Ok, I have to admit… as the mother of an 11 month old and a 6 year old that had colic, I find the phrase “sleep like a baby” somewhat laughable. The truth is babies learn how to sleep independently over the course of their first months (or years for some) with help from their parents.
Fast forward to adulthood and we can end up back at square one in the sleep department. Unable to control night wakings and wishing we had some to sing or rock us gently into slumber. Though many of us suffer from sleep disturbances or insomnia the good news is there are strategies that you can use to overcome these sleep hurdles and get a good nights rest!
-Dig deep into the root cause of your sleep issues. Ask your self these questions:
-When did the sleep disturbances begin?
-Did you recently have a change in your health?
-Did you recently experience a stressful event or big changes in your life?
-Has something changed in your diet or lifestyle?
-Have you noticed other symptoms?
(Figuring out contributing factors can be the key to getting a restful sleep in many cases.)
Stick to a regular schedule. Your circadian rhythm (often called your body clock) is a 24 hour cycle that regulates many bodily functions including sleep. Try to stick to the same wake up and sleep times, as well as meal and exercise times to help your body get into its natural rhythm again.
Limit your screen time before bed. Artificial light disrupts our circadian rhythms and suppresses the release of melatonin to induce sleep, try to cut out all artificial light sources 2 hours before bed. (ie: choose to read before bed instead of watching TV or surfing the internet.
Black out your bedroom. Black out curtains or sleep masks can help alleviate the disturbances caused by light while sleeping. Even the dim light from an alarm clock can affect sleep quality.
Supplements that may help. Herbal and mineral supplements are very different from over the counter or prescription sleep aids. These supplements can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep without the unpleasant side effects like grogginess or brain fog.
-Coconut oil or MCT oil
Meditation and sound therapy. Meditation before bed can help to relax the body and mind as well as relieve stress that may be causing disturbances. You can also get music that contains Delta Wave Binuaral Beats which can stimulate the production of delta frequencies in your brain and encourage the sleep state. To find free sleep music, search for “Delta wave sleep music” on Youtube.
I hope these tips help you to drift easily off to sleep and reap all the benefits of a healthy rest!