Sleep. Who doesn’t love sleep?! As I mentioned in my previous post about fighting anxiety, I have had some major sleep problems over the past few years. I used to be the type of person who would sleep all night, could fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, and I would wake up feeling happy and refreshed. Anxiety kind of destroyed that for me, and I ended up being someone who couldn’t fall asleep, stay asleep and I was waking up with a daily headache. Not fun.
I started to track my sleep habits using my iPhone and I was shocked to see that far too often, my steady sleep time was ranging between 20-50 minutes! No wonder I couldn’t function and couldn’t seem to ever get better, no one should be functioning every day on that little sleep. I knew I had to make some changes.
First thing I did was see my doctor to rule anything medical out. We were able to pinpoint the sleep issues down to anxiety so we came up with some sleep strategies to try. Over the past couple of years I have tried many, many different things and I found that the one thing that works for me is having a Sleep Routine. A sleep routine is a series of healthy sleep inducing habits that you adopt, which help you to fall asleep faster, easier and help with staying asleep.
Here is the sleep routine that works for me:
- Lotion. During one of my many Lush browsing sessions, I found Sleepy Lotion, and it has changed my life! This lotion is scented with a calming and soothing lavender and tonka, which smells kind of like lavender shortbread cookies. Not only does it smell delicious, but it actually does help to relax me enough to fall asleep. I also read that the process of putting on lotion can also be relaxing, which helps with calming down before bedtime. Another great bedtime lotion is Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Lotion (yes it’s technically for infants, but who doesn’t want to sleep like an baby?!)
- Scents. As mentioned above, scents can be very beneficial when creating a sleep routine so I try to use them as much as possible. I diffuse essential oils throughout the day in the bedroom to create a relaxing environment (Saje Happiness Diffuser Blend Collection is my personal favorite) and then before bed I spray my pillow with a sleep inducing spray. The current one I’m using is This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray , which has been incredibly helpful in not only helping me to fall asleep but also with staying asleep. Another great one is the Lavender Vanilla Pillow Spray from Bath and Body Works.
- Sound. We live in a very dry climate so we have a small humidifier in our room and I have noticed that not only does it help with the dry air, but it also provides some white noise, which really helps with sleep. You can also use an essential oil diffuser, a white noise app on your phone, or you can actually purchase a white noise machine.
- Electronics. Full confession – I haven’t been able to get past not having my phone in the bedroom. I use the excuse that I use it as my alarm clock, but the truth is that I’m way too attached to it. The one thing I do though is once it’s plugged in for charging, I switch it to do not disturb and turn it over on my nightstand. At least this way I won’t be woken up by my phone until I’m supposed to.
- Reading. When I’m really not feeling tired yet but I need to wind down, I read for a little while. At night I try to read something light and stick to no more than 3 chapters. I find it’s a great way to turn my brain off to prepare for sleep.
Does anyone else have a sleep routine?