Are you someone who experiences insomnia regularly? Maybe you’ve struggled with lying awake at night, struggling to calm your mind and slow your thoughts, waiting for sleep, only becoming more stressed throughout the process. For anyone who can relate this experience, it can be so frustrating, and quite literally- exhausting.
Rather than simply lying awake in struggle and discontent, we may be able to gain a lot more value from intentional rest during those moments where we struggle to sleep. What I mean by this is taking time to practice self care during those wide-awake nighttime hours. Intentional rest can look like many things for different people, and the beautiful thing about it is that we actually do restore and rejuvenate our bodies systems, similar to the way we do during sleep.
Read on to explore my favorite fool-proof ways to self care during a bout of insomnia:
- Get up and out of bed. When we’ve been lying awake for hours, we’re not likely to peacefully drift off by doing more of the same. Break the cycle by getting up and doing something a little more engaging. This can be coloring in a coloring book, practicing an easy craft, reading a book, or anything else that engages your mind and calms you.This practice will also help with your mental body, as this can redirect the thoughts towards the present moment, and eliminate the stressful cycle of insomnia thoughts.
- Move or stretch your body. Getting up and gently stretching or moving your body in a way that feels good is a very powerful way to begin releasing pent up emotions, stress, and tension from your physical form. I recommend trying a very gentle bedtime yoga flow- check out our in the Affirmation Studio or the countless free classes on youtube- and allowing yourself to drop into the practice, Taking time to move or stretch gently also connects us to our breath, allowing it to deepen and align with the function of our body. This means that by practicing relaxing stretches, we are influenced to breathe deeper, and as we breathe deeper, our bodies relax further- allowing our nervous systems to slow down and soothe us into a state of relaxed ease. So often, after being awake for hours, I’ve tried a 15 minute bedtime yoga sequence, and gone to sleep directly after. Remember, it’s important to explore what works for you- so try more than one style of self care!
- Try healthy herbal remedies. Using herbs as a way to heal can be very calming, and nourishing for the mind, body, and spirit. My favorite herbs to promote rest are chamomile, peppermint, and lavender. For even more sleep support, add melatonin. If you are unsure about the effects of any of these herbs, or take additional medications, it may be best to ask advice from your doctor first. These herbs really work to relax our minds and bodies, while promoting restful sleep. Make them into a hot tea blend for even more comfort.
I know just how hard it can be to experience countless nights of poor rest, and while these self care activities may not cure you, they may be able to help you relax and feel just a little more rested in the morning. Wishing you the sweetest dreams, and the longest sleep.
Take care, Tribe.