Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sleep Remedies

Sleep, something that has always come pretty easily to me has become something of a challenge lately. I don't really know the cause… there could be lots of reasons why, but mostly I think it's the constant shift work that messes with my rhythm. Sleeping during the day is quite possibly impossible… a vocal babe downstairs and radiant light shining in through every crevice of your window (despite black out curtains). At night, there is a small window of time, usually between eight and nine PM that I feel more than ready to doze off, but (for some ungodly reason) I usually push through the exhaustion and end up getting a second wind that leads me to a bedtime of near midnight or later. I feel tired lately. I look tired lately. So, needless to say, I am working on my sleep regimen. Below are a few things that have helped me to fall asleep more easily and to rest more soundly.

1. Step away from the coffee! I am a serious coffee lover, it's an addiction for sure. I truly love a cup (or two!) of french-pressed goodness every morning, and sometimes in the afternoon. I have been finding that if I drink any coffee after 3 pm or later, sleep is more difficult for me. So I am trying (keyword, trying) to kick this bad habit. I think more than anything, the cold weather has me craving something warm, so I sometimes replace my afternoon cup of coffee with a decaf tea (I got this adorable loose-leaf infuser for Christmas from a friend, and I really dig it.)
2. Read. I HAVE to read. Late-night screen time, whether it be my phone, computer, or TV, just doesn't work for me anymore. I sleep much more soundly when I read a bit of a good book before bed. I just recently read "The Girl on the Train" and I recommend it. I read it in under a week. It was pretty dark, sinister at times, but overall very entertaining. (Please send any recommendations my way, I am always looking for a new, good book!)
3. Brookstone Nap Mask and BlanketMy MIL got me a this set for Christmas. She knew I had been having sleep trouble, so this was such a thoughtful gift. The sleep mask alone is such a game changer, but when you top it off with a plush blanket of goodness… I mean how could you not sleep well? This little duo is worth the investment.
4. Move the iPhone out of reach! My name is Laurie, and I have a social media addiction. Scrolling through my IG account is usually one of the first things I do when I wake up. But I have found, that once the screen lights up, game over. Sleep no more. Self-sabotage. So… the only way to kick this habit was to move my phone out of reach, across the room. It makes a difference, I swear.
5. Melatonin. I didn't want to resort to supplements, but sometimes you just gotta bring in the big dogs. I only ever take melatonin to help me sleep after nightshift. I have found that it doesn't help me so much with the falling asleep, but more with the staying asleep. I wake at least once during the day, usually around noon to pee, and I always struggle to doze back off after that. Much of my sleep after the pee wake-up call is restless and light. But since taking melatonin, I have been able to doze right back off, post-pee, into a deep REM sleep that makes me feel so much more refreshed come 3pm. (Lots of pee-talk there, sorry about that.)

Anyway, I don't know if you struggle from sleep deprivation like I do, but if so, maybe these little tricks will help you along the way. Good luck and rest well.