The art of sleeping.

30.4.16

Read "the art of getting by" here!

For most of my life I have been a lover of sleep and a heavy sleeper at that, which is funny because my mum says as a baby I never slept (sorry mum!) so I imagine I was making up for lost time in my teens and early 20s when I would get home from school/work and fall asleep at 8pm, waking up fully clothed the next morning wondering what had happened! In the pre-Lily and Lola days I would sleep till lunchtime on weekends and then go to bed early in the evenings. I bloody loved sleep! 

Then I got ill with glandular fever last summer and sleep was so important in order for me to rest and for my body to fix whatever needed to be fixed. At first sleep wasn't a problem at all and I would get at least 8 hours a night, maybe waking once or twice in the early hours but always nodding back off again.

A few months ago, when I was feeling anxious about a diagnosis of CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and down about feeling poorly every day, my sleep started to suffer. Sunday nights were the worst when I would lay awake all night wondering how I would get through the week ahead. Then Sunday night insomnia turned into every night and before I knew it I felt like a zombie. I had gone from a heavy sleeper to the polar opposite, either laying awake all night or getting very light sleep where I would wake every 30 minutes or so. I never felt refreshed in the mornings. Some nights I would get really upset because all I wanted to do was sleep but I knew I was over thinking things way too much.

In this post I will share a few things which helped me when I was struggling. I hope they are useful to you if you're going through something similar. 
- For a temporary fix, on Sunday evenings mainly, I would take Boots Sleepeaze tablets (the type behind the pharmacy counter, not the herbal variety) in the highest strength. If taken correctly, 20 minutes before bed, and if I allowed myself to relax during that time i.e. no telly, no phone, no reading, no in depth conversation, they would make me feel warm and fuzzy and help me to get a decent nights sleep.

- The combination of the Boots Botanics Lavender Spray with Bach Rescue Night Drops is so good. The spray has a relaxing and soothing scent which I would spray on to our pillows and duvet, and I would use the Bach Rescue drops straight onto my tongue. The drops are amazing and I can't put into words why, but they're magic! 

- Luckily we have black out curtains so our bedroom is dark even when it's light outside, but we realised that a light from the TV was causing the room to be lit up ever so slightly. Since turning the TV off by the main socket before bed we have both slept better being in total darkness.

- I used to, and occasionally still do, listen to/watch videos by The Honest Guys on YouTube. I particular like their guided sleep talk-downs (such as this one) and their guardian angel guided meditation (which made me cry like a baby at the end). I'm also really into classical music in general and I have a real penchant for Disney songs played on the piano so I'm a fan of this video.

- A tip my acupuncturist gave me was to get out of bed and occupy yourself with something else if you can't sleep, instead of laying in bed thinking about why you're not sleeping. This is something I wish I had done more. He recommended going into a different room to read or watch tv as you will soon find that you can't keep your eyes open, then you can pop back into bed.

- Bedtime yoga. A lot of yoga routines don't suit me as I can't be stood up for too long, but someone recommended Yin yoga to me so I was very excited when the lovely Adrienne (from Yoga with Adrienne) released an Intro to Yin video. This routine is amazing as it incorporates lots of pillows and blankets and it is all seated, plus it gets my circulation moving which makes me feel very warm and cosy, ready for bedtime.

- Easier said than done but for me the key was to remove, or distract myself from, anxiety/worry in order to sleep properly. I am still working on this one as some things, such as health, are out of my control, but I find writing things down, talking to friends/family, and trying to keep a positive mental attitude all help a little.

 All available at Boots  

4 comments:

  1. I use the Dr Bach's Night Remedy capsules that dissolve on the tongue, when I can't sleep and was surprised at how effective they are. I used to use the rescue remedy too, many years ago, for anxiety and found it really helped. I would definitely recommend using these.

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    1. They are amazing products aren't they? I will definitely try some other things from the range. Thanks for your comment :)

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  2. I take htp5 a lot because sleep and me are not great friends a lot of the time. A pharmacist told me about it as it's a mild anti depressant (I was pretty down at the time) and not sleeping at all. It's changed my life. I get it from Holland and Barrett in their sales! x

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  3. My heart goes out to you, luv! I have struggled with sleep anxiety since high school and it can be so overwhelming. I totally understand the dread of having to get up in the morning, knowing that you won't have gotten any sleep. It's hard to find people that understand what it's like, since sleep comes so easily to most people.

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