3 Ways to Sleep Like a Baby
I am a thinker, sometimes, to much of a thinker and sometimes that keeps me up way past my bed time. This is especially true in times where I am really stressed, it always seems that the more stress, the less sleep. Which then creates more worry, which creates even less sleep.
The sleep better articles all said similar things, get exercise, eat right, leave out the caffeine. They all told me what to do, but not how to do it. After much experimentation, I came up with a few things that usually help me get to sleep at a reasonable time, and sleep like a baby.
1. Get Productive Exercise.
It seemed like every article I read listed “exercise” as a sleep aid, but to me running on a treadmill for 30 minutes only gave me 30 more minutes to stress out. It did not make me tired 30 minutes earlier. What I found was if I did something that kept my body moving and kept my brain engaged, I couldn’t stress. Things like gardening, house cleaning, reorganizing the closets, and power washing the house kept both my brain and my body engaged.
It also had the side effect of having accomplished something very visual. I could see my cleaner house and the flowers that I planted. There was no more mold on the siding and I wasn’t afraid to open the closet door. These positive visual effects combined with the exercise it took to create them, made it much easier to sleep at the end of the day.
2. Train Your Sleep Routine
My day job takes me away from home at least 16 days a month. So I have had to come up with ways to have similar routines no matter if I am in a hotel in a strange city or at home snuggled up next to my husband. My routine is pretty simple, pray silently and always keep my head covered. Praying gives me the chance to say thank you for all of the good things, ask for help with where I struggled and give God the struggles I can not change. Covering my head gives my body a physical signal that says “Night-night time!
This routine works no matter where I am, but like Pavlov’s dog, I had to train my body to respond how I wanted it to. This took time, but not as much as I thought, after about 2 weeks I started noticing my body reacting to the prayer plus head covering. Nowadays I can barely make it through the prayers before I am drifting off to sleep.
- Create a routine that includes a mental and physical element.
- Prayers, meditation, or journal writing all work well to engage your brain.
- Head coverings, masks, or your favorite pj’s all work great as a physical cue to your brain that it is night-night time.
3. Keep Technology Out of the Bedroom!
Bedrooms are for two things, neither of them requires any type of technology.
I know you want to check your Facebook just one more time, or just catch the end of this episode of House Hunters. The problem is, there is another episode on after this one and your friends and family are going to keep posting things on Facebook.
Unplug and let your brain rest! Facebook will be there tomorrow and what house the couple on House Hunters buys really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Keep TV’s, computers and phones out of the bedroom.
These three things have helped me sleep during even the most stressful times in my life. There are still a few nights here and there where my brain is stuck on WHEEE, but for the most part, these tips have helped me create a good sleep routine no matter where I am.