Every now and again I go through phases of not being able to sleep. It seems the harder I try to sleep, the wider awake I get which is very frustrating. I lie awake, tossing and turning, and thinking about everything under the sun, and by morning, I’m ratty, desperately lacking sleep and definitely not ready to take on the day, but rather endure it as best as I can. I read somewhere that a whopping 30% of the population suffers from insomnia or some form of sleep disorder. Not great!
How much sleep is enough sleep?
Apparently Margaret Thatcher got by on only 5 hours of sleep per night, while Einstein needed 9 or 10. So everyone's biological clock is different, and you'll know how much sleep is enough sleep for you. For me personally, I think I need a minimum of 7 hours sleep to function properly, but it would be great if I could knock it down to 6 – that would mean I'd gain an extra 365 hours a year!
5 ways to beat insomnia
During the times I’ve been affected by lack of sleep I did some research on ways to beat insomnia and these are the tips that work best for me personally:
- Doing something relaxing before bed time – and this doesn’t include going on your laptop or phone as this only interferes with your sleep quality! I try to read before I sleep and this works perfectly for me, because I’m doing something constructive (one of my goals this year is to do more reading) and because eventually I do doze off to sleep.
- Exercise makes a HUGE difference to my ability to sleep. The ironic thing is I’ll feel too tired to exercise, but if I force myself to go for a jog in the evening or do a cardio session at home, it really gives my system a much needed boost and results in me sleeping well.
- Having a relaxing bath before I sleep usually induces a wonderful, deep and refreshing sleep, especially when I use my Arbonne 'Unwind' aromatherapy goodies – pure bliss as they're filled with essential oils that completely relax you. I use these especially when I’m going through an insomniac phase and it helps a lot.
- I do try herbal remedies too, when all else fails. These are natural sleeping remedies that induce sleep and usually they work quite well for me. Or you could try putting lavender on your pillow or massaging some lavender essential oil into your temples.
- For me reflection is important to help me detach from the day I’ve had and also reflect on what I’m doing the next day. Much of the reason why we can’t sleep is because everything that happened that day is swirling through our minds and we’re also concerned about what we’re going to be doing tomorrow. Take time during the evening to deeply reflect on your day that’s just been as well as the day ahead and this should settle your mind and help you have a great sleep. I’ve written a blog post on the importance of reflection here. I also keep a journal and pour all my thoughts into there, that way I’m ‘downloading’ all the things that pop into my head and make me lose sleep!
Do you ever suffer from insomnia or any other sleep condition? How do you deal with it?