Written by Lisa Thommesen
I don't sleep well. I never have. It's not my kids, okay, maybe a little bit, and often especially, but most of the time it tends to be myself. I lie awake and just can't find my way to sleep, and when I do sleep, I feel like I'm half awake. Do you know how that feels? When the time has passed, when the alarm clock rings, when the next morning has arrived, and you know that you have just been in bed for 8 hours and should therefore now be wide awake and well rested and yet you still have the feeling that you haven't slept a wink?
I have really tried a lot. I counted sheep, read until my eyes were incredibly tired, listened to audio books (really boring ones - my thoughts wandered, but I still couldn't get to sleep), tried autogenic training, learned self-hypnosis, I was drawn into professional sleep meditations, took over-the-counter pills, drank a good night's sleep tea, was so exhausted from sports that I thought I would just fall over from exhaustion. Yes, I really tried a lot of things.
It's especially bad when I'm being stressed or have a lot on my mind, when I have to make difficult decisions, when I'm facing unpleasant situations or when something exciting and new is about to happen. So basically, I always have a reason why I can't sleep, have a hard time falling asleep or why I wake up in the middle of the night and then find no way back to my well-deserved sleep.
My countless Google searches have shown that many other people are suffering from the same problem. I have tried so many tips, talked to strangers about it in online forums, harassed my pharmacist, asked friends. So I am anything but alone with my problems falling asleep. That doesn't help, but it feels better.
I can still remember that in my childhood it was different. It was always difficult for me to fall asleep, but once I did, I slept soundly, woke up the next day and everything was fine. At some point in the course of time, unfortunately I lost this ability. You see, I am a difficult case.
However, a few things do help me and I would like to introduce them to you now.
These are my 8 best tips that help me fall asleep:
1. WRITING A DIARY
My diary has been with me for over 5 years, I write down what is on my mind, reflect on the events of everyday life and find a conclusion for what I have experienced.
On the one hand writing trains my memory, on the other hand it is also an outlet to let go of certain topics. Once I have written down my thoughts, it opens up new perspectives and I can look at situations from a different perspective.
If nothing worth mentioning happened in one day, I simply write three sentences about what I am thankful for today or what was especially great. It's worth a try!
2. SPORTS ON A REGULAR BASIS
If I manage to get some physical exercise in at least 2-3 times a week, I am both generally more balanced and manage to sleep better.
Regularity is what does the trick, and it does my body and soul a world of good. Sport is my time out from life, I don't think about it very much, I'm just in the here and now, in the very moment... until someone tries to climb on my back or tries to go in an endless loop of "Mamamamamamamamamamama!!!" shouts.
A few drops of CBD oil every day and my falling asleep phase is much shortened, as I’ve noticed. In addition to that I wake up less often and thus the nightly phases in which I count the hours I could still sleep if I finally fell asleep again are reduced.
For me, CBD oil has a more relaxing effect than a real sleeping pill. According to a few studies, the cannabinoid in the CBD oil regulates sleep stability and is also absorbed through the skin, which is why I take a little less than the dosage indicated on the package, because my night cream also contains CBD.
4. EVENING ROUTINES
To be honest, this is something I find particularly difficult, as I love to be on the road, I usually come home at different times and generally, I like to keep it spontaneous.
Therefore I limit this point to my bathroom routine. Brushing my teeth, taking out my contact lenses, washing my face, applying some INDICA night cream and telling a story to my sons. I really always do that, like every day, and in the rare cases when I miss a point, I immediately notice it in the rest of my night being somehow less restful.
5. NO COFFEE AFTER 4PM
Okay, I really suck at this. I love coffee and when I meet someone for a chat, a good coffee is practically part of the good tone.
Unfortunately, the effect of the black gold on me is very pronounced and I do not do myself any favours by breaking this rule I have set up for myself. Sometimes it becomes a decaffeinated one, for the placebo effect, so to speak, although my body can't tell the difference too well and I still can't sleep. My transition period was a long one and now I am super happy with the alternative that I’ve found: Golden Milk!
Here is my recipe for the best golden milk:
- 500ml oat milk
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ TL Black pepper (so that the turmeric can develop its effect)
- Ginger (depending on taste, the more the spicier)
- 1TL date paste
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
Heat everything together on the stove, pour into a large glass and enjoy. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effect, golden milk is said to be an antioxidant and helps against sleep disorders. This is actually already enough of an argument for me, the drink is also delicious, by the way.
6. "WHAT YOU CAN'T DO BY 6 P.M., JUST LEAVE IT FOR TOMORROW!"
I made up this rule when I came back from maternity leave. Getting back into working life is quite a challenge, I have to say.
Not only has your own world turned about 180 degrees, but your everyday working life can no longer be compared to what it was before. I can no longer come home in the evening and throw myself tired on the couch, have a glass of wine and relax.
I pick up the kids directly, spend the remaining afternoon on the playground, throw the kids into the bathtub and the laundry into the washing machine, do the housework, cook, tell stories, put the kids to bed and then, when I finally have a moment to myself, I realize with shock that it is already 10pm and the wet laundry is still waiting for me in the machine.
After 6pm I don't answer any more emails, I don't think much about work anymore and I don't start any new projects. It is still a lot, but at least I have a real chance to get some rest.
7. GO TO BED HAPPY AND RECONCILED
Never, never, never, never, never go to sleep fighting. After a hard day, focus on the things that were really good and tell all the family members living in the household again that you love them infinitely.
8. HEALTHY NUTRITION
You are what you eat, they say. And have you ever seen a Big Mac dinner sleeping? No! Exactly. Okay, that was a bad joke. I'll stick with it anyway: a healthy, balanced diet contributes to general well-being and helps our body to regulate itself well.
What tips do you have for sleeping better?