5 Tips To Cure Insomnia

5 tips to cure insomnia
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Insomnia is a common problem during divorce. Any time of stress actually, can cause a bad case of insomnia. There’s nothing worse than losing sleep, especially when it’s over things we can’t control. In hopes to alleviate the problem for anyone experiencing insomnia now, I’ve put together five quick tips to help plus a bonus tip. Some are tried and true (no caffeine in the evening) and some are my own remedies (keeping a notebook on my nightstand).

5 Tips to Cure Insomnia

1. Lavender-this flower in many forms acts as a natural relaxer. Try lavender oils on your lamp in your bedroom. Try lavender sachet under your pillow or lavender tea before bed.

2. Shut down electronics at least 30 minutes before bed-I read a hand held ‘real’ book at bed time. This really does relax the mind and take away the electronic light that experts say cause restless sleep. Although, I do read my kindle in the middle of the night when insomnia does hit unexpectedly. It will also relax me and I personally don’t feel the light effects my ability to fall back asleep. We don’t have a television in the bedroom and I think I sleep better without it. Some people like to fall asleep with it on and that works for them however, personally I think it’s whatever you’re used to (habit). I would caution watching upsetting news, or even movies that are violent right at bed time. It unsettles me and it might have the unconscious effect on you as well.

3. Yoga-try some yoga positions that help you relax your mind, right when you’re ready for bed. Legs up the wall, lying butterfly, gentle spine twist, child’s pose and knees to chest rock n’ roll. I like to lay out my mat while I’m watching late night Conan or Stephen Colbert and wind down with yoga poses before I turn in for the night. As a habit, it signals to me mentally, that it’s time to unwind and settle my mind. I don’t hold the poses for more than a few minutes but you can hold each one as long as 5-8 minutes depending how stressful your day was.

4. Keep a notebook on your nightstand-you can write down niggling things from your to do list that keep you awake or enter your mind upon waking at 3 am. Writing these down, allows your brain to let them go. You won’t forget them tomorrow because you’ve made a note of them. You can shut if off now and relax your mind. Your phone works for this as well and you don’t need light to write. Just type into your notebook on your phone, your list of things to do tomorrow. Alternately, you can write creatively which allows your brain to switch gears from practical issues to right side brain.

5. Hormone balance-our hormone changes or imbalances can cause insomnia. If you’re at menopausal age (between 45-55) you can talk with your doctor or go right to the natural vitamin stores for supplements to help with night sweats, sleeplessness due to hormonal changes. Your doctor may have you give blood tests to ensure there is nothing out of the ordinary that may require serious treatment. Ruling out anything unusual, natural remedies can really help with preventing night sweats and wakefulness.

Bonus tip-some people enjoy white noise in their bedrooms to drown out disruptive noises. Try rain, waves or meditations. You can search on youtube for a channel specializing in sounds or meditations or buy a machine.

Obviously, what we eat and drink can effect our sleep. Too much of a good thing can be bad for example, too much wine or tea can interrupt sleep. Also, if we’re physically inactive ongoing this will also cause disruption as our body won’t require as much rest. Fresh air, walking, running or hiking can tire us out physically which will help the mind relax. The only caveat is late evening workouts can do the opposite, so you’ll want to ensure your exercise routine is at least 2-3 hours before bed.

Each of us is different in our relaxation needs. Your turn, my sleeping beauties—what’s your secret to good sleep?

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27 Replies to “5 Tips To Cure Insomnia”

  1. I suffer from insomnia. I shut down all electronics hours before bed, and I do use lavender bath supplies, but it still can take me a long time to fall asleep. My mind just won’t quit. I suppose I need to excerise more. 😛

    1. Aw, Chrys, that really sucks. Try essential lavender oil on your table lamp (in your bedroom). The reason I say that is it’s a pure substance while bath products tend to be watered down. Exercise really does help the body tire out and crave sleep. You’re a creative soul and it’s not uncommon for creative brains to not ‘shut off’ when they need to.

  2. I love using lavender! Melatonin works well for me when traveling. I’m a pretty good sleeper but Cassidy isn’t. I’ve been brainstorming ideas for him for the holidays that might help. A massage? Yoga classes, etc.

    1. Melatonin? That sounds interesting, Tamara. I think different things work for each of us. Massage is a great relaxer as long as it isn’t too rough. Yoga also is great but if Cassidy isn’t used to it, it might take some time to turn off the brain while doing the yoga poses.

  3. I like a cup of herbal tea to help unwind when I am done with screen time for the day. If I’m tired, I will flip through a magazine. If I have enough energy to read, I’ll read off my Kindle Paperwhite. I went with that one as it’s backlit and doesn’t emit harsh white light.

