Up to a certain age, sleep was not very important for me. But with my first job, things have deteriorated more and more as the days were passing by. When finally I was at home at night from my exhausting job, where we I was an accountant, I couldn’t sleep. When I was trying to sleep, all was in vain, I could not fell asleep in any way. I should mention I was taking me at least two hours to fall asleep. The next day at work I was very tired, I could not concentrate well and therefore, my boss always gave me reproaches, plus the fact that you could’ve seen my dark circles from far behind. My lack of sleep did not only disturb my professional life but also my personal one. I had to sleep separately from my husband, because he was always bothered by my prolonged agitation.
I even gained 10 pounds,because I started to eat in the hours that I should have been sleeping. I often ordered pizza or ate chocolate and other sweets. All is negative things came because I had a heavy sleep in those very late hours.
My life was messed up and I didn’t know what to do since I was feeling that my marriage is almost over and maybe my boss was just waiting to fire me. I took medical leave and I was determined to solve the problems with my chaotic sleep.
I’ve read various studies and I’ve learned that I am not the only one who is facing with this problem and I’ve decided that it is time to take some measures. I could not let this problem to ruin my life.
Therefore, I studied many solutions and I want to share with you the tricks that I have found for a quick falling asleep. There are about 50 tricks in total, but here are those who in my case had a positive effect.
- The first trick. Walk 30 minutes before sleep. After dinner, take a walk outside. This is particularly important when outside temperatures are low. Recreate yourself for a bit. Don’t mistake this walk with visiting friends or relatives, because besides the fact that you would disturb them, conversations with them will stick in your mind and when you get home, this would be a problem and it might disrupt your sleep. The walk has to be in a park or around the block. After arriving home, the cold will make you soft and you will definitely fall asleep. This trick is worth trying, it gave me pretty good results.
- Avoid disputes and conflicts. Try to stop arguing with colleagues from your job, but also with the family. Especially before bedtime, avoid watching TV, seeing horror movies or looking at political disputes. It is recommended to have some moments of silence before sleep. However, if you talk to people around you, answer them shortly and try to end the convo.
- Room lighting. It is not recommended to have several light bulbs that have a strong glow. You can use diffused light with your preferred color. I used a small red bulb. Even a little salt lamp would be the solution for a peaceful sleep. Avoid using the TV as an illuminator for the room, it will just make you nervous. Maybe it is better if you don’t use light at all. You may buy some thick curtains to block and light entering from outside the house.
- Hot tea. It may be a simple solution, that is available to everyone. Avoid sweeten it with sugar. Sugar that reaches to the blood can make you want to eat more. Tea therapy would be good to try it at the recommendation of a naturopathic physician. I, personally, made a chamomile infusion bought from a bio store. But linden tea also gave good results, drinked 5 minutes before 10 P.M.. But do not let the plants in the pot more than 3 minutes, because besides the fact that it will leave a bitter taste, it’s not healthy. Avoid black tea, because it has the same effect as coffee, it produces a lot of energy by it’s high amount of oxidants that it contains. In conclusion, I was excited by those teas: linden, chamomile, thyme and rosehip.
- Keep the cell phone away from where you sleep. The excuse that I hear so often is that you use it as an alarm clock. It is totally wrong, some good friend will always find a way to write to you later in night. So go to a store nearby and buy any clock that can wake you up for the job. The mobile phone should be kept as far away as possible from where you sleep. Make a special place for it in the hall, so you will not forget it when you leave for work. Close the phone or put it on silent mode, because even if it is in another room, it may still disrupt your sleep.
- Take a relaxing bath. They say a hot bath can be equivalent to a calming pill. So do not hesitate and get your bathtub ready with scented candles. You will see how much the lavender ones will relax you, but you can also try them with cherry or vanilla flavor and you will feel like it’s the winter holiday. Don’t forget the bath salt, it has an important role in relaxation. A bath with milk and honey as Cleopatra’s preferred, will do the trick as well. After some time in your own bathtub, converted into a mini spa, surely you’ll let your worries aside and you will sleep.
- Say stop to coffee or caffeine based drinks 2 hours before going to bed. Do you have the need to drink one more coffee before leaving your job ? If this is something you do everyday, then you will have trouble sleeping. It is the same with other drinks based on caffeine. For example, an energy drink, will certainly make you restless. So give up these habits.
