I don’t know if I’m the best person or the worst person to write this post because I swear I think I came out of the womb suffering with insomnia. I have it from as long as I can remember, so I do know a lot of the tips and I wanted to share them with you. Now that I’m 30 and obviously getting older, the lack of sleep is showing on my face more than ever. Dark circles under my eyes, dull, fatigued looking skin and generally looking like a zombie from The Walking Dead going around. It’s aging me, and it shows. The cells in our body repair and regenerate themselves at NIGHT. This is why we need eight hours sleep and also why it’s called “beauty sleep”. Even though we look like absolute trolls when we wake up first, well I do anyway! But you WILL look and feel better after a proper night’s sleep.
I wouldn’t wish insomnia on my worst enemy, it’s debilitating at times, as it increases the amount of panic attacks I have as well as affecting my motivation and drive to get shit done. On average, I get between 3 and 4 hours sleep! So if you ever see me walking around with sunglasses and a peak cap, no I’m not hungover, the light just hurts my eyes and gives me brain pain! (And also, just to add, wearing sunglasses and hats regularly will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles around our delicate eye area. So there’s that too). Now, sometimes I get the odd 8 hour sleep but that’s only when I’m off the next day and sleep in, making the vicious cycle repeat all over again, because as I stayed in bed too long, I’ll struggle getting to sleep at a reasonable time that night. This brings me nicely to my very 1st tip…
Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and rise at the same time every morning. Easier said than done!
- Get into a bedtime routine(yes, even adults can have a bedtime routine). Don’t wait till right before bed to brush your teeth..it only wakes you up, largely thanks to the menthol flavourings which can have a stimulating effect on the nervous system. Don’t carry out your facial routine right before bed either, do it earlier on in the night. Get into your pajamas earlier on in the night too. I get into mine the minute I’m in the door. Doing little things like this prepares your mind and your body and gets them in the state for falling asleep easier.
- Don’t write or do any work or research in bed. Your bed is for SEX and SLEEP, and maybe reading from time to time. Your brain has to associate SLEEP with your bed, not WORK or RESEARCHING or STUDYING.
- Try not to use your phone or tablet in bed. The light from these devices stimulate your brain making it more awake.
- Don’t eat right before going to bed. By doing so, you will wake up your whole digestion making it work at digesting your food. This will have a knock on effect to the rest of your body making you more awake.
- Don’t drink anything with caffeine in it after 6pm. This includes coca cola and coffee. Caffeine is well known to have a stimulating effect on the nervous system. Try drinking warm milk. It contains something called tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates serotonin production in our brain. It promotes feelings of calm, relaxation and sleepiness.
- Have a relaxing bath in the evening. Add a dollop of coconut oil in 1st. Then mix 6/7 drops of lavender essential oil or chamomile essential oil into a little milk and add to the bath. The milk acts as an emulsifier helping the oils bind to the water preventing them from just evaporating from the surface.
- There are plenty herbal remedies out there but my two favourites are…1. Dormeasan Sleep Drops, available from Dowling’s Waterford. They contain the natural root herb called Valerian, which calms and soothes the nervous system. (NOTE – Neither of these can be taken during pregnancy, which might explain why my insomnia has been so bad lately). 2. Kalms Night Tablets. They also contain Valerian Root. Handy for people who don’t like the taste of the Dormeasan Drops. Available from any pharmacy.
- Try burning essential oils in the room where you sit down and relax the most. Lavender and Chamomile are two of the best for insomnia and can be bought in all pharmacies.
- Although there is no known cause (or cure) for insomnia the biggest culprit for me in trying to sleep is my mind. I’m a worrier and an over thinker. I’d love to rewire my brain. Two things that have really helped me with this is 1. Guided Sleep Meditation – there are loads to chose from from Spotify 2. Keeping a journal and keeping lists of everything I have to do. Being organised helps me worry less! But even with all my lists, and planning, sometimes I leave the house thinking I left the iron on even though I haven’t ironed in 142 years!
I really hope some of you find this piece helpful and hopefully it helps with your insomnia! Unfortunately, there is no cure, and although I still have it, the tips I mentioned above definitely help me. So I hope they help you catch some much needed Zzzzzzzz’s. If you feel like your insomnia is getting too much for you to handle on you own, talk to your doctor and they can refer you to counselling. I went through a bout of taking prescription sleeping tablets as prescribed by my doctor. They weren’t for me but some people do find them helpful. If you have any tips or tricks of your own that I haven’t mentioned please let me know or comment under the post…we can all learn from each other.
Facebook – Beauty and the Masseuse
Instagram – BeautyandtheMasseuse
Snapchat – sarahdwan1
Twitter – @sdwan
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
About me – Who am I?