    1. I do too, Jeri. Herbal tea is great. Your kindle sounds perfect. Mine isn’t paper white but the light has a setting that can be turned to night time (not as bright). Reading always relaxes the brain, I guess because we turn off the real worries of the day.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    Great tips for insomnia. I hear Lavender and some herbal teas are a blessing. I haven’t tried these methods but it’s great to know there are more options than melatonin and Tylenol PM.
    Thanks for sharing these with us!
    B

    1. So true. Tylenol pm and some of those other sleep aids make me feel crappy in the morning. I have to be desperate to use them. Thanks for stopping by, Bren!

  5. Nice tips Lisa!
    Insomnia has various triggers, stress is definitely a major one. Calming down the mind, which takes many hours is a natural remedy. You are right Lisa, keeping a notebook at your nightstand is a good idea. Coffee or cola must be avoided few hours before sleep time as they send a signal to the mind to stay alert for a long time. Soft music just before sleep and a good book also calm down the mind. Each mind responds differently and has its own time frame. We have to find our own way out by hit and trial. 🙂

    1. Soft music is a good idea, Balroop. A notebook is like a security blanket for me. Do you write or start writing any of your lovely poems in the middle of the night?

  6. Another problem during divorce, the opposite of insomnia Lisa:) is wanting to sleep way too much. Sometimes, you just want to close your eyes and pretend that everything that’s happening in your life is your worst nightmare and not real. Sleep was a way to escape the realities and pain of divorce.

    1. oooh, yes I know exactly what you’re talking about. One of the signs of depression is constantly being tired without any physical reason. Sleep is an escape for life’s pains or emotional turmoil. Then I guess we need to stock up on coffee and fresh air and power through. Nice to see you, Vishnu!

  7. Very good tips, all of them. I have been an insomniac all my life. Sometimes I get up and go into another room and read for a while. That seems to work better than anything. I find that if I turn on the iPad and read on that, I wind up staying up several hours, as opposed to reading from a book or magazine. I usually use a book light that is focused on the reading material as opposed to a lamp or more general lighting.

    I sometimes use meditation as opposed to actually getting out of bed, focusing on something pleasant or beautiful in my mind.

    1. Hi Ellen, that’s interesting that reading a regular book is better for you. I used to do that too and still do when I first get into bed. Since I have my kindle, I like that I don’t have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I’ve heard that getting out of bed can become a bad habit (I was doing that for a while. I would write which is productive but feel like crap in the morning) so I try to stay in bed. Meditating is an awesome idea! I try to recreate my yoga chivasna–probably spelled that wrong.

  8. Wonderful post, Lisa. And yes–I’m trying to make it a habit to unplug and step away from blinding light as bedtime approaches. The same thing happens to me if I watch upsetting news and I find myself having really effed up dreams and having unsettling thoughts which plague my sleep patterns. I love my white noise machine–deep sleep ever since we purchased one!

    1. Hey Charlotte, you have a white noise machine? Cool. I require white noise in the summer when the windows are wide open. I use a fan which helps with cooling off and the noise together but a machine would be nice year round.

      1. I do and it’s the best! it’s funny…. we think even the dog gets a better night’s sleep when the machine is on (he has become quite the diva in his old age, HA!).

        XOXO and sleeping with the windows open = THE BEST! XO

        1. Ha! That’s funny, and I’m sure it’s true. I like the bedroom window open a little even now in winter. Have a great week, Charlotte!

  9. I really agree on the last tip on caffeine and stimulants. For me, I really try to avoid drinking tea these days. Like coffee, the caffeine within it can leave me buzzing throughout the day and night – even if I have a cup early in the morning. It is SO hard for me to put away my phone at night when I crawl into bed though. I usually lie in bed watching YouTube videos even after I’ve turned off the lights…and luckily a lot of the time that makes me doze off 🙂

    1. Ooooh, a morning cup can do you in for the night? Wow. I’m okay with caffeine until about 4 or 5 pm but later it has to be tea. If youtube videos help you relax, then that’s great. Nothing wrong with that.

    1. Me, too Kim. Apparently, our hormone changes during menopause can cause this (something to do with the renal gland). I’m sure there are natural remedies to help with this.

  10. Great post, Lisa, and so appropriate for the hustle and bustle time of year! I also have trouble sleeping–and it did start with the divorce. Pre-divorce I could sleep like a LOG. Oh sleep, how I love and miss thee, lol. I can fall asleep, it’s the staying asleep 🙁
    I’m still trying to figure this one out–shutting down electronics helps. But I’m lucky if I get four hours of uninterrupted sleep; i wake and have to talk myself into going back to sleep again…le sigh. <3

    1. I can absolutely relate to that. I rarely have trouble falling asleep but it’s the waking up in the middle of the night…thinking…turning over…turning over again LOL. I’m definitely sleeping better with the help of some of these and especially yoga.

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