How to Deal with Insomnia
By Shelly Owens
There I was, in the doctors office, crying my heart out over something I never ever had an issue with before in my life.
I just wanted to sleep again. I was desperate. I imagined this was what a junkie felt like looking for their next fix. Sleep had been eluding me for weeks. I was on edge and felt like I was losing my mind. My bed had become a place of anxiety instead of relaxation. And my doctor wasn’t listening to me. I felt like I was in my own private hell.
Maybe you can relate…
I was originally told that no blood work needed to be done; it was just stress. I was handed some prescriptions and told to see a good therapist, “you’ll get through this.” Weeks of this turned to months and I was a complete wreck. I had tried the pills and felt drugged, not rested. I tried acupuncture, even strange Chinese teas, having no idea what the ingredients were. Nothing was helping me to get the sleep I needed and craved.
After coaxing a doctor to run some tests, they came back inconclusive. Like all the others, he said it was likely just stress and my age. “Just try to rest and relax more.” Easy for them to say! They were sleeping! I wasn’t and had a very physical job to do in the morning, which didn’t help.
What worked for me was actually quite simple: sleep hygiene.
Each night for a month, I was very strict about how and when I went to bed. And it helped… a lot!
My routine went like this:
- Prep. I would complete all my busy-work and tasks, like getting everything ready for work the night before, or answering emails, so that I had an hour to devote to my sleep routine before bedtime.
- Relax. Next, I took a warm bath with epsom salts. Epsom salts help to relax the body, due to the ingredient: magnesium, which is a powerfully important nutrient that most people are unknowingly deficient in. It’s also great for relaxing tight muscles.
- Tea time. After my bath, I would get myself a nice cup of warm caffeine-free tea. I opted for those with herbs that aid in sleep and/or stress, like Tulsi, Lavender, Passion Flower, or Chamomile.
- Unplug. Now it was time to make sure all my electronics were off.
- Get rubbed. I would then do a little self-massage with lavender lotion, or a favorite oil.
- Snuggle in. Then I would climb into bed, leaving only one light on to read a bit. I would settle in with my tea and my book and at the same time each night, I would put my book down, turn off the light and close my eyes.
I still struggle from time to time, but following a good sleep hygiene routine is one of the easiest and most cost effect ways to get your sleep back track. My method may not work for everyone, but what do you have to lose by trying?
Shelly Owens is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Reiki Practitioner. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Shelly has had a life-long love for holistic healthcare and learning how to use food to heal the body. After yearsof caring for her family in this manner, she took the leap to become a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. After graduation, she went on to complete Reiki training from the Anam Cara Center in Shelton, CT.
Shelly loves to work with motivated people, who are ready to change their lives, using food and lifestyle upgrades. She also enjoys teaching her clients to cook using the tools they’ve discussed throughout her programs.
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