I have always been a light sleeper. When I was pregnant with my kids I dealt with serious insomnia. I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel wide awake, yet exhausted. (how is that possible?) My doctor told me it was due to pregnancy hormones, so I figured it was temporary. Well, fast-forward 5 years and my insomnia is back with a vengeance. I hate taking those PM pills since they make me super groggy and out of it for the entire next day, so I have been on a mission to find natural ways to combat insomnia and I have found a lot of things that work!
Natural Ways to Combat Insomnia
Epsom Salt Foot Bath: A warm bath is a great way to prepare your body for rest, but if you don’t have time for all that a foot bath is a great way to go. My friend Suzanne told me about this one and it really helps relax me before bed. My entire family loves this now, especially my kids! Just grab a tupperware and fill it with hot water and 1 cup of Epsom salts. Soak your feet until the water cools off. It is supposed to help detoxify your body and help you relax.
Read: Experts say you are not supposed to look at your phone or watch TV about 30 minutes before bed. I have the “night mode” set on my phone to switch to a very yellow/shaded background at sundown to try and counteract the blue light. I now read before bed now instead of watching TV, since I have the old school Kindle with no lights on it or anything.
Meditate: I have a few apps I like to use for guided meditations before bed. I also have tried a few in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, but they usually don’t work at that point. But I do sleep much better when I do a short meditation before bed. I like the Simple Habit App and Insight Timer.
Lavender Essential Oil: I have been putting lavender oil in my diffuser while I am reading before bed and I am loving it! Since I have been doing it regularly now, I think my body is starting to associate the scent with sleep since I feel relaxed soon after I start to smell it! I use Simply Earth oils, I have talked about them before, but I am sure any good quality lavender oil will do the job!
Upgrade Your Pillows: I am a side sleeper and recently realized my pillow, although super comfy, is too flat to support me. My shoulders have been hurting and my doctor says it is because I am sleeping on it incorrectly night after night and needed to get a new pillow. So when Therapedic reached out to me about their state of the art line of pillows and mattress toppers, you know I was all in! I asked for pillows only and told them about my side sleeper dilemma, and wouldn’t you know it but they make special pillows SPECIFICALLY FOR SIDE SLEEPERS! I mean, if that is not the freaking Law of Attraction I don’t know what is. They sent a side sleeper pillow for me, a back sleeper pillow for my husband and two cold touch pillows for the kids.
Well, let me tell you… this side sleeper pillow is a total game changer. I have been sleeping SO well and no more shoulder pain! It props me up much higher than what I was used to, but I guess that is what I needed! Check out all the details about it here, but if you are a side sleeper I HIGHLY recommend this pillow.
Tea or Warm Magnesium Drink: I love a good sleepytime tea but last year I upgraded my nighttime drink of choice (besides wine) to the Calm magnesium drink. Supposedly, proper magnesium levels help you combat stress and anxiety. I don’t know what exactly this drink does, but I do know that I enjoy it and at least it relaxes me before bed.
Quietude: One day after about 3 nights of no sleep, I went into a Lucky’s Market desperate for help. I wanted to try melatonin so I found a super knowledgeable employee who helped me navigate the world of natural sleep aids. After hearing her explanation for a number of options, I ended up buying a few things and this box was one of them. I am obsessed. Out of all the things I bought, this is by FAR my favorite and I take it at least a few times a week. The box suggests dissolving 3 pills under your tongue a few hours before bed and two under your tongue at bedtime. That seemed excessive, so I just tried one under my tongue right before bed and it works. I sleep better and when I do wake up for whatever reason, it isn’t a big deal. I am able to fall right back to sleep about 95% of the time. I have ZERO side effects from this, it doesn’t make me feel weird or out of it at all. This product is amazing and I literally tell everyone I know about it! ha!
Melatonin: I also bought melatonin. The woman suggested the 2.5 milligrams, but in the future, I will probably buy the 1 milligram. I took a full pill once and immediately felt dizzy and out of it. (that being said, I am very sensitive to medications) I passed out and slept, but when I woke up I felt a little bit groggy. I split them in half now and that doesn’t give me any side effects. This is definitely stronger than the Quietude, but I do like to have it and use it every once in awhile.
There you go, my laundry list of natural things I have tried to cure my insomnia. Some of you might not need all of this, but I have tried a lot and wanted to share all the techniques that have helped or worked in some form of fashion. Making my bedtime routine a priority and trying to get to bed the same time each night has been helping a lot. Most nights, I do some lavender EO in my diffuser, read and take one Quietude. Changing out my pillows have made a huge difference as well, I probably should have done that sooner!
What are some of your favorite tips to get a good nights sleep? Do you ever struggle with insomnia?