I'm a sleeper. Always have been. Growing up, my extended family loved to socialize late into the night, and, as a kid, I would simply curl up in the pile of coats when my eyes couldn't stay open. I've slept through storms and tornadoes--even one that landed a tree on top of my Grandma's house.
Sleep and I. We go together. (Sounds like that song...)
Except when I have too much going on, sleep waves at me and says goodbye. Then I'm left tossing and turning, trying desperately to catch some zzz's. Or I fall into a coma-like sleep only to wake two hours later unable to fall back into that blissful dream-state.
Insomnia stinks. And, for me, it's like a rash--once it starts, it spreads.
Today's post is late, hours late, and one reason is because I've been fighting insomnia ever since we moved. Two nights ago, in order to get a good night's rest, I turned off Property Brothers before I found out which house they picked. And what happened? I ended up with a racing brain and no sleep for hours. The worst part? I wanted to cry that I missed Property Brothers--one of my favorite shows!
I wish I had a magic formula to eliminate insomnia, but I don't. All I can do is share my strategies on dealing with it.
First ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is this a one-time occurence? If you normally sleep well but experience a night of little rest, try not to fret. It will clear up soon.
2. If the one night turns into a string of nights, ask yourself what is going on in your life that is stressing you out?
For me, it's the combination of moving, remodeling, and driving my son to baseball several nights a week (it's in our old school district which adds two hours of driving time round trip).
3. Is there an end in sight for the source of stress you identified?
Our kitchen will be done within the week and I'll be able to unpack and cook again. This is the last weekend of baseball, and I'll have my evenings back. These two things will go a long way to calming me down.
Next, try these tips to survive until your sleep resumes a normal schedule.
1. If you're in bed, staring at the ceilling, try deep breathing exercises. One of my favorites? Inhale slowly and deeply as you count to six. Hold the breath as you count to four. Exhale slowly as you count to six. Repeat this until your body calms.
2. Try to stay awake. The purpose of this is to take your focus off the racetrack of jumbled thoughts and put it on keeping your eyes open. I'm usually exhausted when I have insomnia, and physically trying to keep my eyes open is hard. I often drift off.
3. Get out of bed and watch the rest of Property Brothers. What good does it do to stay awake in bed and miss your favorite show? You're up anyway! Enjoy it!
4. The next day, find pockets of time to close your eyes. I'm not talking about hours of naps; I'm talking about quiet periods of rest. You're going to be overtired if you're dealing with insomnia. Be kind to yourself.
5. Exercise. I know the last thing I want to do when I'm tired is exercise, but it truly does help me get my sleep cycles back on track. A 15 minute walk can do wonders!
6. Drink more water during the day. I get sleepy during the day, but staying hydrated helps me fight the drowsiness.
7. Last but NOT least--pray. Pray for the Lord to ease your busy mind, to take away the sources of stress, and to restore your sleep.
Have you ever dealt with insomnia? Do you have any tricks you'd like to share?
Have an amazing weekend!