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Tips to Get More Sleep Part 1

Earlier this week, I shared a DIY Sleep Aid I’m using to help sleep come easier, naturally. Today, I’ll be sharing why I chose to avoid pharmaceutical sleep aids as well as tips to help you get more sleep naturally.

Tips to Get More Sleep Naturally Part 1

Over the past few months, I’ve been putting into practice a plan I made to combat insomnia naturally and I can say that it is working with excellent results! In this post, I shared part of my process to stop the insomnia that has been plaguing me for nearly two years.

All Natural Sleep Aid

My Insomnia

I’ve always been a light sleeper, not needing much to keep things going. My insomnia started when I wanted to get some ‘me time’ but only wanted to try and get it after everyone else’s needs were met. Sound familiar?

It started out just as a couple days a week of reading or crafting late into the night, telling myself that I would get more sleep later in the week. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves…

Getting up at 4 am after having only gone to bed at 2 is tough. Managing your life on such little sleep takes a toll on your mind and body, and adding the needs of a family on top really gave me a pounding. In my case, insomnia led to anxiety, which would give my insomnia a burst of energy. Other than the bags under my eyes, you wouldn’t have known I had it so bad if we’d just met. I would force through my day, jovial and full of smiles, but it would all catch up to me later that evening when everyone else was in bed, sleeping like babies.

Instead of sleeping like a baby, my brain would be like, “I DON’T WANNA!!!”

I Dont Want To Sleep

My husband did his best – he would suggest taking some down time, giving me every opportunity to do so. Looking back, I can see his efforts and I can see my dismissal of them. It makes me remorseful now, seeing how he tried to help and me dismissing it, but I’m glad I can see it now. I can thank him properly for it now, even though I didn’t take his advice then.

Yes, honey, you were right. And my heart expands with more love for you for not saying, “I told you so.”

Why Not Turn to Pharmaceuticals?

Before we get to the tips to get more sleep, you may be wondering, ‘After having insomnia for nearly two years, why didn’t she just get a prescription to help?’ That answer is simple: because I know me.

Medications Pixabay s

My personality is one that lends itself to research – I research everything! In addition to the published facts about my pharma options, I sought out anecdotal evidence as well. Because sleep issues are quite common, I know many friends and family members who’ve turned to pharmaceuticals to help them out with their sleep issues. After questioning them, most (not all, mind you) have said that there were side effects that were undesirable to me.

Side effects usually aren’t the most desirable things and that had me pausing before committing to a prescription, but the big reason I chose to do this without drugs is because I would use them without seeking out long-term solutions. Knowing myself, I know that I would rely on them instead of trying to take steps to change without the chemicals and that is just not the way I wanted to resolve my sleep issues. This is a zero-judgement zone, so if someone you know uses sleep medication and it’s working for them, yay!

How To Get More Sleep: Manage Stress

Working to overcome my insomnia has not been quick or easy, but I have been dedicated in my goal to get at least 7 hours a night. Some changes that I’ve made to help me get more sleep with regards to combating the stress in my life are highlighted below.  Soon, I’ll be sharing more of my daily routine with steps I take each and every day.

What works for you to combat stress? That is NOT a rhetorical question, ya’ll – I love getting new ideas to try, so please share in the comments!

Just Do It! Take Some ‘Me Time’

This was the hardest for me. My husband would ALWAYS urge me to take some time but I’d just keep putting it off, believing I could manage it all without a break. He did his best to help me – and only now can I see it. He’s smart, that one – I think I’ll keep him.

I started taking the time to pamper myself but more so, I did something sort of cheesy – I gave myself permission. Giving yourself permission to have the vacuuming wait until tomorrow sounds silly, but I used to vacuum the house every other day. I still do it quite a few times a week but now I sit down and read while Elise is otherwise engaged in free play or watching a show. And I don’t feel bad or worry that someone will come over unannounced and – eeek – a piece of grass is visible on the entry rug.

