This last year was a difficult year for me to catch some Z’s. I’m not sure if it was the chronic stress, difficult circumstances, or late-night text messaging. I’ve also been through some difficult transitions in the last few months from changing jobs, moving between countries, and getting engaged. All of these changes, both good and bad, has led to chronic insomnia.
But along my health journey, I’ve learned 5 tips to help me sleep better.
1.) Diet, Diet, Diet
2. ) Essential Oils
Since stress has been a big part of my life recently, I’ve found that essential oils like lavender or chamomile have helped me decompress right before bed. I use lavender essential oil and rub a few drops on my neck, then chamomile essential oil in my diffuser to promote relaxation.
3.) Less Screen Time
Computers, iPads, and smartphone screens are thought to strain the eyes because they emit blue light or high-energy visible light. The Washington Post posted an article by the Consumer Electronics Show by the Vision Council stating these blue wavelengths interrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythms that scientists believe could play a role making people more vulnerable to chronic diseases. I will admit, I am learning how to handle my phone nighttime addiction. Less screen time would very helpful for me. But in the meantime, I have downloaded an app that decreases the blue light.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states low magnesium levels contribute to insomnia, so I focused on eating foods high in magnesium like avocados or spinach. The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences claims “supplementation of magnesium appears to improve measures of insomnia and has become a useful instrument in managing sleep disorders” so I’ve also found that 400mg of magnesium before bed really helps.
5.) Mediate and Relax with Chamomile tea
In a season of stress, it can be easy for me to focus on the negative. Recently, I’ve found it helpful to brew a cup of Chamomile tea then spending a few moments reading and praying. These few moments of nightly mediation have helped me to focus on being thankful. I am a working canvas at this. But I desire to grow in gratitude and joy even in the midst of stress and chaos. I have found making this part of my nightly routine has to lead me to deeper rest into the night.
I will admit I am a work-in-process when it comes to changing routines or prioritizing sleep. But here’s to less stress, more energy, and a whole lotta REM.
What helps you to catch more Z’s? I would love to hear your tips and tricks.