All I Do is Sleep, Sleep, Sleep No Matter What

Monday, January 8, 2018

About a year & a half ago, I started having a sleep problem I'd never had before: I couldn't fall asleep for most of the night, & by the time I finally slept well, it was 5 or 6 in the morning. It was like I didn't hit REM sleep until morning - & as a result, I overslept on an everyday basis.
Now, I'm sleeping better during the night - but back to having the same problem I've always had.

I've had trouble sleeping for as long as I can remember - namely, the trouble is that I sleep way too much. Literally, this was the primary complaint of not one but two of my college roommates. Back then, I went to the student health clinic at least once per year to be tested for mono - which I never had. I was just tired all. the. time.

The same is still true today.

Over winter "break" (I don't have one, I just took a few vacation days), I could not get out of bed. I set alarms but slept through all of them. Left to my own devices, one day I woke up at 2pm - at 33 years old! I slept past noon every day. I was perpetually exhausted. I could not get my body moving. 

One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to get my sleep schedule under control - including probably going back to the doctor to get some testing done, maybe a sleep study. It's time to do the damn thing.

For now, here's what I'm trying:

Drinking soothing tea before bed. 

After my aunt first introduced me Celestial Seasoning's Bengal Tea, a caffeine-free tea flavor, over Thanksgiving weekend, I immediately ordered a six-pack. It tastes a little bit like chai but much more flavorful, with robust flavors of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, & cloves. I don't even put honey in it.

Taking magnesium.

Magnesium supplements have been shown to treat insomnia by decreasing cortisol & relaxing the muscles. It's not like taking melatonin, which actively helps you fall asleep - which I definitely don't need right now. I just need a better quality of sleep so I don't oversleep! Does magnesium work? I don't know, but it can't hurt, right?

Going to bed early-ish.

Duh, I know - but this has always been a difficult one for me. I've been trying to just do less so that when the time comes for me to go to bed, I actually go to bed. I often stay up late working, in part because I start my workday late - but if I can start my workday at a normal time, I can stop working at a normal time, too...

Putting my phone across the room.

I use my phone as an alarm clock, which I regularly sleep right through. I've started plugging my phone in for the night on the other side of the room, which has the added benefit of making sure I don't check it when I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. 

Applying soothing face oil. 

I'm partial to Moonlit Skincare's Midnight Shift Overnight Facial Oil, made of jojoba & sunflower oil to moisturize & hydrate overnight. More importantly, it smells like lavender, so when you press it onto your face & neck, it releases an incredibly relaxing scent.

Using a "calm balm."

I first received this Calm Balm from Lesley Saligoe Botanicals in a Bloom Beautifully box about a year ago, & I use it nearly every night. You put a little in your palm, rub your hands to warm it up, then inhale deeply. It's scented of lavender & ylang ylang & soothes me within one breath.

Listening to a white noise app.

We got an Amazon Echo as a wedding gift, & while we're still trying to work out the kinks, right now I primarily use it as a white noise machine when I sleep (using sounds from Voice Apps LLC). It helps soften the harsh silence & drowns out the more-than-occasional sounds of Mike's snoring.

Sleeping with an eye mask/headphones hybrid. 

I listen to said white noise through my new sleep headphones, which I received as a Christmas gift from Mike. This soft, secure eye mask plugs into the Amazon Echo & pipes sleep sounds right into my ears to help lull me to sleep. I've been falling asleep faster than ever.

All of this is to say that I'm trying... but it's not necessarily working (yet). I'm going to keep at it - especially the getting-to-sleep-early thing - & see my doctor about it again, if I need to. If you have any tips - or have had any weird sleep issues yourself - I'd love to hear what has worked for you. 

Thanks to Moonlit Skincare for providing me with free product many months ago in exchange for my honest opinions. As always, all views are my own. 

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