Top 10 tips for getting your sleep back

Some ideas for getting a better night's sleep and a better you the next day. xoxo


Today is a good day. 
Last night, I slept.

It may not sound like much, but for an insomniac, it is huge.  For the first time in nearly a week, there was slumber before 3am.  There were more than four hours sleep.  And, finally, there were dreams (yippee!).

A night of no sleep is not so bad - actually, it's great to be 'one of those people' who can bounce through the day on only a few hours shut-eye and no caffeine.  But a whole week?  Killer. 

Today there is no need to hold my eyes open with toothpicks.  Or hold fear of retribution from drinking a coffee at ten o'clock in the morning.  Energy and motivation are back.  Things are happening.

Today is a good day.  Here's how I got my sleep back:

My top 10 tips for a better you the next day

1. Turn everything off.  Phone, laptop, bedroom TV, bedroom stereo, anything emitting electricity in your room: die.   If you need your alarm, leave your phone on silent outside your room.  I list this as number one as it's my biggest weakness.

2. Don't drink coffee.  I love coffee.  LOVE.  But I know that if I need a good night's sleep, I need to kill the caffeine.  Sob!  I'm not suggesting permanently (god forbid) - maybe just give it a rest for a day, or choose decaf (I know, I know). 

3.  Exercise lightly in the afternoon.  Not a few hours before bed.  Not strenuously.  The point is to get the blood moving but without messing with your cortisol levels too much (the stress hormone that comes out to play when we exercise).

4. Turn to the Dark Side.  Make your room as dark as possible.  If it's still light, wear an eye mask.  
Wear an eye mask if your eyes just hate staying closed.

5. Breathe.  Besides the obvious, I mean deep breathing just as you settle into bed (not of the sexy kind...although this also has its benefits!).  Breathe down into your stomach, hold it for a second, then exhale slowly.  Clear your mind completely and push out thoughts with your breath.  Use that time to do some meditation.  Then switch to light, diaphragm breathing and drift off to sleep.  Mmm.    

6. Pop a pill.  I hate sleeping tablets.  I'm convinced they are going to give me cancer, and only take them when absolutely necessary.  Instead, I'm talking about supplements.  Specifically, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.  Calcium helps with relaxing your bod and magnesium helps absorb the calcium.  Vit D helps with regulation of both, and god knows we are all deficient in that.  Read more about this here.

7. Warm milk.  Not just an old wives' tale!  Milk contains tryptophan, and if turkey at Christmas time has taught us anything, it's that tryptophan makes us sleepy.  The warm part is just a bit more soothing and comforting - make it a slow process that makes you relaxed and feeling cosy.

9.  Bed is for sleeping...and...  Make the time you spend in your bed for sleeping and sexy time only.  Not for reading, laptop or TV time.

10. Get up.  If sleep just aint happening, get up and do something else.  Something light, just for a while, and try bed again when you feel sleepy.


In addition to the above (I'm going to be a complete hypocrite here because I've never done it) I'd suggest that if you're not sleeping for a period of time, go and see your doc.

Also, I'm not a health practitioner (yet!) - all of the above is some of what I've accumulated over 32 fun years of insomnia, crazy cortisol activity, and what has helped me personally.  Use them of your own accord.  Disclaimer complete.

Sweet dreams, 

Little Miss Melbourne xoxo