- Keep the room at the appropriate temperature. The room temperature should be between 16 and 19 degrees celsius, if you are sleeping in cotton pajamas and covered with blankets. Buy a thermometer to know how to fix your temperature. I read in a magazine that once you fall asleep, melatonin levels decrease, which would promote a better sleep. But we are different, so if it seems cold to you, leave the window open for only 10-15 minutes before going to bed. In a correct ventilated room, definitely your sleep will come sooner.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle. There is a saying that you are what you eat. Avoid processed meats and alcohol. A person who has a diet based on unprocessed meat, fruits and vegetables, it will sleep better than one that has a disorganized life. Before going to bed, you could drink a glass of warm milk with honey. Exercise before sleeping. 5 minutes of easy exercises before going to bed will help you more than a heavy meal, which your body struggles to digest while you sleep.
- Do not sleep hungry. If you do not eat before you go to sleep, thinking that you will lose weight, it is totally wrong. You can eat something light (eg an yogurt) and your body will not wake you up to ask for food. You can even do a schedule with snacks before bedtime. I tried a skimmed yogurt, different kind of seeds or a rice stick. Your stomach will thank you and you will no longer experience so many nightmares due to extra feeding.
- The bed and its linens. It is important what type of mattress and quilt you choose. If they are cheap, they are most likely bad manufactured, so your sleep will be. I’ve seen beautiful beds, but often they were uncomfortable .The pillow should be made for each individual, neither too hard, nor too fluffy. And the mattress it is ideally to be one of quality. There are shops that allow you test their products before buying. If you choose to buy from known stores, before you buy it, see the views of other customers. You have to think that you are not sleeping on a nice bed, but on a comfortable mattress. I prefer 100% cotton sheets, because it cannot be compared to anything I’ve tried or tested.
- Clothes for the night. Don’t underestimate this aspect, it is important to have some quality pajamas. Preferably cotton made ones in winter and natural silk made in the summer. You will notice the difference immediately. If you don’t value this aspect, consider that you sleep about 8-9 hours, so it is not recommended to wear some day to day clothes, because you will not find them comfortable. Investment in pajamas should not be as important as investment in everyday clothes, but it should definitely taken into consideration. So at the next shopping that you will do, choose carefully what you’ll use the next night.
- Read a book. I’m sure you received this recommendation several times. And yes, from my own experience, I can say that it can make you fall asleep faster. Choose to lower the intensity of the light in the room, sit into your best place in bed and start reading. Do not choose books with a complicated action or war based stories. I’ve would recommend books that describe the nature or the animals. Relax yourself with a book, even if it is in another language. Your brain will eventually get tired and you fall asleep.
- Write a diary. This is how you are gonna do a retrospective on the day and you will know what worked and what not and where you need to improve. At the same time you will settle down and you will remove the pushing thoughts from your brain. The diary can be a good friend, it’ll listen and it will not judge you. Keep your thoughts gathered on paper, because they will remain there, until you choose to remember and the need for sleep will come sooner.
- The position in which you sleep. If you are pregnant and if you are snoring is best to sleep on your side, but is contraindicated for those who have trouble with their ligaments and you should know that this position increases the apparition of wrinkles and it will lead to sagging breasts. The healthier sleeping position is on your back and if you have problems with knee pain, it is recommended to put a pillow under them .This position is considered healthy for the fact that it helps maintain proper spine position and it supports circulation and it prevents the apparition of wrinkles. In conclusion, you know best what is the right position for your needs.
- Soundproof the room where you sleep. If you have a low budget, you can use egg cartons, which are known to be a good insulator. But you can also call some professionals for this. You will not regret this decision, if you are staying on a block, you will not hear the neighbors or the noises from outside and your sleep will be without any inconveniences.
- Aromatherapy is a good and acceptable solution. Studies show that lavender help relaxation and creates a comfortable environment for sleeping. Finely powder your pillow with essence of lavender to help the sleep to come quicker. Please note, if you are allergic, test the product before using it on your pillow. The cold-pressed lavender essential oil is known best to be used against insomnia and heart palpitations.
To combat sleep disorders you should use aromatherapy at least half an hour before going to bed. It decreases nervous tension.
Let’s not forget about the oils obtained from chamomile flowers, which successfully combat insomnia and anxiety.
I used the following recipe: 6 drops of chamomile oil added in the aromatherapy bowl, twice a day for two months. This recipe is not recommended for pregnant women, because they are extremely sensitive to odors.
