Here are some great sleeping tips and tricks from my readers that calm the mind, relax the body, and help you to overcome restlessness, stress and insomnia.
Sometimes I struggle to sleep properly – it might be because I’ve got a lot on my mind, my back is a little out of whack, or other times I don’t even know why I can’t sleep. A little while ago I shared this insomnia battle with my weekly newsletter subscribers and was inundated with beautiful helpful tips and tricks for sleeping like a baby – a few of them really worked a charm for me!
Late last year I was having a lot of trouble sleeping. I was going to bed tired, laying there until all hours of the night, and then finding myself really tired the next day. I was using essential oils, going to bed at a reasonable time and opting for a book over the iPad, but to no avail.
Although I thankfully worked out the root of my problem, I had a scary day when I suddenly became very dizzy and nothing was working to stop the room spinning. I woke the next day with a horrible headache. I took time out to look after me and was told I had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), which is a term used to describe a group of disorders that occur when there is compression, injury, or irritation of the nerves and/or blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the lower neck and upper chest area. This explains so many things and why I felt so restless. Stress is actually a big factor, and this is my bodies way of saying I need to slow down.
I have had treatment for the TOS and together with some of these sleeping tips I’ve been sleeping well, so I thought I’d share them with The Organised Housewife community, just in case I am not the only person who sometimes struggles with insomnia.
Yoga Video – “Try finding some YouTube videos on Yoga before bedtime. You’ll find yourself floating to bed” Linda D
Count In Colour – “Go to bed in a room thats not too hot. When in bed get in a comfy position. Count backwards from 100 but as you count each number, write it in your mind as if you were using a sparkler, any colour you like… count each number but write it as you do it. If you get distracted by thoughts, start again. Too easy? Not working? Count down by threes, drawing the numbers as you go. When you rise, go out into the light. Stroll around your garden, drink tea on the porch or take a ten minute walk. Your brain needs to know its daylight. Reset your body clock.” -Karen L
A Little Gratitude – “When I climb into bed, I have a little ritual of thankfulness that helps me get off to sleep. I start by saying “thank you” for my lovely soft pillow, then for my warm doona followed by my comfortable bed, the safe roof over my head, my family sleeping safely in my home, and so on. I don’t usually run out of things to be thankful for because I am very fortunate to have all that I need. If stressful thoughts intrude, I acknowledge them, then put them away and go back to my list. If it’s something quite stressful, I start my list all over again.” – Barbara E
With The Flick Of A Tongue – “When you are in bed and can’t calm your mind, put your tongue to the roof of your mouth and it will relax and empty your mind ” – Debra B
Products That Provide A Helping Hand
Relaxing Tea – “We have become addicted to Roogenics “Native Relaxation” tea in our home!! My shift working husband and 3 children included!!” – Erin J
You Can’t Have Enough Relaxing Tea – “A cup of relaxing herbal tea about half an hour to an hour before bed. Passionflower (planet organic or Hilde hemmes brands are great) is a very relaxing favourite tea of mine. It is more powerful than the very popular chamomile.” – Cathie
Tea & Aromatic Mist – “I drink Night Tea about an hour before bed, a lovely relaxing herbal tea, and spray my pillow with Bosisto’s Sleep Aroma Mist.” – Carolyn
Pillow Spray – “Spray pillow spray solution on your bed linen and tuck a sprig of fresh lavender under your pillow.” – Sandy
Roller Bottles – “I love to make a roller bottle of lavender and fractionated coconut oil. I then roll a little on the inside of my wrists so that I can smell the lavender when I tuck my hands under my head to sleep. I also use a spray bottle of water and lavender oil that I spritz on my pillow before bedtime.” – Kat (The Organised Housewife)
Essential Oils – “I often have trouble sleeping but since I have been using a combination of oils in my diffuser I have been sleeping so much better. I found Aroma Snooze and other days Relaxataion in my diffuser. This combination works wonders for me and puts me straight to sleep.” – Tanya E
Red Night Light – “Years ago I read that a red night light helps you relax and sleep better. I invested in one, and haven’t looked back! I feel it’s definitely helped me.” – Clare T
Aroma Snooze Oil – “I love to diffuse the Aroma-Snooze Blend which is a certified organic oil that’s made specifically for promoting a restful sleep.” – Kat (The Organised Housewife)
Cherry Juice – “My husband has this problem…he has such an active mind he just cant switch off. We have come across a product that is produced in in our province but I’m sure would be available elsewhere. It is pure Cherry Juice and he just has about 30ml neat and he’s off to sleep in no time. It is something to do with the tannins I think. Doesn’t make you sleepy as such, just helps to get to sleep and stay asleep. He only seems to have to do it for 3-4 nights in a row and the cycle is broken again for a while.” – Steph F
