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In case you haven’t heard, I’m releasing my newest novel, The Restoration of Celia Fairchild, in just over one week!
A new book release is always a special, exciting time for me. But, as is the case with any job or passion, there’s a lot of work that comes along with it. And a lot of stress. And sometimes, a lot of thoughts and anxieties keep me up much, much later than I should be.
You might see what I’m getting at because you’ve probably experienced it too – insomnia.
Insomnia means restless nights that result in tired, sluggish days. And it often comes when we need sleep the most. Of course, when you’re stuck laying there at 3 AM, the stress of knowing you’re not getting enough sleep only adds to the stress you’re already feeling and does nothing at all in terms of actual shut-eye.
So how can we combat insomnia?
Well, I’ve been testing out a few tips myself. I can’t say they’re perfect, but they do certainly help and I’m excited to see how they work for me in the long-term. Interested? Read on below for my 7 ways to treat insomnia naturally.
Treating Insomnia Naturally by Implementing a Routine
Like many people, I thrive on routines, especially during seasons of stress and uncertainty (sound familiar, anyone?). As it turns out, developing a nightly routine is a strategy that can help you mentally and physically recognize that it’s time to sleep. The suggestions below are just suggestions; try them out pick the ones that work for you. But once you decide what those are, they really should become a routine.
It’s key that you keep the same timing and the same routine every night. And yes, that includes the weekends (although I personally believe that there’s some wiggle room here!).
Something that can be useful for figuring out when it’s best for you to time your own routine is by using the Sleep Cycle app on your phone.
Build In Time to Relax and Settle from the Day
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s also one that’s much easier said than done. So many of us like the idea of winding down and blissfully crawling under the covers, but a lot of the time? You guessed it – I’ve traditionally stumbled into bed immediately at the end of my busy day.
Lately, I’ve been trying out a simple stretching routine before I head to bed. Nothing fancy. Just five or so minutes of basic stretches. This guide walks through a few of these – but make sure to ease yourself in!
Create the Best Atmosphere Possible
We all like a good spa day, yes? Well, though it may have been quite some time since any of us have been able to indulge in a much-deserved spa day, it is possible to bring in some of those same elements into the bedroom.
For example, I adore quality bedding. Even my guest room has some. Nothing beats silky sheets and fluffy pillows.
Keeping a diffuser with some of your favorite aromatherapy oils nearby can also help to keep things fresh and dreamy. And the gentle bubbling also acts as a lovely white noise. However, you may want to skip this step if you have pets. Many essential oils can be toxic to animals, so be sure to talk to your vet before adding a diffuser to your sleep routine.
Bring in diffused lighting, either via soft-light lamps or candles, to help transition from the harsher lights we use during the workday or throughout the house.
The right gauzy curtains can help block out or diffuse the morning light, helping you squeeze in those last few precious moments of shut-eye.
And – all of these are easy to find and quite affordable from your local Homegoods, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls!
Get Out of the Bed – When You Need to
This trick was new to me. If you’re anything like me, these sleepless nights are often spent tossing and turning, with rising anxiety as you realize that you just aren’t getting any sleep for the next day.
Instead of stressing yourself further, try resetting. Get out of bed. Maybe read in a cozy armchair or listen to some gentle music – but do avoid watching tv or scrolling on your phone. Give yourself some time to relax and to do something that feels like you’re doing something productive rather than spiraling yourself out of any rest at all. Then, head back to bed and try again.
No More Night Caps
I’ll keep this one short but sweet. As tempting as it might be to indulge in a so-called nightcap, a before-bed drink does more harm than good. While they may initially help get you to sleep, the alcohol in them is apt to wake you up later in the night – and keep you up.
Instead, experts recommend curbing the cocktails about two hours before you plan on hitting the hay to help treat insomnia.
Burn Off Energy During the Day
When I fall out of my exercise routine (which I often do when things get hectic), I find that all that pent-up energy finds its way back to me at the end of the day.
I really do sleep better when I get a good thirty or so minutes of activity in throughout my day.
Sometimes that’s an actual workout routine. Sometimes that’s a run. Sometimes, it’s a brisk walk that I fit in between errands. One good thing that has come out of COVID has been discovering the beauty of virtual fitness apps. These honestly make it so much easier to fit something in without even leaving the living room.
Supplements and Medication to Treat Insomnia Naturally?
There are lots of medications that are thought to help in aiding sleep. Many people swear by supplements, like melatonin or magnesium, but the scientific evidence here is sketchy. It’s probably a good idea to ask your doctor about these.
A lot of people find that a cup of chamomile tea is a great addition to their bedtime sleep ritual. It’s certainly worth a try!
You definitely want to be careful about taking over-the-counter sleeping aids. They may be helpful in the short-term. But they also have a tendency to be habit-forming. So again, I’d recommend consulting your physician before starting them.
7 Ways to Treat Insomnia Naturally – Or at Least Get a Head Start
Dealing with insomnia is rough. But I genuinely hope that some of the above tips to treat insomnia naturally help do the trick with you.
Sweet dreams, my friend!