A couple of weeks ago, I started to notice that my sleep patterns were all over the place. Tossing and turning. Waking up at random hours during the night. Having to use the bathroom at 2am!
I am very aware of my body so I was able to take action assessing and correcting it pretty quickly. I know I’m not alone in the occasional sleepless nights. And I know for some, it can go on for months!
45% percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days. (study from the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index™)
Having trouble sleeping can have a wide-range of negative effects on your health. It inhibits your ability to focus, can be the cause of mood swings, and can affect long-term risk of medical conditions such as obesity and heart disease. (to name only a few!)
There are medical sleep aids that may work quickly to help you drift off, but they can have awful side effects and aren't good to use long term.
Here are some helpful tips on how to break the cycle of your sleepless nights. These are not overnight fixes, however, it could be impactful for some of you, especially as we nose dive in to the Holiday Season where time seems to speed up on us!
1. Sound Healing
Of course Sound Healing would be my #1 tool to fall asleep! But that’s not all Sound Healing can help you do. It can also support in bigger sleep issues like insomnia.
Sound Healing Music has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. It also has the power to slow your heart rate and breathing, lower your blood pressure, and may trigger your muscles to relax. In as little as 3 sound healing sessions, it has been shown that sound healing can support the body in lasting sleep from insomnia.
I have sound healing sound bath tracks for sale HERE. You will want the 30minute track and listen to it before bed minimum 3 nights in a row. You should then start to notice the shifts in your sleep patterns.
(and yes, I am still working on the SoundEmbrace Sound Healing App. We are on track for a December release! YAY! Stay tuned!)
2. The 4-7-8 Breath.
I know, I know… you are already breathing. The 4-7-8 breathing exercise takes some practicing to perfect, however! Once you’ve mastered it, it will become more and more effective. It may even support you in dealing with anxiety and stress.
Here is how you do it:
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise.
You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
This is followed by the five-step procedure listed below:
+ Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
+ Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
+Hold your breath for a count of seven.
+Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
+This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
The most important part of this process is holding your breath for eight seconds. This is because keeping the breath in will allow oxygen to fill your lungs and then circulate throughout the body. This is what produces a relaxing effect in the body.
Now… Here is a video in case you were like me and sat WTF?!? After reading all that.
3. Yes, Water.
Now, you probably understand how a lack of hydration may affect you during your daily activities. But going to bed even mildly dehydrated can disrupt your sleep.
“Dehydration causes your mouth and nasal passages to become dry, setting you up for sleep-disruptive snoring and a parched throat and hoarseness in the morning.
A lack of pre-bed fluids can also lead to nocturnal leg cramps that may keep you awake. In addition to the frustration of fragmented sleep, being dehydrated during night can compromise your alertness, energy, and cognitive performance the following day.”
Thanks National Sleep Foundation!
4. Mind Dump.
Break out your journal and get all your stress, worry, and thoughts out of your head.
If you have a busy mind before bed, a good mind dump may support you in “laying your thoughts to rest”. See what I did there?
5.Move that body!
Did you really think you would get out of working out? A regular exercise routine can improve your sleep quality. According to Sleep Doctor “ Exercise can contribute to more sound and restful sleep. Physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase. Deep sleep helps to boost immune function, support cardiac health, and control stress and anxiety.”
6. Limit activities in bed.
I’m not talking about the activities the bed is made for like sleeping, or playing naked twister!
Things like studying, watching tv, or balancing your checkbook can increase alertness and make it difficult to fall asleep.
7. Wake up at the same time each day.
Let the training begin! It’s so easy to sleep in. I KNOW! I LOVE sleep. However, if you are find yourself tossing and turning getting up at the same time every day it will start to train your body to wake up at a consistent time.
One thing that helped me get back on track was scheduling a workout class for 6am. Paying for the class ahead of time kept me accountable. After all, I didn’t want to loose any money! And some how, that was way ore helpful than being ok looking sleep!
8. Eliminate alcohol and stimulants.
I knew you wouldn’t like this one… sorry, not sorry!
You know it, and I know it. Caffeine can last for several hours. It doesn’t just affect you in getting to sleep, it can also cause you to get up several times at night. Look my friend, this was a tough one for me, too. I LOVE my one cup in the morning. But it’s only until you get back on the Zzzz’s at Club Pillow. I know you can do this.
9. No Dinner Before Bed.
Eating a late dinner or snacking before going to bed can activate the digestive system and keep you up.
But since you already gave up the alcohol, this should be an easy one for you to adjust!
10. Ultimate Stress Buster!
This one… well, this one is really a post on it’s own. But if you really sat down with this, it will change your life forever…
For this one, I am going to ask you to take a closer look into a few potential root causes.
+ Do you like your job? Or do you want to be doing something else?
+ Are you happy in your relationship? Or, are you needing to have an important conversation about something?
+ What are your friendships like? Are you happy? Are you living in a constant state of stress and/or anxiety?
+ What are some things you can do to evolve away from these stressful situations? How can you empower yourself to sit down and have the difficult conversations?
You deserve to live a life you love.
You deserve to have loving relationships.
Where in your life can you start taking back your power?
Where in your negative thoughts can you turn to gratitude?
I’d love to hear if this has been helpful, or if you have any tips on how to get to sleep, or what you did to overcome insomnia. Lay it out for me in the comments below.