Or is it? Did you get a good night sleep last night? Sadly most often when someone asks me that question the answer is no.
Oh how the tides have turned, as a teenager I could out sleep anyone! I occasionally had trouble sleeping but for the most part I got a great nights sleep most nights, getting me up in the morning was a feat and I could pretty much nap anytime. I don't exactly remember when that stopped but good lord to I wish it would come back!
I have suffered on and off with insomnia for years and for me I would guess that it is directly linked to stress. I hold onto everything and worry about things that most likely wouldn't matter to anyone else or are so far off I shouldn't even be thinking about them this far in advance but I absolutely cannot help it.
Poor Jason is my sounding board all the time, not while I complain but just because I need to talk about things. Its funny because Jason isn't all that into his feelings and often comes back with something sarcastic such as "OMG you are kidding me!", thankfully over the years he has learned to gauge my demeanor to know when it is appropriate to be sarcastic or not. It can be really helpful, a good laugh!
I am constantly trying new things to help me sleep at night and although they may not all work for me, but they may just work for you so I thought I would share!
1. After Dinner Walk
This obviously is mostly for the summer. I find after having dinner its really great to enjoy getting out and taking advantage of the warm weather and long days. Being here and having the boardwalk literally at our backdoor it has been great to be able to get outside after dinner, walk dinner off and enjoy the weather. I find I am relaxed when I get home, I so enjoy the change of scenery, the sunset and fresh air.
2. A Hot Bath
This is mostly a tactic to relax me. I like getting in a hot bath after dinner with a book or my phone to watch beauty vloggers. I will often use a lavender scented bubble bath or the Bath and Body Works Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint scent. I have always loved baths, I could seriously lay in there forever, as long as I have a book really.
3. Body Lotion
When I get out of the tub I like to cover myself in body lotion. Most often at night I will use the Bath and Body World Stress Relief body cream.. lets be clear about this too, not the lotion but the cream! This stuff is so thick and luxurious, and I can never get enough of the smell! Although thick this body cream soaks into your skin really quickly and makes you feel so hydrated and smelling fantastic. I will say if this scent is not for you I would try their Aromatherapy Lavender Vanilla Sleep body cream or the Lavender Chamomile, the lavender vanilla is my go to if I am out of the stress relief but a lotion of any kind will work!
4. Aromatherapy Pillow Mist
This may just be a gimmick but I'm willing to pay the $10.00 for it! I specifically use the Aromatherapy Lavender Vanilla Pillow Mist from Bath and Body Works (no this is not a sponsored post!) because I find the scent very relaxing and I will take what I can get. Lavender is said to be great for sleep.
Whether it be the living room or the bedroom I try to make the setting as comfortable as possible. I find this to be easier in the winter months because its a darker more cozy atmosphere but it is doable in the summer months as well. We don't burn candles at our house so I like to use dim lighting, I find it helps me to feel ready for bed. At the apartment I take advantage of burning candles, I find them so relaxing! Obviously in the winter time the fireplace going is also a great option!
6. Sleepy Time Tea
I always have a box of Celestial Sleepy Time tea on hand and like to have a cup at night with a tiny bit of honey in it! This is hit or miss for people, and I personally have to make sure to have a cup at least an hour before bed or I will be up all night to pee! There is something about the aroma of this tea and the cozy feeling of a warm drink at night that puts you in a more relaxed place.
7. Comfy Pajamas
I wont lie my favorite pajamas are from Victoria Secret but they are both on the warmer side so in the warmer months I am a huge fan of the Forever 21 pajama sets, they are so soft and comfortable and the set will only run you $12.90! Its important to go to bed feeling comfortable so you're not too hot, too cold or pulling and yanking at things in the night trying to get comfortable!
Like I said, for me a lot of my sleep issues stem from stress and whether you believe it or not stress will effect your entire body. I can often feel the tension in my neck and especially my back and sometimes doing some simple stretches before going to sleep can make all the difference in the world. Here are a few that I like to try... HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
9. A Good Book
They say the TV and your phone are the worst things you can indulge in at night, I tend to agree with this. When Jason and I first started living together it was really hard to get use to the fact that he needed the TV to go to sleep, I however have always felt the exact opposite. I prefer to have it completely dark and quiet, now that time has gone on as much as I don't like having the TV on I am a little more use to it and sadly spend a lot of time on my phone when I get in bed. Its bad. The better way for me is usually a good book, however it is a double edged sword on account that I tend to get into a book and end up awake all hours of the night reading. Reading for me is a great escape and thinking about a book instead of all the things running through my mind before bed is probably the best thing I can do. I read until I am absolutely exhausted and that can be anytime thanks to my trusty book light, doesn't bother Jason one bit.
I tried melatonin years ago and it made me kind of nauseous but I gave it another shot a year or so ago and honestly I mostly find it helps me go to sleep but not stay asleep. I take 5mg but you can definitely get higher doses, when I am really at my wits end with having had no sleep I will most likely try taking two. Melatonin is all natural and can be purchased at your local Target or Drugstore.
11. White Noise
I use to prefer things be absolutely silent for me to sleep, although I grew up in the city so I suppose it was my own version of silent. I like to have a little white noise so that I don't listen to every single noise that comes with apartment living. We generally have a fan running which is helpful and here I enjoy the sound of the boats on the river, natural white noise tends to block out annoying white noise, like the people above us flushing the toilet or Jason snoring.
12. Eye Mask
An eye mask can make all the difference at night, for me if I am really tired and Jason has the TV on and its bothering me than I find putting on my eye mask can really help.
I won't lie sometimes doing all of these things don't always help me sleep at night, I am seriously considering investing in a sound machine because I think it could be helpful and peaceful to listen to the ocean at night. In the meantime I have recently downloaded the free app on my phone Relax Melodies that has a variety of sounds to check out and see if they will work for me.
I have been dabbling in the thought of read more about meditation. I have had issues with my shoulder for so many months now that it has really inhabited my ability to do yoga which I find so relaxing and I think I could really get into meditation and really why not? I have been checking out an app called Guided Meditation which I cant seem to find online but you can view it on the app store. I may look into a few books as well, if you have any recommendations I would greatly appreciate it.
Obviously there are things to avoid as well to help you get a better sleep, don't take on a full on work out right before bed, it gets your heart rate up and that's not something you want to do right before bed. Don't drink caffeine before bed or after a certain time of day if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, and try not to over stimulate yourself.. keep the TV sound on a lower setting and things like that.
Do you have any night time routines that you believe help you sleep at night? Are you a bad sleeper who has come up with a few tips and tricks yourself? I would love to hear all of your suggestions!!