Welcome back to Be Kind to Your Mind! In todays post, we will be talking about my favorite hobby...SLEEP lol. We will be talking all things sleep related, from how to create a sleep routine that works best for you to ways to beat insomnia. First thing's first, sleep is so important. It is a sacred part of the day where your mind, body and spirit get rest and reboot. Sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep protects your mental and physical health as well are your overall quality of life.
Now let's talk sleep routines. To be completely honest, I am pretty bad at this considering it's 2 am and I am writing this blog post right now. I have been trying to really focus on being better when it comes to my sleep routine and have done an extensive amount of research on the topic. Essentially, the idea is that by going through a routine each night that your body becomes trained to know that it is time to rest and sleep. It is important to understand that each individual's sleep routines can look totally different. They can include different cues and elements that specifically benefit that individual. As an example, I will share my sleep routine that I have been working hard at to create it into a habit. Step one for me starts with filling my essential oil diffuser up with water and adding my favorite bedtime scent, lavender (I highly recommend getting a diffuser, it is seriously life changing). Once I turn it on, I begin to undo my bed and make sure it is all cozy just the way I like it. Step three is heading into the bathroom, washing my face, applying my favorite night cream, and then brushing my teeth. Once I've finished up in the bathroom it's time for Step 4. I head into my room and get on my phone and place it on do not disturb (this part is important for me) then I head to the Calm app on my phone and play either a "letting go into sleep" guided meditation or the "rain on leaves" sound. After I set the timer for my sleep sound I climb into bed and relax until I fall sound asleep. It's important to recognize that sometimes this doesn't even work for me. Some nights my mind becomes very restless but I still work to keep the routine alive in order to create a constant. When my mind begins to wander I try to become aware of my thoughts and recognize that I am doing my best. My sleep routine hasn't been perfected yet, but it has been a huge help for me in being able to fall asleep easier and get more restful hours of sleep each night.
Insomnia is very common in young adults and affects more than 3 million people in the US today. Insomnia can be a product of many things such as stress, anxiety, and depression. The good thing about insomnia is that if not too severe, it can be treated with self care. I find this fact so encouraging. I personally used to struggle with insomnia during high school and into my freshman year of college. Personally, my insomnia was caused by the anxiety and emotions I was feeling during those times. I used many different tools to get a grip on my insomnia so I will share them now. First I started working on my sleep hygiene. I created a more peaceful sleeping area and tried to stay out of my room unless it was time to go to sleep. This was before I created an affective sleep schedule, but making a helpful sleeping schedule can also help with insomnia. Second, I limited my caffeine intake each day. If you personally know me, you know that caffeine literally flows through my veins due to the amount of coffee I used to drink, but I have since limited myself to 2 cups of coffee at max each day. Third, I learned how to deep breath and control my breath. On anxiety filled nights my breath would be my saving grace. It is such a good way to get control of your body and your emotions.
Sleep is the one of the most important facets of a healthy life. It gives your body and mind the much needed rest it deserves after a long day. Sleep is vital to maintaining great physical and mental health and is a great way to be kind to your mind.
Below are a list of resources you can call if you are in crisis:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text line: Text HOME to 741741
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233