Ideas to end sleepless nights

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It's 4:22 a.m. right now, I've yet to fall asleep. Went to bed at 11, got up at 12:30, back in bed at 1:30, on the couch at 2:30, back in bed at 3:30 and now I'm writing. For those of you who suffer from insomnia, you know what special kind of hell these nights are. For me, I know what the cause is...I can't turn my brain off. Worry, anxiety, small problems become exaggerated. Life can be so stinking hard sometimes.

I've tried the melatonin, pretty sure I'm immune and sleeping pills are just so addicting. I don't want to be dependent on them to get a good nights sleep, I've been down that road. I guess I could do a couple, three, four shots of whiskey before bed, but I'm sure that's not a good path to take either. Warm milk and a Thanksgiving turkey would probably work. But it's 4:37 a.m. now and that's just pure speculation.

At this moment there is really nothing I can do, maybe some breathing exercises but morning is here and everyone's day needs to start.  However, I know I can at least put preventative measures in place to reduce the chances of insomnia nights.  I thought I would share these suggestions with you. I hope it helps both you and me. : )

Preventing Insomnia

  • Don't drink caffeine at least 8 - 12 hours before bedtime. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours. Some of the most common culprits are coffee, pop and chocolate.
  • Don't go to bed starving or stuffed. If your going to eat close to bedtime, make sure it's a small snack. Carbohydrates and dairy products are the best choice for a before bedtime snack. Avoid protein before bed.
  • Stop drinking about 2 hours before bedtime, to reduce the chances of waking up to use the bathroom all night long. Stay hydrated during the day.
  • Turn off the electronics,k.a.tablet/laptop, put the phone down and leave the t.v. in the living room. Distractions make it sometimes impossible to fall asleep.
  • Do some stretches or a short yoga flow. Avoid rigorous exercise right before bed,  Exercising earlier in the day can also help you sleep.
  • Set the mood, the darker the better, quiet your surroundings, keep it cool. Some suggest using a diffuser for aromatherapy, but a word of caution if you have cats, some essential oils can be toxic to them. So I avoid that altogether, but using a lavender spray for your pillow can help.
  • Deep breathing. Once you finally make it to bed, take a couple of minutes to do this breathing technique: Take a deep breath, fill your lungs (pause) and let it slowly out until you can't let anymore air out. Repeat a few times and you will literally feel your body relax.
  • Keep your bed clean, fresh sheets are always a great way to start a good night's sleep.
  • Keep your bedtime around the same time each night.