I go to bed physically tired and mentally exhausted but once my head hits the pillow my mind goes into overdrive.This happens at 3 am too and while I refuse to look at a clock, I know if I don’t get back to sleep quickly the alarm will be buzzing.
Stress, anxiety, poor health and overstimulation are just a few of the reasons we sleep badly. Keeping a diary or notes in your phone for 10 days or more will help to identify whats disripting or helping your nightly slumber.
We all have busy minds with 101 thoughts going back and forth all day, every day we don’t notice them because we have other distractions. There aren’t many distractions at 3 am.
I would like to share a few DOs and DON’Ts that work for me.
- Drink coffee or caffeinated drinks after 4pm
- Eat late and eat too much
- Drink too much alcohol
- Go to bed angry about anything
- Take your laptop, iPad, Smartphone to bed
- Diffuse uplifting oils such as Peppermint
- Follow a routine
- Eat early and lightly
- Drink Camomile tea
- Diffuse Lavender, Bergamot or any relaxing oil. Can be used topically as well
- Log off for the day minimum 30 mins before bed
- Write in a journal, keep notes about your sleep patterns
- Colour in, doodle, Zentangle
- Read a book
- Learn to relax – meditation, relaxation, yoga
People in my meditation classes tell me that they do their daily practice when they go bed and it helps them to sleep.
Mindfulness helps to step back from the racing thoughts and let go of things that are out of our control, especially in the middle of the night.
It helps me to focus my awareness on my body and or my breath at 3am and I will do the Body Scan Meditation or Yoga Nidra. Other times it helps to focus on my breath and here are a few techniques use.
- Focus on the In and Out breath, nothing fancy just In and Out
- Make the exhalation longer than the inhalation, count my breath in for 4 and out for 6
- 4, 7, 8 breath – breath in for the count of 4, hold the breath for the count of 7 and exhale for the count of 8. This can be a little tricky but it takes focus and I usually fall asleep before I give up.
The tips and tricks I’ve listed above work for me, everyone is different just like there is 20 different types of pizza’s, and what works for one won’t always work for another.
However, if you don’t give it a go, you will never know! If you have any sleep remedies that work for you, please leave a comment below.
In the meantime, … Sweet dreams.