Q: I can’t sleep, is there anything I can do?
A: I think most of the world can relate to sleeplessness. It is something, for whatever reason, that we have all gone through.
My first memory of not being able to sleep was being so excited for Santa to come and bring me presents, so I lay awake all night no matter how hard I tried to fall asleep. Now, at times, I lay awake thinking about the usual adult things that bring us all stress. Having said that, I went through a several month period of insomnia about 6 years ago. It coincided with my leaving my job in Canada, traveling through Europe and moving to Asia. Understandable, right? Yeah, it is, but understanding doesn’t make it any easier to sleep.
When i moved to Asia, I was faced with living in a bright apartment on a high-traffic road. I would get maybe 1 or 2 hours sleep, for almost a year. Then, after trying several different things, I bought sun-blocking curtains. Then, I started sleeping for about 3 or 4 hours a night. Hooray!!! It wasn’t until I moved out of that apartment that I had my first full night’s rest in about 5 years! That is, in no way whatsoever, an exaggeration. Since then, I have had night after night’s sleep.
Enough about me, let’s talk about some solutions. Clear your room of any unnecessary items and clutter. WE have our bed, two night stands and that is it! We keep our clothes in our spare room, so we never have clothes lying around on the floor etc. Along the same lines, I de-cluttered my apartment completely. The only unnecessary items that we have are books. Everything else has specific purposes. A cluttered home really does mean a cluttered mind, when I cleared all the clutter, a big wave of relief washed over me. Plus, cleaning is soooo much easier.
1. Put cold water in a bathtub or bucket at night, put your feet in it. I’ve been told that this brings all of the energy down to your feet, thereby clearing your head to let you sleep soundly.
2. Develop a sleep pattern, be realistic about it, your body just needs to know a general time to sleep and to wake up.
3. De-clutter your bedroom (your bedroom should be for sex, if you’re lucky to have it :), and sleeping.
4. Don’t read or do anything mentally stimulating, in bed.
5. Exercise throughout the day, even if it means more walking, at least it’s exercise.
6. Don’t eat anything too sugary or full of carbs in the evening, or 4 or 5 hrs before you sleep.
7. If you haven’t slept in several days and you really need a quick fix, although I don’t recommend it all the time because it is addictive, try some Nyquil. Your body needs rest and after several days of not having rest, your immunity to viruses etc. weakens, Nyquil will at least give you a night’s sleep so that your body can hopefully take control again. It might also be just what you need to get another good night’s sleep. You know the best way to not get sleep is to have several days when you already haven’t slept. Your mind is wandering and you think that because you haven’t slept, you won’t sleep, so your mind starts racing and creating sleep pressure for you. Nyquil is a quick fix, but, I only recommend this if it is something that you don’t abuse. Use it once.
8. Have a glass of red wine before you go to bed, it relaxes you a little and Dr.’s recommend a glass of red wine a day.
9. Remove all of the stress from your life BAHAHAHAHAHAHA I love it when experts give that advice, like it’s so easy to do. Come on people, if we could do that, don’t you think we would?!?! But, try to find new ways in dealing with your stress. Or maybe you are more stressed because of a vitamin deficiency or something of that sort.
10. Go to a doctor. Tell your Dr. the problem, do not ask or accept sleeping pills right away. Have him/her run some tests on you that could solve the problem. Maybe it’s stress that’s keeping you awake, but your body has natural ways to deal with that stress. Perhaps it’s something that can be corrected by a Dr. (hopefully not by sleeping pills) and your body’s coping mechanism will kick in and then, you will have a lifetime of good sleep.
11. If all else fails, maybe it’s a noisy home, like I had. If you really want to sleep, move to a different room, or when your lease comes up or whatever, move to a new home. You are never going to be fully happy until you can sleep, do you want to live somewhere that makes you unhappy? That really isn’t a good investment, is it?
These are just a few solutions, hopefully one or more will work for you. Good luck and happy sleeping!