Oh sleep. We all know it’s super important for overall well being. I love my sleep. But it can definitely tough to balance getting the right amount. It’s so easy to sleep too little, or in my experience, too much.
I’ve used sleep as an unhealthy coping mechanism many times in my life. When I didn’t want to face something, I’d take a nap or go to bed. I think for many people, with or without anxiety, it can be difficult to have a healthy relationship with sleep.
I wanted to break those bad sleeping habits, so for the past six months I’ve been pretty dedicated to a nighttime routine. I no longer use sleep to cope and almost always make sure I’m getting at least seven hours of sleep a night. Thanks to a few tips and tricks, I sleep incredibly well most nights, which helps me to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
At least 45 minutes before bed, I’ll start getting ready to wind down. This means doing my nighttime skincare routine, brushing my teeth, dimming the lights, maybe lighting a candle, and most importantly, turning on my white noise machine.
#1 WHITE NOISE MACHINE
I’ve used the ‘Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine’ for about two years now. It was one of my first purchases when I moved to Wilmington and started working weird hours. Whether you live with a roommate, spouse, or by yourself, a white noise machine can be a game changer. It blocks out any sounds that might typically wake you up.
I’m obsessed with this and can’t sleep without it. If I get into bed and forget to turn it on, you best believe I’m getting up to do so. It was a bit pricey ($45 on Amazon), but I don’t love the artificial sound of white noise apps. I think the quality is worth the splurge and I like having the ability to change the power and sound of the white noise.
There are some cheaper, or even free alternatives too! A small fan will likely do the trick to provide white noise, or you can try an app. If I’m traveling and don’t have my sound machine with me, I like the ‘Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds’ app, and it’s free!
#2 WEIGHTED BLANKET
I had been hearing about weighted blankets for a while and finally decided to buy one to see if it helped with anxiety. I was really surprised to find it also helps me sleep better.
This is a newer addition to my sleeping habits but will definitely be a staple in my routine. I bought a YnM 15 pound weighted blanket off Amazon based on the price and reviews and really enjoy it. There are blanket weight suggestions based on your size, but I actually wish I got a heavier one! Weighted blankets are believed to help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep. The weight imitates the feeling of being hugged or held, which I find really comforting.
I like to be in bed 30 minutes before I want to fall asleep. Most nights I’ll make a cup of Trader Joe’s Sleepy Tea and read or just take some deep breaths under my blanket to help me relax.
#3 ESSENTIAL OILS
Whether I’m diffusing them or spraying my sheets with a homemade linen spray, I love using essential oils to help me relax before bed. I typically diffuse lavender or frankincense to calm down and promote sleep. Some studies suggest lavender can even help with anxiety and insomnia.
You can also make a DIY linen spray using 10 drops of a high quality lavender essential oil, two tablespoons of witch hazel, and six tablespoons of water. Pour it all together in a spray bottle and shake before using. Spray on your sheets and pillows before bed!
Lastly, I like to finish my night with some journaling, similar to how I start my day. I always go through the following exercise, it only takes about five minutes.
- Five things I’m grateful for
- Something I did for my mind, body, soul, and goal (whatever major goal I’m working on at the time)
- What did I learn about myself?
- What did I learn about someone else?
- What did I learn what was new?
- When did I not do my best?
- What did I accomplish?
- How am I doing in my relationships? (romantic, family, friendships)
- A prayer for tomorrow
Whether you struggle falling asleep, sleep a little too much, or just want to make the end of your day a little more peaceful, I hope some of these tips help. Sleep tight!
If you’ve enjoyed this post be sure to check out my step-by-step morning routine.