Sleep routine – the healthy one
I have never been a good sleeper even in my childhood. I remember I had a really hard time in the kindergarten during the afternoon “nap time”. What made things even worse was that I was the only child who couldn’t fall asleep. In consequence, I was awake in the middle of sleeping and snoring children trying to figure out how to survive this senseless waste of time. And let me tell you, it sucked. Imagine, being a high energy child forced to do nothing for two hours every single day just for kindergarten stuff convenience. I found it extremely frustrating. Even now after many years I still have chills thinking about it… and as you can imagine this forced kindergarten nap not only did not help me resolve my sleeping problems but also it worsened them.
Fortunately, an approach to the “nap time” in the kindergarten has changed a lot from then and children are not forced into taking a nap anymore if they don’t want to. They are rather encouraged to participate in creative play which definitely improves their imagination and teach them how to think creatively.
However, going back to my poor sleep, when I was a teenager nothing really changed, except that I started to struggle even more with sleep problems. At that time I knew literally nothing about chronic insomnia and common effects of lack of sleep. It is scientifically demonstrated that sleep deprivation has serious consequences which affect your brain and whole body. That is why the repercussions can vary from tiredness to major health issues or even serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or in my opinion the most common health issue – depression. Without any doubt, insomnia is a serious issue because it affects virtually every aspect of our life. As living creatures, we need rest and healthy sleep routine to function. Otherwise, accomplishing every single activity during the day becomes a real struggle. Not to mention how poor sleep affects our mood and dysregulates our emotions. It is quite impossible to feel good if you are not getting enough sleep.
I remember this period in my life when I suffered from chronic insomnia when staying asleep even for 1 hour was a real struggle. That was also the time when I suffered from a severe depression and I was prescribed sleeping pills just to be able to stay alive. Shortly after, I finally decided to seek treatment for my health problems which was the best decision I have ever made in my whole life. With my therapist, we started to work on building a healthy bedtime routine. What was my surprise when I found that by adopting a right approach insomnia can be effectively treated! Yay that made me so happy! There was a hope for those who like me suffered from chronic insomnia.
Here are my tips to fight insomnia and improve your sleep naturally:
1. Adopt healthy sleep habits
- Keep a regular bedtime and wake up a schedule – you need a sleep routine.
- Use a clock radio (favorite music) as an alarm clock / avoid snooze which makes you irritated at the morning.
- Do not nap during the day especially if you struggle to fall asleep at night.
2. Remember that your sleep routine depends on your daily routine
- Adopt a healthy diet that suits you – Eat the last meal of the day at least two hours before going to bed.
- Take quality supplements – magnesium & calcium help you to relax and improve your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon (check the hidden caffeine in food products) instead drink lots of water and camomile tea.
- Workout every day – at least 30 minutes.
- Practise Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga – any kind of healthy relaxation practices that reduces stress.
- Write a daily journal – it will help you to release the stresses and worries of everyday life and keeps your focus on your goals.
- Read a book/magazine/article before going to bed but nothing stressful (but not online).
- Schedule your most important plans for the next day which makes you relaxed.
- Try aromatherapy – the best essential oil are lavender, Roman chamomile, bergamot, frankincense – It works wonders!
- Take a warm bath/shower which makes you relaxed and sleepy.
- Listen to the relaxing music or guided meditation for falling asleep.
- Put your socks or/and use a blanket just to keep you warm during the night.
3. Create a relaxing bedroom sanctuary
- Keep your bedroom clean.
- Avoid working in bed.
- Make a bedroom condition cool, dark & quiet at least 1 hour before going to bed.
- Switch off all devices/ especially Wi-Fi – scientists claim that it contributes to the development of insomnia.
- Use earplugs or eye masks if needed.
COMMON SLEEP MISTAKES you are making before going to bed
- Midnight snacking which keeps you awake.
- Drinking alcohol which reduces a REM sleep which is responsible for deep dreaming.
- Using technology that is responsible for blocking the production of melatonin.
- Working at your bed – it just confuses the office with the bedroom.
- Sleeping in the same room with your pets or children because every living creature needs a sleeping hygiene.