I have ALWAYS loved to sleep. Napping is a favorite hobby – especially those little 10 minute catnaps. I know that after a night of great sleep I feel like I can conquer anything. My energy is great, my focus is sharp, and I am a happy girl.
But, sometimes I just can’t get that good night of sleep. Sometimes I have trouble getting my brain to shut off at bedtime. Or I have too much to do with the kids/house/family, etc. Or I stay up too late watching a good movie. Whatever the reason, it isn’t pretty when I’m running low on sleep. I’m a crank. I crave bad food. I get weepy. Yeah – not good.
It’s funny how as a society we think that it’s “cool” to get by with less sleep. We keep ourselves so busy and so preoccupied with all of our business that we just don’t take the time to sleep. In my mind, that’s just craziness. Why can’t we love our bodies enough to give them the rest and rejuvenation that they need? Sleep enables our muscles and brain need to recuperate from a busy day. Why does taking care of ourselves in such an important way get put on the back burner?
Getting some good z’s has been really important for me lately, so I’ve armed myself with a handful of tips and tricks that work for me:
Hot drink before bed
No, not a hot toddy! I love hot herbal tea (rooibos is my favorite) or even plain hot water. The warmth is so calming, but even more than that is the ritual of drinking something warm that slows me down and relaxes me.
I blogged earlier about my love of journaling in the morning. However, if something is really bugging me, I find it extremely therapeutic to write it on paper or even type it up. I just “get it out” of my system. I may rip up the paper or delete the document afterwards, and that is cathartic as well. Whatever you do, don’t go to bed angry, anxious, or upset.
I take my iPod to bed with me and enjoy Bellaruth Napersak’s Healthful Sleep Meditation or Andrew Weil’s Breathing techniques. Both of these allow me to calm down and sink into a very relaxing sleep.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender is so calming to the system. I have used various lavender bath salts and sprays before, all which smell wonderful. I recently invested in lavender essential oil and I put one drop on my pillow. It’s fantastic!
Heating pad/hot water bottle
You all can probably tell by now that I love warm stuff! 🙂 This tip is no exception. If my tummy is not feeling it’s best or even if I just want to chill out, something warm at my belly is SO comforting.
I invite you to try out one or all of these so you can get on the path to a more restful, more complete night of sleep. Nighty night!