Magnesium – “Magnesium is fantastic. I use the cream and the spray. Relaxes you and gets rid of sore tired muscle aches too. I also love the calm app to use. ” – Libby T
Epsom Salt, Sunflower Seeds & Almonds – “Magnesium deficiency can lead to insomnia and lots of other things. I love to soak in an epsom salt bath, chewing on organic sunflower seeds and 10 almonds/day help. I also have a hot Jarra chocolate drink each evening as well…. no food after 8pm. ” – Elaine
Therapy Blanket – “I often have trouble getting settled due to restless legs and Arthritis in both knees. I have bought a Therapy Blanket from H&S to try (although and expensive trial) and have found it to be successful for me. Hard to get used to the first night but I have found I sleep more soundly, don’t getup as often during the night, and legs don’t bother me as much. Although I do have pain med but blanket helps with this. I don’t get tangled up in the doona and find myself comfy.” – Bev B
Do Something Boring
Go To The Bathroom – “Get physically up, go to the toilet but don’t use the light (use a night light instead), then go back to bead, it can sometimes reset the body.” – Joanne C
There’s An App (Or Book) For That
Smiling Mind – “Recommendation from a Psych is to do the smiling mind app. There is one section on sleep. He finds it absolutely helps him. Hope it helps you. Sleep is so important for wellbeing.” Vicki T
Headspace – “Headspace have an amazing app that really assists me in getting to sleep. I lay and listen and breath and do everything he says. Truly makes a difference.” – Kerrie B
Headspace – “Install a Mindfulness Based meditation app and use it for 5-10 mins every day. Headspace is a good one.” – Sandy
Dr Libby Weaver – “You have a wonderful lady in Australia called Dr Libby Weaver…google her. She has some brilliant books as to WHY we get our lady selves into these problems and HOW to get out of them too” – Jill
Ambiance App – “Ambiance app has heaps of different sounds and instruments to choice from including white noise. You can chose three different sounds at a time as part of the basic app.” – Kerri M
Break A Sweat
Exercise – “Exercise more at the gym – weights etc – then your body will actually be tired and want/need to sleep to recover.” – Rebecca F
Exercise… And Then Some – “My only tips are to exercise, check your iron levels and try adding magnesium to your bath in the evenings. ” – Erica T
Self Talk – “If I can’t get to sleep and am just lying there, I say to myself, it doesn’t matter if I don’t sleep, at least I am having a good rest!If I can’t get to sleep and am just lying there, I say to myself, it doesn’t matter if I don’t sleep, at least I am having a good rest! “- Beth F
Weight & Warmth – “If you have one of those wheat/rice type heat packs, heat it up and hold it on your chest. The weight and warmth can be comforting enough – sometimes!” – Gail G
Quite The Concoction – “Use lavender scents. Use a heavy blanket. Drink chamomile tea or warm milk. Read something soothing. Pray ” – Kathy
The Beauty Of Breathing
Deep Breathing – “Try to stop thinking. If you can’t, talk to yourself and breathe in and out, and say – I am breathing in, I am breathing out – until you stop “thinking”. Deep Breathe – in to the count of five (or 3) hold for 5, out for 5.” – Gail G
Rhythmic Breathing – “Breathing is my answer. First way – breath in count 1, breath out count 1, breath in count 2, breath out count 2… all the way to 10 – then just breath normally. It slows down your thoughts and slows your breathing. The most sets I’ve done is 3. I’ve even used this technique when having a skin cancer removed and the doctor thought I had gone to sleep. Second way – count slowly backwards from 99. This one works most times because you have to concentrate and keeps the thoughts at bay. Otherwise I get up, turn on the heater and read a paper book until I feel tired.” – Carol O
Write It Out
Soft Music & A Late Bedtime – “When this happens to me the worst thing I can do is go to bed early. I lie awake unable to drop off. Instead I go to bed later and with my little radio plugged into my ear when I hit the pillow, soft music sends me to sleep. Next thing four or five days have gone and I haven’t noticed that I am back to sleeping as I normally did.” Les B
ABC Radio – “I have a small “walkman” radio that fits under my pillow. I use the ear phones not to disturb my better half and listen to the ABC (mostly) at a low level. If the monotone of voices does not put me to sleep, then I often pick up interesting topics of discussion. Most nights this works well but other nights the brain stays on constant alert. ” Samantha M
Habits To Halt
Swap The Screen For A Book – “I have stopped taking my phone to bed with me, and instead have a clock and a book on my bedside table. I find I’m sleeping better now that I read a book before bed – as opposed to my phone!” – Erika M
SHOP: Bedside clocks here.
Exciting Novels – “Check what you are reading, I actually stopped reading because it made my brain excited when reading some topics or novels. Made me think things over and over again so I couldn’t sleep.” – Joanne C
Coffee After Midday – “Definitely give up the coffee pm. I stop with one coffee at lunchtime but mind you I am a caffeine addict in the mornings!” – Gail G
Late Dinners – “My husband and I have also been trialling small early dinners at night. This is on the back of studies which the body works harder to digest at night when you are asleep which can cause sleeping issues. so far we are both sleeping a lot better through the night and also have started to lose weight in the process.” – Joanne C