Are you in desperate need of some quick tips to battle your insomnia? I hear it several times a week from my patients. Many who describe their sleeping habits as a significant source of stress. Some even report insomnia to be a nightly problem. Insomnia is horrible and horribly common! I personally believe, there is always a true reason that keeps someone awake at night. However, some truly don’t know what that reason might be. Others do, but are not simply ready to confront the emotional root problem.
Whatever it may be, our bodies need sleep! Sleep is when the body repairs and restores. When we don’t get adequate amounts of sleep, our organs don’t function the way they are supposed to. Our digestion gets sluggish, our immune system is compromised, our brain feels foggy, and our emotions go on a wild ride. Sleep is essential! If you can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, toss and turn, or all of the above check out the quick tips below and prepare to battle your insomnia for good!
Quick Tip #1: Kiss Your Smart Devices Goodnight
As if I needed another reason to blame smart devices for being toxic for our wellbeing. Keep all phones, laptops, and tablets out of the bedroom! The National Sleep Foundation has done numerous studies on this one. Yes, there is actual research to back me up. The science relates the issue to the short wavelength, artificial blue light emitted from your tech devices. The emitted lights are simply over-stimulating and hinder positive sleeping habits.
Breaking it down a bit further, when it comes to bringing your “smart” devices into bed with you, you are disturbing your body’s circadian rhythm (known as the internal clock). Stimulation from the screens, also directly suppresses the production and release of melatonin (the sleeping hormone). This fact is likely why so many people are taking melatonin supplements these days. Melatonin is a hormone the body should naturally make and release, so that you may fall asleep and stay asleep. This unhealthy pattern of repetitive sleepless nights, makes falling into a REM sleeping cycle damn near impossible.
Do yourself a favor, unplug completely from technology about an hour (or two) before bed. Take a couple of breaths and slowly step away from the phone. I promise she will be waiting for you in the AM. When you successfully battle your insomnia and wake up rested, the time away from your devices will be so worth it!
Quick Tip #2: Alcohol Disturbs REM
Bedtime routines includes what you put into your body before you go to sleep. I will totally admit it, I love a glass of wine when I am unwinding from the day. However, the nights I have a cup of (decaf or herbal) tea I ALWAYS sleep better. Alcohol is a drug, so it automatically effects the neurotransmitters in your brain, no matter how much is consumed.
Yes, the effects of alcohol may make a person “pass out” quickly. It’s not falling asleep that alcohol effects. The primary issue with drinking alcohol before bed is the disturbed REM sleep. Alcohol hinders the ability to fall directly into a REM sleep. REM being the time that our body fully rest and restores itself. Without REM you will wake feeling unrested, foggy, and sluggish. So yes, you might pass the f*ck out quickly, but don’t be fooled, that night of sleep is not quality or restorative.
Instead try introducing caffeine free or herbal teas into your nightly routine. There are so many sleepy blends on the market now, and for the most part they all taste pretty good! Lavender, peppermint, rose, and chamomile are all excellent choices to try! A quick tip that should go without saying, but avoiding all forms of caffeine in the afternoon (and evening) are a must when it comes to battling insomnia!
Quick Tip #3: Cleanse Your Energy (Before Bed)
If you are empathic and a sensitive soul I always recommend checking in with your own energy before climbing into bed. Let’s face it, we interact with a lot of people during the day. Sometimes we are carrying another’s erratic energy with us and don’t even realize.
Clear and cleanse your energy before bed! Start with taking a hot shower with a salt scrub. Salt is an old witch trick. It removes negative energy from the body. Salt scrubs are a sensitive souls best friend! If you feel wired or overly emotional (for no real reason) try using a salt scrub before hoping into bed. I bet it calms you right down.
Next, try burning some sage. Perhaps your bedroom space just needs a little bit of cleansing, so that you can properly unwind and prepare for a deep nights sleep. Not sure how to properly sage? Check out my healer’s guide to smudging for ultimate results!
Lastly, never underestimate the power of a calming scent. The use of candles and essential oils are wonderful bedtime rituals. A little lavender essential oil on the bottom of the feet or in between the toes goes a long sleepy way! Not to mention, the flicker flicker of a candle flame is crazy relaxing to watch; a la ASMR.
Quick Tip #4: Prioritize Self-Care
How do you unwind and destress? What are your go to self-care indulgences? Whatever they may be, when it comes to battling insomnia make them a priority, and keep up with the routine. Routines are extremely helpful when it comes to keep your nervous system balanced, and sleeping habits consistent.
I know many people struggle with taking time out for themselves. They tend to feel guilty spending money for a massage (or acupuncture session), or think meditation is bullish*t. But, the truth is if we aren’t taking care of ourselves (and we aren’t sleeping), then how can we take care of others? Never feel guilty about taking time out for yourself. Self-care will never be selfish. Make it a priority and make it a part of your routine. Exercise, massage, meditation, Reiki, acupuncture, sound healing, hypnosis, calming music, or taking time out to read your favorite book are all excellent self-care choices. Are you ready for battle? What will help you sleep better tonight? Sweet dreamzZZZ insomniacs!