The One Change I Made to Improve My Sleep

Sheep Farm New Zealand

Staring at the clock. Grabbing your phone and idly scrolling through Instagram. Tossing and turning.

We’ve all been there…and it sucks. 

But over the past few months — including, frustratingly, on vacation — I’ve had a really hard time getting to sleep.

Sleep Meme

Basically, this. I get into bed and my mind starts racing. 

I’d tried so so many things — from the natural like melatonin or magnesium to just taking a freaking Klonopin and calling it a night — and they either didn’t work at all or I’d wake up really groggy. I cut back on coffee past noonish.

I tried sleeping with my shades open, I tried sleeping with my shades shut. I put the temperature in my room up, I put the temperature in my room down.

Nothing. Awesome.

I’ve enjoyed meditating on and off but, to be honest, haven’t ever really stuck with it regularly.

A particularly wide-awake night a few weeks ago, I decided to give the Headspace app another try, and it’s completely changed my sleep.

They have an intro recording that discusses your relationship with sleep, and that we so often have a hard time falling asleep because it’s the first time we’ve stopped in our busy days. We also start comparing our wide-awake state to other times we’ve had a hard time falling asleep, and it’s a vicious cycle.

The actual meditation is great, too! It starts by asking you to play back your day in your head — from waking up to showering to commuting, etc. Even when I’m just trying to meditate and fall asleep on my own now, I’ve found this incredibly helpful. From there, you do a progressive muscle relaxation. I have TMJ and carry so much tension in my jaw, and I always feel some relief and release here, too.

And you? How do you fall asleep when you’re having trouble? Or do you have any specific bedtime rituals?

11 comments on “The One Change I Made to Improve My Sleep

  1. Tracy

    Currently scrolling through blogs and Instagram now even though I am exhausted.

    I have been using an essential oil diffuser before bed and it has made a world of difference. I also have started washing my face with warmer water{sounds crazy but works}

    Will have to try headspace.

    Have a great week!

    Reply
  2. Mel

    I was having this same issue, resulting in maybe 2 hours of sleep a night. I went out and bought a salt lamp which I swear worked! I’ve since added earplugs and an essential oil diffuser to the mix and am sleeping a full 8 every night if I need to. Good luck

    Reply
  3. katie

    I have tv on when I”m at home at night, but I’ve finally gotten so that I turn it off when I start reading, and then my eyes get sleepy, and then i’m out fairly quickly. But I could probably add some headspace in my life.

    Reply
  4. Kate

    My husband swears by Headspace, I will have to try it.

    Do you have a mouth guard for your TMJ? I clench my jaw while I sleep and had basically YEARS of migraines until I got a mouth guard (from my dentist, the ones from Walgreens didn’t really help). It has made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep and I wake up feeling my better.

    Reply
  5. Laura

    I recently got an essential oil diffuser (this one, on sale for $15: http://amzn.to/2jMFHqU), and I turn it on with lavender oil in it right before I go to bed. It has an auto-shutoff and it just makes my bedroom smell so nice and relaxing 🙂 Supposedly lavender helps you sleep, though the placebo effect is also helpful.

    Reply
  6. Rachel

    @Tracy: I LOVE Headspace. I read his book and was intrigued by his desire to bring meditation to the masses. (Plus he has a fantastic voice!) I use it at night and in the morning … and my life (and my sleep) is so much better because of it!

    Reply
  7. Christie

    Have you ever tried GABA? It’s an amino acid and it helps with nervous energy. I use it at night when I can’t sleep and it literally turns my brain off and I sleep like a log.

    Reply

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