Struggling with sleep has been a challenge for me since I went to college. It seems like this whole “real life” world really got to me once I had started nursing school. Understandable because the stress was high, and the pressure was on. I was getting minimal hours of sleep at night during school, and napping for long hours during the day – which really messed up with my social life and just overall physical health and mental health. Sleep is SO important for anxiety, self esteem, social life, production during the day, and overall happiness and mood!! Over the years I have developed some patterns that seem to help me hit the pillow and sleep within the hour. Now don’t get me wrong – sometimes these little tips don’t always help – but they are worth a shot every night for a good nights rest. Sometimes, our brains are just on overdrive and cannot stop moving and thinking; and thats ok. Or you are a shift worker like me (rotating between 12hr night shift and day shifts) – which does not help when you already struggle with sleep! But usually I have found as long as we close our eyes and try to relax – we can still feel rested. Now here is my list of sleep hygiene tips!
- Avoid screens (phones, laptops, ipads) right before bed – the light makes your brain think that its ok to be awake and it takes longer for your brain to shut off once you are ready to hit the hay!
- Lavender Pillow Spray – i got this spray a while ago for Marshall’s in their beauty section, but I am sure you could buy this on Amazon too. But basically this is a spray bottle of the essential oil lavender – which helps with relaxation. Spritz a little of this (or a lot like I do) on your pillow and sheets and you will feel like you are in a spa!
- Lavender essential oil – dab a little of lavender essential oil on your wrists and behind your ears to help with relaxation!
- Calm App – this app is amazing for meditation and relaxation! I use this app for my anxiety and for sleeping. There are sleep modules that are really helpful – using body scans to make you focus on yourself than what you are worrying about from the day or about the things you have to do tomorrow. It is super calming and can be found in the App Store on your phone. I have never really been into yoga or meditation until I found this app. I have been using it religiously for a year and its free! If there is one thing to follow on this list of tips it would be this!
- Lastly, if you really are having trouble. My therapist recommended Melatonin 5mg extra strength sleep by Natrol. I found this on amazon as well – and its not too expensive. I used to take a medication call Trazadone – which I have learned now as a practicing nurse that it is not the best medication. The body can easily get psychologically addicted to it – I felt like I could not sleep without it. Once I started therapy again after I moved to CT – she is very holistic and wanted me off this drug. And I agreed – I did not want to be dependent on anything. So I quit that medication cold turkey and I have been using the melatonin. And I actually have been sleeping great! I have my days of poor sleep – but that happens!
I hope these tips help you all! I know that I struggle a lot with sleep – but I have been getting a better nights rest with all of these things, plus seeing a therapist! Every one has their own thing that they are constantly worried about and their own inner demons. These things really do improve my sleep and I hope they do for you too! Have a great night sleep my loves!
Don’t worry, be happy.