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.
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.
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!!!”
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.
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…
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:
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!