Sleep and I are not always the best of friends. As much as I want to spend time sound asleep in dreamland, there are way too many times when my brain just won’t shut off and I’m awake. Granted, I could spend that time being productive – with two kids and their activities, my volunteer commitments, and actual work, there’s plenty for me to do – but by that point, my thoughts are in such a tizzy, I’m just mad that I’m not asleep and getting more frustrated by the moment. It’s at that point that the secrets to better sleep elude me.
I know I’m not alone.
And honestly, the stress I feel from some of the commitments I take on is part of what drives me to do a good job. The worry I have over whether something will work out or not leads to the effort and thought I put into it, and generally things work out beautifully. And the plus side is that I’ve been on the things working out beautifully end often enough that while I may have my thoughts spinning, I’m not as panicked.
For the adult fundraiser at our school last week, I knew that it would work out. We would have enough volunteers. People would bid on items, the donated mystery wine bottles would sell, and everyone would have a great time. There were still a million and one tasks I had to think about and ensure were completed, but I knew it would be a beautiful night, and it was. We don’t have the final tallies yet on what we earned, but it was over our budgeted amount, and our two chairs have received numerous compliments from everyone who attended.
That said, I work much better when I manage to have a solid night’s sleep, and for me that means finding ways to calm my brain and turn off those restless thoughts that keep me from sleeping, especially when I wake up in the middle of the night.
Bach’s RESCUE Sleep is one of my new best friends in helping to find that sometimes elusive sleep. The RESCUE Sleep Liquid Pearls were developed by a doctor and are homeopathic, something I appreciate. They come in several forms: RESCUE Pastilles, RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts (my favorite), RESCUE Pearls, and more, and you can find them at CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and other natural foods stores.
Though I love my RESCUE Sleep product, it isn’t the only sleep secret I have up my sleeve. I have found that if I stick with these five ways to reduce stress, it helps me not just fall asleep, but stay asleep – which makes me that much more productive (not to mention fun to be around).
5 Secrets to Better Sleep
1) Stick to a bedtime routine. It sounds basic, but just like my kids having a routine before they fall asleep, it makes a difference for me. That doesn’t mean I’m doing the exact same thing they do (although a bath followed by someone reading me a story sounds lovely), but sticking to a routine helps. I shut down my computer and spend a little time in the family room chatting with my husband or reading before I head upstairs to change for bed. Once I brush my teeth, I slip into bed and allow myself to finish just one chapter of whatever book I’m reading before the light goes off and it’s bedtime.
2) Electronics are forbidden. I’ll fully admit that I don’t follow this rule all the time, but I do my best. While I may use my iPad to read that book I mentioned, I refuse to check any incoming email once I’m in bed. Invariably, it’s something that I think about and fuss about, which prevents me from sleeping. And yes, that includes the “mindless” games that keep my brain hopping, too.
3) Zen yourself to sleep. I found a great little app for my phone that tracks my sleep throughout the night. Better than that, it plays a zenlike tune softly for an hour once I start it up that helps me wind down and fall asleep. It also has an alarm function that will wake me up anywhere from a half hour before my alarm to my alarm time based on the level of my sleep at the time, leaving me as ready to wake up as possible. As depressing as it is to see the up and down nature of my sleep some nights, it is a huge help – and it also helps me figure out what I’ve done to prevent myself from sleeping better.
4) Take your Bach’s RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts. The little capsule melts quickly and releases four drops of RESCUE Sleep that help turn off those repetitive thoughts. There are ingredients there that have a positive homeopathic effect on many of those causes of interrupted sleep – irritability, tension, and fidgeting; anger; panic; a restless mind; and more. Within minutes of the capsule dissolving, I can feel myself becoming more calm and ready to sleep.
5) Keep a cool bedroom. For me, I need to sleep in a cooler room. I enjoy burrowing under warm covers, but the room itself needs to be much cooler than a daytime temperature. When my husband is up late and messes with the thermostat to turn up the temperature so he’s comfortable, it will often wake me up because I’m too warm or I’ll simply toss and turn in my sleep, leading to a morning where I don’t want to get out of bed because I’m still so tired. The cool room keeps me in a deeper and more relaxed sleep.
Of all these secrets to sleep, only one requires me purchasing anything outside of what I have or can do in my own house. And right now, Bach’s RESCUE products have a BOGO coupon that you can sign up to receive, making them even more of a great way to find your own secrets to sleep.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.