Sleep…What’s That? Tips and Techniques to Ease Insomnia
Have you been in any of these positions?
I can’t sleep
I didn’t sleep
I hardly slept
I can’t stay asleep
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Insomnia is a big problem for me. Some days I don’t sleep at all. Some nights it’s only a couple of hours of sleep. Some nights I may sleep but it’s not a restful sleep.
I have used a lot of different methods to try to ease insomnia, get to sleep earlier, stay asleep longer, and have a more restful sleep. I try to use more natural means of getting and staying asleep because I don’t like the way sleeping pills make me feel, or the weird dreams that I sometimes when taking them. If I do use a sleeping aid, its not a prescription, its a Unisom or Tylenol PM or Aleve PM if I have a headache. In this post I will give you some non medication related techniques to try to ease your insomnia.
You may or may not consider melatonin a medication. You can find melatonin in pill, liquid or gummy form at most places that sell vitamins. I use melatonin with my children upon recommendation from our pediatrician. A lot of people use melatonin because it’s considered to be a supplement to a substance made by your body. Melatonin is a hormone to gets your body ready to sleep. The problem with taking a melatonin supplement is that your body can develop a tolerance to it so you might lose some of the effectiveness. To avoid this you don’t want to use it every night. If you’ve been using it for a while and you noticed that you’re becoming more more tolerant to its effects, you might want to give your body a break for a couple weeks or months and then come back to using it.
One big thing that has helped me lately is a weighted blanket. I have generalized anxiety which sometimes causes my thoughts to race when I am trying to fall asleep which causes me to stay awake a lot longer than I want to; even if I’m tired and ready for bed. Often, my body just feels restless and it’s hard to settle down which leads to difficulty getting to sleep. A weighted blanket causes deep pressure touch stimulation. This type of stimulation is relaxing and calming and can help your body produce serotonin; which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, digestion, sleep, social behavior, memory, among other things. I experienced immediate results using the weighted blanket.
I ordered this weighted blanket from Amazon. It’s 17 pounds.
Clicking the pictures will take you to the Amazon listing for the item.
It is suggested that you get a weight that is about 10% of your body weight.
Here are some comparable blankets of varying weight from Amazon.
If a store-bought weighted blanket is too pricey for you, and you are crafty, you could make your own. Here is a YouTube video how-to on making your own weighted blanket
Here is an article that details why weighted blankets work.
Specific Evening Routine
So another method to help ease insomnia is coming up with an evening routine to help your body and your mind recognize that it’s time to wind down and get ready for bed. This routine should involve some sort of quiet activity. You can do a warm shower or bath, reading, or listening to quiet music. There are researchers that say the extraneous light from your cell phone can cause your brain to stay more alert and affect your ability to fall asleep. Because of this it is recommended for you to not use your cellphone while trying to go to sleep. This can impact you if you were going to use your phone for reading material or for listening to quiet music. You can dim the screen brightness for reading, or tuck your phone out of sight if you were going to listen to music.
Sleep Inducing Music
There are a lot of articles of the web about the use of 432 Hz as a frequency to have music tuned to. It is said that this is the frequency that the earth resonates at. Here is an article to explains this concept
Here is an article that presents some facts and falsehoods about the frequency.
Whatever you think about the use of this frequency; there are several videos on YouTube that offer several hours of relaxing music set to this frequency.
The first time I listen to one of these I was asleep in less than 10 minutes and I sleep all night, waking up well-rested.
Here are a couple of links to these types of videos.
If you are using Youtube for relaxation music and sound, be sure that the autoplay feature is turned off for your videos. This will prevent you from cycling through other videos when you are asleep. Also make sure that your phone is plugged in, if you are using it, so that you don’t inadvertently kill your battery.
Vary your Methods and Keep a Log
Be sure to vary your methods to you use to ease your insomnia. A lot of times these techniques can lose their effectiveness of you use them all the time. It’s handy to a few thing in your repertoire that you can go to without wearing out your one good technique. It’s hard when you know that something works to not use it all the time but it’s even more frustrating when you have that tried-and-true method that works and then one day it doesn’t work anymore. By varying your techniques you might get a little bit more longevity out of a method.
I am including for you a chart to help you keep track of the methods and techniques that you are trying out. It will be a lot easy to refer to your chart when varying your methods and you will not have to try to remember if a video or technique worked for you or not.
Comment with your Tips
What methods and techniques have you used to get to sleep. Share them in the comments.