I saw this hysterical e-card last week on Facebook.
And it got me thinking about how I am definitely one of these people.
I fall asleep instantly.
I went through a real rough patch when I was a teenager. I couldn’t sleep and I reverted to a child like place where I wouldn’t sleep unless I had the blankets over my head. I don’t think I ever really spoke to anyone about this but I was definitely struggling with insomnia and it was having some serious effects on me.
It wasn’t until I’d left high school and a woman were I worked spoke to me about sleeping problems. I told her about my issues and she told me about how you need to catch the wave and if you don’t catch the wave then you have to stay awake and you can’t fall asleep until the next wave comes…
Now, I’ve lived on the Central Coast almost all of my life but I don’t surf. Totally not my style. But the surfing metaphor worked for me. I never really thought about it but when I became a step mum I noticed with the young ones, they are falling asleep on the couch on minute, but as soon as you remind them to brush their teeth before bed, they miss that wave and they aren’t tired anymore and just won’t settle. You know what I mean?
And it doesn’t just happen to kids. It happens to us all. We all do it. We are all trying so hard to cram more into our day. By the time we feel that wave coming, we think about something we forgot to do and up we get, pushing past that wave. The wave comes and goes crashing on the shore, a complete waste because we are left out in the surf, up until our body feels that push to go to sleep again.
It’s not just things we forgot to do that are keeping us up at night. A lot of it has to do with social media and those dang smart phones and tablets.
You’re tired. But there’s a notification on your phone so you open up Facebook and take a look. Next thing you know you’ve just wasted 30 minutes on social media for no apparent reason and you’ve lost the tiredness that dragged your butt to bed in the first place.
I know that it isn’t always possible to catch the first wave that hits you of an evening. But I implore you, do your best!
1. Get to know your body and when this sleepy feeling occurs
Whether it is at 9, or 10, or 11, make sure you do as much as possible before that specific time so that when it does come there are no distractions to keep you from going to sleep.
2. Turn all screens off
Forget your phone, tablet, TV and computer. All those screens can stop your body from secreting melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep. Those bright screens are telling your body you must stay awake! (And no, turning down the brightness is not going to help!!)
3. Spend at least 30 minutes before bed winding down
Refer to #2. No screen time. Read a book. Chat to your spouse. Take a shower. Pamper yourself. Do something that is going to help you relax so that the transition to sleep isn’t a difficult one.
4. Learn to let go
Forget about the washing up and the vacuuming and the cupcakes you wanted to bake but only just remembered. If it’s time to get ready to go to sleep, do that. All that stuff will be waiting for you tomorrow. I’m not saying let your house go to crap, but learn how to schedule your time better. If that means you have to write in your diary the 30 minutes before bed as Relax time, then do it!
5. Think about charging your phone and tablet somewhere other than next to your bed
They are a temptation. For people like myself who are addicted to social media, reading articles and reading books until they are finished, these things can keep me up until 6am because I NEEEEED to find out what happens in the end of my book, or I get stuck on Twitter and Facebook and don’t realise how much time has passed. Charging these items away from your bed will help to ease the urge to check your phone and read the latest.
6. Guys, cut out the caffeine, alcohol, drugs and smokes
I would love to say cut them out all the time, (another story/rant for another time) but I know that for some that is much easier said than done. So in the interests of getting more sleep, at least cut out these things right before bed time. Naturally stimulating foods, drinks and drugs (including tobacco!) can be actively stopping you from falling asleep!
7. Focus on your breathing
It helps to calm your body and clear your mind which are two things you desperately need if you’re expecting a visit from Mr. Sandman.
These are only a few of many tips that can help you get to sleep. The key is to ride that wave when you feel yourself getting tired. Ride the sleep wave to get a good nights sleep, wake up feeling refreshed and have an even more productive day.
You can find more details about riding the sleep wave >>>here<<<
I’m not a doctor. If you have trouble sleeping and you can’t manage to ride the wave, you may need to speak to a professional.
Thanks for stopping by,