As someone who has struggled since college with insomnia, this is a topic I found myself googling often. I needed to find ways to get better sleep, because now, with 3 young kids, not sleeping is not an option. If I want to keep up with them during the day, I need my sleep at night! Here are some tips I've found along the way that help me get sleep.
No caffeine after 12 (noon). I know this is earlier than most people need to stop, but for me, if I keep sipping my coffee past 12, it will be very hard for me to get to sleep.
Try to keep a consistent bed time schedule. I know it's not always possible to go to sleep at the same time every night, but when you can try to keep it more consistent, your body will start to recognize ok, this is bed time, and will cooperate a little better.
I like running a white noise sound machine when I sleep because not only does it block out the sounds my snoring husband makes, but it is also soothing and helps me sleep more soundly. Now this one is not for everyone, some people it seems to make it harder for them to sleep. But for me, it definitely helps.
Here is one that is hard for most, no screens 2 hours before bed. Instead, try reading a book, or journaling, or something else relaxing. The blue light from the screens signal to your body that it's day time and makes it hard for you to produce natural melatonin needed to make you sleepy. If you simply MUST check emails and Facebook before bed, get some blue light blocking glasses.
Sleep in a comfortable bed. Ok, this may seem like a no brainer, but if you're sleeping on an old mattress that doesn't support your body, and toss and turn all night because your uncomfortable, then it may be time to look into getting a better mattress like this memory foam mattress.
Anything that helps you relax before bed is going to help calm your mind and body and help you get better sleep. For me, that's a relaxing bath with epsom salt and sometimes lavender essential oils. The epsom salt can soothe muscle aches and pains as well as detox and help your body to relax. It also supplies your body with topical magnesium (which is what epsom salt is) that plays a part in the relaxation capabilities of epsom salt.
Which leads me to the next thing that really helps me, is make sure you're getting adequate magnesium. Most people are deficient, and magnesium helps promote relaxation. I like to take Magnesium Glycinate before bed, and Magnesium Malate during the day.
When all these lifestyle choices fail, and you still can't seem to doze off, I use liquid melatonin drops. The pills don't seem to work as well, but the liquid works well and fast. Usually within 30 minutes I'm asleep. But don't take it until your ready to start trying to get to sleep. Otherwise it doesn't seem to work as well.
Also, when I've had caffeine before bed, or been on my phone, and I feel so awake and KNOW it's going to be hard to get to sleep, then I will take 1/4 to 1/2 of a Unisom. Not the kind made from the ingredients of Benadryl, but the kind with doxylamine succinate. This has been something that has yet to fail to help me get a full night's sleep, but I try not to use it nightly or I become dependent on it and can't sleep without it.
Some of these things may take time to help break the cycle of insomnia, but if you start implementing them, you will be on your way to sleeping better every night and waking more refreshed and energized.
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