Hey, I’m not alone. I’m not the only sad soul trapped in the insomniac vortex going by the comments on my recent I’m an insomniac get me out of here post. Respect to you all who shared and reached out. And a big, virtual hug if you’re going through tough times just now. I know your relentless, inescapable pain. I do.
So many of you shared such great tips following my post. Thank you! So generous. Let’s spread them about, shall we?
1. Avoid caffeine after 2pm. Caffeine stimulates the production of stress hormones, and inhibits the absorption of the hormone adenosine, needed to give us a sense of calmness, which can contribute to sleep problems.
2. Try an evening breath meditation – Patty.
30 minutes of left nostril breathing really activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest part of us).
3. Eat green leafy veggies. To increase magnesium levels, which calms and supports the nervous system.
4. Exercise during the day – Lucy.
6. Try Paraliminal recordings – Nadia. They distract both sides of your brain at the same time making you really calm and relaxed. If you are laying there talking to yourself about being tired, and that you should sleep, they quieten down the conversation.
7. Get sun. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced at night to promote a deep and restful sleep. Other than taking melatonin tablets – which aren’t easily available in Australia – try increasing your sunlight exposure (especially in the morning), meditation, reducing stress levels, eating melatonin-rich foods like oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, almonds and seeds.
8. I use a Pema Chodron quote – Meg. It resonates with me when I’m scared about not being able to sleep. It’s (paraphrased):
not only invite the demon (i.e. my fear) in, but sit him down and invite him for a cup of tea.
9. Warm milk is good. Milk is a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed to make serotonin and melatonin, two of the brain’s calming and sleep inducing neurotransmitters. Pop a smidgen of cinnamon on top for good measure. Other foods that contain tryptophan include almonds, turkey, chicken, beef, brown rice, and eggs.
10. Use an earthing mat – Melinda. It’s also anti inflammatory, & has helped people with chronic pain, inflammation, helps athletes heal & recover faster… definitely worth having in your arsenal of tricks and you don’t have to actually do anything once it’s on your bed.
11. Read up on the meaning of insomnia in Chinese Medicine – Becki. A) disturbed Shen (spirit) – overthinking, b) heart heat – emotional much?, c) blood or Yin deficiency – as women we lose blood monthly, or our digestion is not up to speed and can’t absorb nutrients/fluids from food, d) phelgm – comes down to diet/digestion, inactivity, e) food retained in the stomach – poor digestion/spleen Qi deficiency,
the time of night you seem to frequently wake will correspond to a particular organ.
12. Black out your room – Claire. Or try a “NightWave” blue light thingy – it’s a fluctuating blue light that illuminates your ceiling that you sync your breath with. it sounds silly but far out it helps. and no for me doing breathwork on my own was not nearly as good as this. it’s around $60 – worth a try.
So, a slew of options…Let me know how you go…