One of the big things I’ve found to help is this: instead of lamenting the workings of the little bricks with which my brain is composed, I try to find strategies which work to lessen my stress. Basically, I’ve realized this is the way I’m built, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything about it. Some days are better than others — just as some strategies are better than others.
One thing that has made a huge change in my life has been a fairly simple practice: listening to audiobooks before going to bed. Luckily for me, my husband is a fan and enjoys this nightly ritual. Otherwise, I imagine I’d need to purchase some incredibly comfortable earphones…because this works so well for me, I’d shell out a pretty hefty amount of cash to keep up this practice. Speaking of cash…you can get audiobooks free from the library and all I do is download books onto my Ipad. Done and dusted.
Why do I think this works for me?
First, lying down and listening to a book pretty much ensures that I’m not looking at a screen before bed (which we’ve all heard is not good for sleeping). Every once in a while I’ll do a quick check of my phone while we are listening before bed (and then of course, fall into an internet hole). This has not ended well. I consistently don’t fall asleep as readily when I do this. What a surprise!
Second, becoming involved in a good book takes my mind off of my own thoughts. My husband helps choose the books (we’ve surprisingly found we agree more often than not on the books which fit best for bedtime listening…I’m a fiction fan; he goes for non-fiction most of the time). We tend to choose what we deem to be “fun” books, meaning books which have a great story, but don’t require an intense amount of thought. Personal favourites include mysteries and fantasy novels (typically of the young adult genre).
Finally, introducing a relaxing routine has been helpful in and of itself. I’m friends with some occupational therapists who always recommend this to parents of children who do not sleep well. I don’t see why the concept wouldn’t hold true for adults as well.
Any other simple suggestions for a good nights sleep?