I hope this helped some of you out! From one insomniac to another I really feel your pain, but also you can overcome it/learn how to live with it without it taking over your life. Let me know if you've ever experienced insomnia in the comments! Let's share each others secrets on overcoming it! ;)

post signature

No comments

© Tutus & Pearls | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig