Secrets for Peaceful Slumber

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Do you struggle with sleep? It seems like most adult women I know have a difficult time getting enough restful sleep. 

Whether it’s waking up every few hours with a baby or toddler, a husband that snores, staying up late to get some precious alone time or time with the husband, anxiety-related insomnia or night-wakings due to pregnancy or menopause…it’s tough for us women to get the recommended 7-8 hours of shuteye every night.

I’ve struggled with this in the past. And I even sought out help from a counselor to deal with it. I found out that my insomnia was stress and anxiety related, even though I didn’t think I felt stressed or anxious. It turns out that you don’t have to have racing thoughts keeping you up for your insomnia to be from stress. I just had a hard time shutting my brain off and getting into a relaxed state. I was constantly thinking, not necessarily worrying about things, just thinking and planning things.

Here’s a few tips that I’ve been using to help me sleep better.

  • Journaling before bed: I take good old-fashioned pen to paper and just write for 15 minutes or so before bed. I have no agenda with journaling. I just write what comes out. It helps me process my day and make a plan for the next day.
  • Avoiding caffeine after lunch: I love my morning coffee, and I don’t think I’ll ever give it up. But I know I can’t have caffeinated drinks after lunch time or else I’ll have a hard time sleeping that night. If I need something tasty, I stick to decaf tea, soda or coffee.
  • Turning off electronics: This is so hard for me to do! My goal is to shut down the computer, put away the smartphone and turn off the TV an hour before bedtime. I’ll admit; it rarely happens. But when it does, I sleep well.
  • Yoga or conscious relaxation: I have short yoga DVD that is designed to relax and prepare the body for rest. It’s awesome, but again, I rarely use it. More often, I do a little deep breathing and conscious relaxation while lying in bed. I close my eyes, breathe deeply and focus on relaxing the major muscle groups of my body. 

It looks like I’m not alone in finding these techniques helpful either. Health.com shares 7 Secrets for the Best Sleep Ever, and they jive closely with my list.

What are your sleep tight secrets?

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3 thoughts on “Secrets for Peaceful Slumber

  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I have always struggled with this too. Caffeine is definitely a trigger for me. What short yoga DVD do you use?

    • It’s the Rodney Yee “Yoga for Beginners” DVD. It has a rejuvenating practice for the morning and a restore/relax practice for the evening. Both are about 20 minutes, so nice and short!

  2. A GOOD run in the morning helps me sleep better at night. The hardest thing is to turn off electronics and not get on my computer. If I do, I’ll either not get enough sleep, not get my run in in the morning, or both. The best book I have read on sleep is Power Sleep by Dr. James B. Maas. VERY enlightening!

    I wrote a blog post about the commonalities of PACING in writing and running. You might find it interesting.

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