Living Well: Coping with chronic insomnia – part 2

It’s almost four in the morning as I’m writing this. I’m yawning my head off, almost literally, but can’t sleep. At first, the condo was so hot. But then I fixed that problem by putting both of my fans into my windows. One in the bedroom. One in the balcony window. And it’s lovely. The temperature dropped from a sweltering 30C to a comfortable 20C outside. It’s down to about 25C inside now. Even spending an hour outside on the balcony watching TikTok videos didn’t seem to help earlier.

I know I’ve written about insomnia before, but it was a while ago. As the summer months fast approach, and in Alberta, we’re going through a heat wave – I thought now would be a great time to share some tips I’ve learned about dealing with chronic insomnia.

Get lots of exercise and fresh air

This really does help. Today was too hot to do much exercising. But I’m trying to get back into daily workouts. I slipped for the last month due to migraines and such. But I did some yoga stretches about three hours ago. It’s hard to get motivated in this kind of weather. And so, I’d recommend hitting the pool, doing some laps if you can get to a local pool. Or just going out for a short walk. Or – meet up with a friend and go for a drive in the country. Spend the day by water – a lake or river. You’ll be amazed at how much this can help you sleep at night.

No screen time before bed

This is hard for me. I usually am on the computer listening to music or watching documentaries at night time. It is said that you shouldn’t have screen time an hour or two before bed. What I’ve started doing is listening to music without the screen on or listening to a documentary or audiobook. This will put me to sleep fast. Especially if there’s a lot of details and information to take.

Meditate often

Meditation really does help to relax the body, mind and soul. The key is to find meditation that works for you. Whether it’s listening to instrumental music like the pan flute, or using guided meditations or even just practicing deep breathing techniques – these will all help to clear your busy mind at the end of a long day.

I’ve got another post on meditation techniques in draft form for another day. So, I won’t go into too much detail. But you can head over to my meditation page for some of my favorite youtube channels.

Drink herbal teas

I love my nightly cup of tea. I’ve also started drinking peppermint tea during the day – chilled tea. If you need help falling asleep, try a cup of chamomile tea or sleepy time tea. Pair that with meditative music and you’ll fall asleep in no time.

Practice good sleep hygiene

I’ve written a post on this before which I’ll link at the end of this article. Sleep hygiene is so important when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. I know if my bed is a mess, I’ll toss and turn until I finally get out of bed to flatten out the sheets and blankets.

Are you one of those people that live in chaos? Is your bedroom a disaster? I’m one of those people that can’t sleep if my bedroom is a mess. It can be organized, and clothes are all in the hamper. But if one or two items are out of place, or getting piled up – it makes me extremely anxious. I find keeping a clean and tidy room really helps reduce that anxiety and I can sleep better.

Some people prefer showering or having a bath at night time instead of in the morning. If you do this, try meditating in the bath time. Light a candle – safely. Play some music in the background. And just clear your mind. A good hot and steamy bath can help relax the muscles and send you into a deep sleep.

Go for a steam massage

Steam massages are a great way to relax. If you go for a sea salt steam scrub, not only will you come out with fresh skin, but you’ll definitely feel like sleeping through the night. I used to book these monthly or every other month until the massages became too costly. My skin never felt better. And the sleep on those nights – amazing. About as amazing on nights when I went to aqua fit class.

Get up and go do something else

If you’ve been in bed tossing and turning for more than 90 minutes, don’t waste any more time trying to sleep. Get up and do something else. Like right now, I’m listening to this pretty amazing documentary on “Investigating Enochian.” The content is just dry enough that it’s making me sleepy – but interesting enough that I kind of want to keep listening.

Walk around your house or condo. Sit out on your balcony or in your backyard and get some fresh air. Get a book. Write in a journal. Do something that isn’t too strenuous. You could try hot milk, or lettuce water which apparently is supposed to be a miracle cure.

But the important thing is to just GET UP and out of bed and do something else for a little while. You’ll eventually feel tired enough that you’ll want to try again.

What home remedies or tips have you used for your insomnia? What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Let me know in the comments below!

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