Before I hit my 40s, I would be asleep the very moment my head hit the pillow. And, I would sleep all night… getting a solid 8-9 hours of sleep. The only thing I heard were my kids. I could sleep through thunderstorms, revving car engines, loud trucks. You name it. ???? It was FABULOUS! That all changed around my mid 40s. I couldn’t BUY a good night’s sleep if someone was selling it.
I have no clue what happened. Is it hormones? Anxiety? I have hypothyroidism so that could be a factor. The start of menopause? Whatever it is, it is NOT FUN to lie awake most of the night. I can usually fall asleep quickly. But my pattern is to wake up around 4am and remain awake for the rest of the day. Which 4am wake-up calls can make for a VERY LONG DAY!
You guys….. I subtracted a few things and added a few things to my nightly routine and….
I have been sleeping SO WELL that I thought I would share a few tips that I have incorporated in my nightly routine in case you are struggling, too.
Did you know that our brains release endorphins and dopamine when we laugh. Endorphins and dopamine are our body’s “feel good” chemicals. Well, I can tell when I laugh or act silly, those chemicals not only make me feel good, but sometimes give me energy. I try to tone down the silliness at night so that I don’t get that big burst of energy before bed. And, living with Deb makes that sometimes hard. BUT, she even notices it. Every now and then she will say, “You are getting yourself all riled up… you may want to stop.” “Then stop making me laugh, DEB!” ????
I have also noticed that I cannot watch anything TOO exciting on television. And, by exciting, I mean a show with a lot of laughter or something that will stir up creativity… cooking shows, DIY shows, etc. You may think I am crazy, but we have been falling asleep to Forensic Files for years. ???? I’m not sure if it’s the guy’s voice or the science that is putting me to sleep. But, so many of you on Instagram have said you do this, too. We turn on that show, set the sleep timer on the television for no more than 30 minutes and we are out. The 30-minute timer has also helped. If the timer is set for any longer than that, we end up waking up.
If our bedroom is too quiet, we hear EVERYTHING. Therefore, Deb and I both need white noise. We happen to use a fan on the lowest setting. There are apps you can download for white noise which is what we use when we are out of town. They work well, too.
I have a VERY creative brain and have noticed that when I don’t have the stimulation from my phone or computer a few hours before bed, I can sleep better. Scrolling starts my brain thinking of lots of new ideas or things that I want to do. Which then stirs up those chemicals in my brain again causing me NOT to sleep well. When I wake up in the night, I give myself one hour before I will pick up my phone. USUALLY, I go back to sleep before the hour is up.
That dreaded nightly routine can sometimes wake me up right before bed. I have noticed that if I wash my face and brush my teeth a few hours before my normal bed time, it helps me tremendously. There is something about splashing water on my face that wakes me right up. ????
If I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I really have to focus on keeping my mind clear. A busy mind is what wakes me up in the first place and usually keeps me awake. I have noticed that if I start praying or focusing on one specific word, I will fall right back to sleep. My specific word is PEACE. ????
Have you ever tried a Gravity Blanket? They are all the rage and several people I know swear by them. I am going to be completely honest. We tried a weighted blanket (different brand) several years ago. We used it one night and we both hated it. It was SO HEAVY…. not to mention HOT. ???? We recently tried a Cooling Blanket from Gravity and we absolutely LOVE it!
Gravity Blankets utilize the power of weight to relax the nervous system. So when you are covered up with a Gravity Blanket, it makes you feel calmer and less anxious. The weight of the gravity blanket, also, gives me that sense of protection… and feeling of being tucked in. It took us about 3 nights to fully enjoy the benefits.
I have noticed that I get a better night’s sleep when there is NO LIGHT in our bedroom. There was a street light that shined directly into our bedroom window at the old house… and directly into my eyeballs. ???? We ended up both getting sleep masks and couldn’t believe the difference that it made.
Gravity Blankets even have weighted sleep masks which are designed to do the same thing as the blankets. Gravity sleep masks not only block out the light, but they use weighted pressure to key pressure points on your face and around your eyes which are tied to relaxation.
We have noticed that when we keep it even 2 degrees cooler in the house at night, it helps tremendously. We set our thermostat to drop the air and heat at night. GAME CHANGER.
My mind spins and spins with everything I have to do and upcoming deadlines. It just won’t shut off. When I deal with all of my emails during the day and tie up all loose ends, I notice a huge difference in my sleep. I feel at peace that everything is taken care of.
Like I mentioned above, we have the Cooling Blanket from Gravity Blankets. They are made with a special moisture wicking fabric to keep you cool. The outside duvet cover can easily be removed to wash and dry. One feature that I love about Gravity Blankets is their quilted stitching which holds the little glass beads from moving around. The Cooling Blanket comes in several sizes and three colors: gray, navy, and white.
I highly recommend checking out Gravity Blanket’s website as they have so many different items to help you get a good night’s sleep. And, give it about a week. Just one week… I know you will be pleasantly surprised.