If you've been reading my blog recently, you might remember that I've been super stressed/anxious during the day and having trouble falling asleep at night. This is partly the result of feeling overwhelmed at work and partly the result of having a lot of fun and exciting things going on. I feel so exhausted, but every time my head hits the pillow I have a million thoughts running through my mind that make it impossible to fall asleep. Even when I do fall asleep, sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and won't fall back asleep until much later!
Thankfully, I've learned some tips in the past week that have helped me tremendously and I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me fall - and stay - asleep at night.
One. Turn off your computer and put away your phone.
I have a nasty habit of taking my laptop in bed with me and playing on the computer until it's time for bed. If I'm not on my computer, I'm constantly checking my phone for Twitter or Instagram updates or new emails. I noticed that checking my electronics before bed was doing the opposite of calming me down, so I did some research. Did you know the light from electronic devices disrupts your body's circadian rhythm and stimulates your brain? Even when I turned off my phone and shut my eyes, I was still thinking about a blog post I was writing or an Instagram photo I had seen. Now I try to turn off my computer and phone at least 30 minutes before I plan to go to sleep!
Two. Read a book
Reading is the perfect way to reduce stress and unwind. I love reading a good book in bed and it never fails to help me fall asleep! I picked up the latest Nicholas Sparks novel, The Longest Ride, at Target the other day (I got it because the main character is a student at Wake Forest - where my boyfriend goes to school) and so far I really love it.
Three. Lavender scent
My grandmother actually taught me that the scent of lavender eases anxiety and insomnia. Every night she rubs Yardley lavender lotion onto her arms and hands before bed. She's been doing this for years! I tried it for the first time last week and I love it - it's such a calming scent (and it also reminds me of my Gramma).
Four. Keep a notepad beside your bed
As I said before, a lot of nights my head will hit the pillow and I immediately think of ten things I need to do in the morning, a blog post I need to write or inspiration for an outfit. I've started keeping a small notebook beside my bed so that when my mind starts to run I can write it down. I can't tell you what a relief it is to get all of my thoughts on paper - this reassures me that I won't forget anything and let's my brain relax so I can concentrate on falling asleep.
Five. Try bedtime yoga!
This may sound like a weird tip, but I think out of everything I've tried it has helped me the most! You can do bedtime yoga in your pajamas, even in your bed, and it stretches you out, relaxes your muscles, slows your breathing and clears your mind. I particularly love this YouTube video, even though it can be a bit cheesy at times. There are a few times I've fallen asleep before the video even ends!
Although this wasn't a typical fashion post, I hope that it still helps someone out. I know how terrible it is to only get a few hours of sleep per night and wake up feeling drained and in need of five cups of coffee to make it through the day. What are your tips for falling asleep at night?