I don’t really remember when my problems with insomnia started or why but for the past few years I have been suffering from the inability to fall asleep easily. It doesn’t bother me every night and I have yet to find a pattern of the occurrence that makes sense. But maybe there is none, maybe it’s just something I will have to accept and embrace.
Maybe at some point it will even go away just as randomly as it came. But until then I will try to do the best that I can to help my body to find the rest it needs. Because we all know how important it is to get enough sleep. I’ve recently read an interview on ze.tt (only in German) about why todays society is toxic for healthy sleep. And it’s shown me once again that I need to do something to get more and especially better sleep.
Today I want to share 5 tips with you that help me. They don’t work wonders but I’ve definitely felt a change for the better.
Stop planning out the next day
.One thing I used to do in the evenings was going over my appointments and to dos trying to set myself up for a productive day. But that just stressed me out. With that routine sleep became a tool to set me up for a productive day. I went to bed already feeling pressured that I needed to get a good night sleep to be able to live up to my expectations the next day. So instead of already scheduling my next day I started to write down my experiences from that actual day and what I am grateful for. This helps me to focus on the present moment and lets me end my day on a positive note.
Having a morning routine to look forward to
I already shared my morning routine with you. Instead of already starting into the day being stressed I like to take a few moments for myself even if that means getting up a little earlier. Because what I learned is that the quality of your sleep is way more important than the quantity. Knowing that I will be able to enjoy a relaxed morning routine actually helps with my insomnia. Because I don’t have the thought in the back of my mind, that I will need to jump out of bed and get ready in a hurry in the morning.
The right pillow
This was like a little revolution for my sleep. Here in Germany rectangular pillows are very common. But I usually sleep on my side which means my neck is overstretched all night. It was very common for me to wake up with neck pains or tossing and turning in bed at night for hours because I didn’t seem to be able to find a comfortable position. Two month ago I ordered an orthopedic pillow* that’s designed to support your neck. This might sound to you like the most granny thing ever. But now lying down in bed at night is something I’m looking forward because I don’t have to worry about finding a comfortable position anymore.
No screens before sleep
That is most definitely still the hardest one for me. But I know it’s also what’s probably a big contributor to my insomnia. I’m trying to turn off all my screens and just journal for the last 15 minutes before I lie down in bed. It really does help me to unwind and get my body and mind ready to falls asleep. If you’re like me and you don’t manage to turn off your screens an hour before bedtime it helps to set the light of your screens to a more yellowish tone. The iPhone already comes with a night-time feature. On my MacBook I installed an app called f.lux that cancels out the blue light from the screen. Blue light will just keep you awake.
Listening to podcasts or ASMR to fall asleep
I figured it helps me a lot to listen to someone talking when I’m trying to fall asleep. That’s why I often turn on a random podcast when I’m trying to sleep. Nothing that dumps a whole lot of information upon me because that’s just going to keep me awake. But rather something that’s very chatty and relaxing.
Sometimes I also listen to ASMR videos. The first time I stumble across an ASMR video it was actually an IKEA ad (props for awesome marketing!) and I was very much weirded out by the whispering. But somehow I couldn’t stop watching because it gave me a super relaxed feeling. Then I googled what ASMR actually is; it’s a kind of tingly feeling that for example can be caused by someone whispering in your ear. ASMR is supposed to relax you and I am not kidding when I’m telling you that it works wonders. When I’m experiencing insomnia I turn on an ASMR video on YouTube and listen to it with my headphones. And I usually fall asleep within 20 minutes.
*Affiliate link: this means if you order with this link I will get some money from Amazon to support my work. It’s not going to be more expensive for you.