A couple of months a caught myself in a horrible cycle. Up late scrolling on the internet, turning my phone off but getting looped in anxious thoughts, dreading the moment my daughter wakes up because I didn’t get enough sleep and I was just dying for a few more minutes, relying on caffeine during the day, too exhausted to get in my regular exercise and vegging in front of the tv instead.
The shame, the stress, the fear of not getting back to a healthy functioning. UGH.
Sleep is SO important. With coronavirus stress in the world and the toxicity in politics and the world, it is especially important that we take care of ourselves.
Here’s how I got myself back on track with using common sleep hygiene tips:
-I set boundaries with my daughter and myself on screen time in the evening. We played and connected as a family so we were more ready for bed when the time came.
-I took Instagram and Facebook off of my phone. I don’t have TikTok cause I’m old, but I’d take that off too if it applied. I set limits on work email outside of work hours. When I got into bed, I can read from my kindle (no blue screen), but that’s the only screen allowed after 9.
-Speaking of reading, I’m taking a break from psychological thrillers. One of my favorite genres, but I was noticing that my world doesn’t need more anxiety and darkness right now so I’m turning to the forms of literature I love (maybe even a little boring at times = sleepiness on lock).
-I played sleep meditations if my mind started to race after I turned off the lights.
-I delegated non-urgent daytime responsibilities so that I could get outside, listen to music or do other things I enjoyed.
-I moved from late night 60 minute workouts to more frequent 30 minute workouts earlier in the day. I can put off working out if I think it’s going to take a full 60 minute commitment, but I need exercise to feel mentally healthy. Late night workouts also keep me up too late from the boost of energy late at night.
-I use a weighted blanket and keep my room at a comfortable temperature.
-I make sure I’m hydrating and avoiding foods that cause me indigestion so my body can relax.
-I’m compassionate with myself when/if I still need naps and feel sleepier than usual. We’re going through a lot right now and it’s normal to need more downtime when we’re under constant stress.
What helps you get back on track when your sleeping is off?
Hi! I'm Megan Negendank, founder and executive director of Love Heal Grow Counseling.
I help hurting, worried couples & individuals heal from pain and create thriving lives & relationships.
You can read more about me or schedule an appointment here: About Megan