- Have dinner early. Your organism needs time to digest. Instead of being relaxed while sleeping, your body will be busy digesting heavy meals. Try to have dinner three hours before going to bed. Be careful at what you’re eating and do not eat heavy foods and alcohol.
- Try not to take daytime sleep pause! When you had a hard day and you get home, it’s not recommended that the first thing you want to do is to take a nap. This thing can influence your sleep cycle, then you risk to have a deregulated rest. If you feel that the need to take a nap is too strong, the admitted limit would be about 20 minutes to keep the hormones to function properly.
- Regulate your sleep cycle. Try to go to sleep every day at a fixed hour and try not to deviate from this rule, because it helps regulate your body and for it to know when to feel tired. With a busy work schedule and a social life, this rule may seem difficult, but regulating your sleep is incredibly beneficial to your long term health. Fix an hour for sleeping in the evening and one for awakening in the morning. Use an alarm clock to maintain this habit daily. In time, you will see that you will not longer need an alarm clock and your body will configure its sleep schedule, which is really awesome.
- Ask your partner to help you. I realized too later that I should’ve asked my husband for help and I am sure many couples do not communicate on this issue and they reach divorce often. You should not be ashamed to ask for help, you should think that anyone can be in the same position as you are. You share the bed with your partner, so you should share this problem with him/her as well. Especially that you can bother your significant other while he/she sleeps. You watch TV or you are making noises, which may lead to quarrels and it disturbs the sleep needed for the other. You have to think that maybe your partner has a solicitant job and because of you, mistakes can be made, because rest that he/she is having is not enough. Maybe the saving solution is at your beloved one and it will help you overcome this problem definitely.
- Say goodbye to smoking. Smoking is the greatest enemy of sleep and rest. Many smokers can not go to sleep until they have enjoyed a cigarette. Smoking reduces greatly the quality of the sleep. Nicotine causes devastating effects on an organism. Although, many smokers have the impression that this vice help them fall asleep, the researchers said clearly that this is false. The smell is unpleasant and it is normal not to manage to fall asleep in such conditions. Isn’t it different when you smell lavender in your room instead of tobacco?
- Sleeping pills are not a good ally. Try not to take pills without consulting a specialist. They can have dangerous effects on the body, leading in some cases even to death. Also, the sleeping pills can be addictive. It is very difficult to remove their substances from your body. Among the side effects of the sleeping pills there are: frequently headaches, gastrointestinal problems, heartburn and stomach pain, dizziness problems, problems with balance and the feeling that you are permanently weakened by them. They can even cause hair loss if used for a long time without the recommendation of a doctor.
- Use a CD with relaxing music. Try to make a playlist with songs you could listen to fall asleep. It is known that the piano has the most effective results. I thought of recommending you what I have tested and which worked very well: Beethoven – Für Elise, Birdy – Skinny Love, Lana del Rey – Radio, John Butler – Ocean and there are plenty other songs. You can search the Internet, you will be impressed by how many you will find. All you have to do is let yourself carried away by the wave of the much and to have great dreams while listening to famous notes.
- Avoid drinking plenty fluids before heading to sleep. Even the excess of water before night time can upset and disturb you. It is preferably not to drink anything an hour before you go to sleep. Don’t consume black or green tea, because of their high amount of caffeine, they will keep you awake all night. The next day at work you’ll look like a sock freshly squeezed from power.
- The shower with cold water has a euphoric effect. The shock that the organism has in contact with cold water, let the people who sufferer mental overstrain to significantly reduce the stress levels and they will feel in good shape and the need to be bed. But do not use this method unless you have a home that is well heated. Its use can lead to frequent severe colds and even meningitis.
- Use socks before going to sleep. A new study shows that the use of socks at night is beneficial for our body, because being at rest, it has the tendency to cool the legs. Another solution would be to place a hot water bottle near your feet during the night.
- Consult a physician. If you used all these tricks do and you still haven’t managed to solve the problem, consult a doctor before it’s too late. The lack of sleep can cause depression and even death, if it is not treated in time.
These are a part of the remedies that exist. There are many more, some of them were actually used since ancient times, from different civilizations. But now, we are in the technology era and the sleeping troubles are most often caused by our current lifestyle. Think about how you lead your life and what chances you can made, it’s up to you after all. I hope you will find the perfect solution for yourself and end this once it for all.