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Ever since I took a full-time retail position about a year ago, I’ve only had a couple good nights of sleep. I’m not exaggerating.
To make matters worse, my sleeping schedule isn’t even consistent. Some days I have to start work at 6 in the morning. Other days I have to be at work until 1 in the morning and then have to come back at 9 in the morning.
It’s such a vicious cycle, because anxiety doesn’t let you sleep and not being able to sleep only causes more anxiety. Between my anxiety and depression, I hardly ever get a good night’s sleep.
Good thing I have a list about the things you can do before bed that just might make it a little easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
PUT ON A POT OF HOT TEA
A couple hours before bed, I like to put on a pot of hot tea. Just the smell of the flavored steam is enough to calm my insides.
For obvious reasons, avoid drinking anything with caffeine in it. If you want to drink away your anxiety, it’s all about chamomile, chamomile, chamomile. This tea is my miracle tea.
PREPARE FOR THE NIGHT
Overthinking is the number one sleep killer. It is also anxiety’s number one friend. To stop the overthinking, quietly prepare yourself for bed a few minutes before you close your eyes.
If you know you usually wake up because you’re too hot, cut down on the layers. If you wake up from bright lights, wear an eye mask or pull the curtains all the way closed.
I know that every night I sleep next to my boyfriend I have to wear earplugs, because I’m super sensitive to other people snoring.
READ A BOOK
Reading always makes me sleepy, and I try to read for at least a couple minutes before I turn off the lights for the night.
And I’m not talking about reading on your tablet. I’m talking about the raw, feel the pages on my fingers kinda book. They’re much more soothing than the light your electronic gives off.
DO A WORD SEARCH
If reading ain’t your thang, try doing a word search puzzle before go to bed. I used to do them all the time, and I really want to try to put them back into my nightly routine.
Word searches help calm your mind and slow down all your thoughts. Plus, it helps you by distracting you from all the things you think you did wrong throughout the day. Or from 8 years ago…
WRITE IN A JOURNAL
I usually get my best ideas right before bed. But this always makes me wide awake and stressed out. To turn that stress into a positive, I’ll jot down all the things that come to my mind.
Whether it be a poem or an idea for my blog, writing has always been so peaceful for me. I even have two or three journals hanging out around my bed right now.
DO SOME NIGHTTIME YOGA
Whether it be just attempting to touch your toes or a full-on yoga sequence with Ujjiayi breathing, try and relax your muscles before bed. A restless body equals a restless mind. A light little yoga session is usually the last thing I do before bed.
PRACTICE BREATHING EXERCISES
I know, breathing exercises aren’t for everyone. But if you’re still having a hard time calming your mind, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
This is when you breathe through your nose for a count of 4. Then hold your breath for 7 counts. And finally exhale out your mouth for 8 more counts. Repeat this for about 3 or 4 times in a row, and then return to your normal breathing. Repeat until you fall asleep.
This is the only breathing exercise that ever helps me.
DO NOT LOOK AT THE CLOCK
As soon as you decide it’s bedtime, don’t look at the clock. This is the worse thing you can do to yourself, especially when if you have anxiety.
It’s even more important that if you do wake up during the night to not look at the clock at all. And never, ever count the hours you have left to sleep.
Trust me. Just don’t.
What are your tips on a good night’s sleep?
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