I promise, I’m not really high-strung…

Wide Awake httpwwwgratisographycom

Relaxing Baths and Pampering

I take showers in the mornings, but I have started to take a quick bath sometimes in the late afternoon or at night just to soak and breathe in some calming scents. To make sure I pamper myself a bit more, I use Spa Days at Home (with the kids) as well as bath bombs, bath teas, and salts to scent the water – it’s more cost effective to make your own than to buy them.

Another benefit is that they don’t smell like “chemicals scented like fill-in-the-blank,” like some commercial ones do. I thought I hated lavender for years because of the chemical scent I smelled when I tried them. Making my own is definitely the way to go! If you’re looking for step-by-step tutorials on how to make bath bombs or teas, try these:

Get More Sleep Naturally Part 1 Bath Bombs Part 3 Bath Teas

As I mentioned in the beginning, my journey to finding more (and better) sleep naturally started off with a little scrap craft, this DIY sleep aid. If you have the desire to jump start better sleep, you might consider whipping up one for yourself or seeking out a hand-crafter on Etsy to make you one.

Because we think this series will be beneficial to those like us (the sleep deprived), we would sincerely appreciate it if you shared. Would you care to Pin this to a Health and Wellness board or a Life’s Lessons board?

So over to you all – how do you make sure you get more sleep? Maybe you’re getting enough already? Can you share your tips? I’d love to hear how you manage sleep and stress in your lives!


Get More Sleep Naturally Part 1 Square

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Tamara

Thursday 21st of May 2015

I'm a pretty heavy sleeper but anxiety can definitely affect it. I'm also someone who CAN'T function on under 7-8 hours. It can happen here and there, but for no more than 2-3 nights or I'd lose my mind. I like lavender essential oil, and exercising!

Heather {Woods of Bell Trees}

Thursday 21st of May 2015

Hubbies know just what their ladies need! Gotta hang on to the keepers! :D I am so grateful I am not having insomnia issues anymore...storing this for that fateful hopefully never day returns!

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Great post friend!

I like the tips you suggested. I kick the caffeine at noon, otherwise my sleep in negatively affected.

If you need something fabulous, I highly recommend the Sleepstream 2 app. It's binaural beats that you listen to in ear buds. It costs but I swear it's worth it. I bought the complete app for $9.99 but you can buy different components for $.99 - $1.99 each. I use the deep sleep beat with a white noise. It also has a guided "relaxation to sleep" meditation which puts me to sleep every time I use it (I swear I haven't listened to the whole 20 minute session... I'm asleep within 5-6 minutes)! It also has beats for anxiety AND my writing secret is listening to the creativity binaural beats while listening to American Primitism music.

Ack - I've rambled. Anyway, if you're ever desperate - I highly recommend Sleepstream 2.

Oh... and your point about staying away from drugs - YES! When I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I was prescribed Ativan. It took me a few weeks to fall asleep on my own when I stopped taking it. Natural is best in most cases.

Thanks for sharing. xoxo

Tiffany | A Touch of Grace

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Just say no to drugs! Great tips Sarah! Me time is so important for me to just de-stress. I usually like to get a pedicure when I have me time, which isn't nearly as often as it should be. :)

Amanda Love

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

I'm thinking that you wrote this post just for me. I have been getting around 2-3hrs of sleep every night for the past couple of days now. I'm not good when it comes to sleeping in late at all. I blame in on my former career. There were days when we would have to do 24hr shifts and even when we went home the next day I still couldn't sleep for hours. I've been taking Ambien but before that I would take Lunesta for sleep. While they work great I would much prefer to do it the natural way. I can't wait to read part 2 of this.

Sarah Nenni-Daher

Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Amanda, I know exactly where you are with only getting those 2-3 hours a night.

You have a lot of stress in your life right now (more so than most), so use what you can to get them! Once things calm down and you are settled into the routine of your new normal, you can start a natural approach. The one awesome thing that I can say for the prescriptions is that they definitely help you GET to sleep, and sometimes that's the kick we need, right? :)