RAMP UP YOUR SLEEP ROUTINE: HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP WHEN 2020 HAS BEEN KEEPING YOU UP
The past few months have undoubtedly given us much to think about in the grand scale of life, and with the holidays coming up, it's getting harder and harder to get enough peace and quiet to catch some zzz's.
December in the time of Corona is proving to be a lot harder to cope with than previous months. Traditions and get-togethers are more or less still being discouraged, and the accumulated cabin fever from nine months generally spent indoors has gotten most of us closer and closer to the breaking point.
Has anyone else been having a hard time sleeping at night, because of all their thoughts keeping them up?
Perhaps we have all of this to blame. There’s just too much to think about, and the lack of festivities and physical contact from our loved ones make these thoughts even more apparent in the hours we’re supposed to be asleep. Plus, the looming presence of the new year adds layers to our already anxious minds, with questions on normalcy, change, and the speed in which time is passing weighing on us more and more as we get closer to December 31.
If you’re on the same boat, here are some tips for all of us to finally get some sleep and put aside our anxieties for a few hours, just in time for the holidays:
MINIMIZE GADGET USE
We’re pretty sure we’re not the first people to tell you that prolonged exposure to phones and other gadgets actually wakes our systems up. This means that it’s a lot harder to fall asleep when you were just scrolling through social media a few seconds or minutes ago. The light and content from our gadgets stimulate our brains, so even if you’ve already turned it off before getting ready for bed, it will take you a few minutes (even hours) until all that energy wears out. But what do you do before bed without your phone? We’ve got some ideas in mind below.
It’s been proven time and time again that journalling calms our messy brains. The practice of writing down our thoughts, no matter how stupid or incoherent we think they are, acts as an outlet for us to simply get everything out of our system. In doing that, we’re “cleansing” our minds, so to speak. And doing it a few minutes before bed time might prove useful in churning out the thoughts that we keep inside and ultimately keep us up at night. If that doesn’t work and writing on a notebook bores you, at least you’ll feel a bit sleepier once you’re done, at the very least.
DRINK CHAMOMILE TEA
Chamomile tea is one of the most common tea variants that is believed to improve sleep quality, among other health benefits. Many studies show that the antioxidant apigenin found in Chamomile tea binds itself to sleep receptors in our brains, and reduces insomnia. Prepare a hot cup of tea just before bed time to put your mind at ease, and in a few minutes, you should be feeling the effects of it in bed.
READ A BOOK
If you’re a bookworm (and even if you aren’t) reading a physical book is actually a great way to take our minds off the real world for a bit, and away from our own problems and concerns. Try laying in bed with a book, and let your mind wander freely into fictional worlds and make-believe scenarios. The act itself might wear you out and lull you to peaceful sleep.
LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC
There are a lot of playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, and even YouTube uploaded for the purpose of soothing listeners to sleep. Some are scenic noises of the rain, the ocean, or actual mellow songs that might serve as a lullaby for you. The key, though, is to try hard and not let your mind wander to your worries with calming music in the background. Instead, be present and really feel the music. If successful, that might be your entry point to meditation and further relaxation.
Hopefully at least one of those tips help all you insomniacs out there.
‘Tis the season to be giving, and it’s about time you give yourself some much-deserved rest.