After implementing the strategies I had uncovered in my research, I was finally getting at least a few hours of sleep each night. My next goal was to see if I could extend that into a full night’s sleep. What follows are things I tried that helped me reach that goal.
Because I wanted to sleep through the night without waking, I researched the possibility of reprogramming my sleep cycle. I found an online program that used special software and a heart rate monitor to observe how I slept. Every morning I would upload my sleep record, and the program would recommend specific adjustments to reset my sleep cycle. Sometimes it required me to wake up super early or stay up very late, so it was a challenge for me at times. But on days I was to go to bed late, what I had learned about blue light helped me stay awake until the recommended sleep time. In only a few weeks, and with some diligent effort, I reset my circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. If you’re looking to do the same, it might be worth looking into trying a program like this for yourself.
Herbs and Brain-Dumping
Shutting my brain off is a huge challenge. These days, it's not unresolved problems that keep my brain activated at night. I now know how to work through these problems during the day. Now it's things like an exciting new project, a cool craft, a new business idea, etc.
Here are some things that continue to help me with shutting off my brain:
- If I wake up during the night and my brain is too active, I scan my body and notice any tension so that area naturally relaxes
- I practice slow, deep breathing to lower my heart rate
- Brain-dumping is good if I've got ideas I need to capture. I write them down or make a note in my phone with the blue light filter on
- I love using my heated mask before bed or if I wake up too alert
- My weighted blanket supports feeling nurtured and cuddled. Here are links to two articles about the benefits of weighted blankets from Penn Medicine and Healthline
- If needed, these are my two recommended supplements: a melatonin-herb blend with the best herbs for sleep, and GABA melatonin, which stops brain spinning (you can google it for more info and consult your doctor before beginning any new supplements)
Every night I diffuse relaxing oils like lavender, cedarwood, frankincense, and valerian. These are known to promote a restful feeling. Essential oils not only provide medicinal value, but also interact directly with the emotion and memory centers in the brain. The oils I use are pure, with nothing added, so a little goes a long way. If you want to learn more, I’m happy to help. You can Contact me to get quality oils or watch this video to learn more about how they work.
Before bed, I stretch for about 20 minutes, which helps reduce anxiety and stress while relieving any physical discomfort that might keep me up. Stretching includes some physical therapy and movements to activate the vagus nerve. Message me if you missed the Emotional Balance workshop and need info on the vagus nerve. Diffusing oils while I stretch and then using the heated mask and weighted blanket makes every night spa night! And the few minutes this routine takes sure beats being up all night.
Read Part 4 here:
Here's a suggested next step - Emotional Balance because when we can settle emotions we can get more restful sleep. That's what continues to help me.
Four part series:
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