- by Jared
Do you wonder how to do things that make you sleepy?
Does sleep elude you while you go to bed as you toss and turn? Are you cut short of restful sleep because you wake up in the middle of the night and a panic?
Are the crushing burdens a family and job weighing you down and causing you to carry around stress with you everyday?
If so, here are a few tips to improve your sleep hygiene quality.
1 – Mindset – you must have curious mindset to try out different sleep strategies and to test which strategy is most effective.
2 – Bedtime Ritual – just like an airplane flying up high, we humans fly around; just like airplanes, we need a soft gradual landing, otherwise we’ll end up losing sleep
3 – Cool, dark, quiet room – go ahead and spend some money. Test out a comfy pillow and get an eye cover.
4 – Last Caffeine At 2pm – you might think the energizing effects of coffee have worn out, but caffeine can still prevent you from falling asleep.
5 – Supplements – go ahead and try herbal teas like chamomile. Another option is CBD drops.
For another video about avoiding sleep deprivation watch here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNFOuqFDaMA
For free 45 minute strategy conversation with me book at https://eatingenlightenment.com/freestrategysession
How To Do Things That Make You Sleepy – Backstory:
With one of my clients we have identified her major barrier to well-being is lacking sleep.
Her lack of sleep goes hand and hand with her anxiety, and her job pressures, as well as being there for her family.
She works as a nanny so she is always there for other people. Her job is literally to take care of other parents children. Sometimes for 15 hours a day.
She’s incredibly self-sacrificing, but has very little time to herself.
She goes home and has responsibilities to take care of the family. She even takes care of the various pets their family has like 2 barking dogs and annoying cat.
These responsibilities are difficult because she carries the weight of them with her during the day. It’s like she’s in a swarm of alarms of urgent tasks that she alone must complete or otherwise face disastrous consequences.
Most of her problems come from within, but she also has some problems with sleep due to her chaotic, busy schedule.
For example, her schedule forces her to wake up at different times each day. Sometimes she must be at work at 5:00 a.m., other times she starts at 8:00 a.m.
Her main issue though is always carrying this anchor on her back of responsibility, and having no time to herself to put this heavyweight down. She also does not know how to do things that make you sleepy!
Trying to wait all day causes her fatigue and anxiety.
After a few years of nannying and taking care of kids, this unease and anxiety that permeates her day has now soaked into her muscles.
Her muscles are tightening and it has got into a point where she is really struggling and using food to cope.
At night her tense muscles prevent her from going to sleep as she tosses and turns for hours and questions if she has insomnia.
Another side effect of the tension is waking up sporadically during the night and not being able to go to bed. She’ll wake up with thoughts about her mom, her dad, works, pets, etc.
So in this situation how we are working is focusing in on self-care.
In particular we are examining how to do things that make you sleepy, which was a skill that this woman needed to learn!
This situation is fairly unique because the lack of self-care is incredibly obvious. She needs sleep. End of story. But she doesn’t know how to do things that make you sleepy!
However, how do you get over this obstacle where you feel like you have tons of responsibility to family and work. And unless you work, you won’t get things done and will fail?
And additionally, there is fear about changing habits. Right now this woman is taking care of her family and making ends meet.
Just the idea of working less and spending time on herself seems terrifying. She equates herself with failure, that if she spends time on herself, her family and job will spiral downhill and crash.
So how are we working together? How are we approaching these different problems of sleep, stress and emotional eating?
Fortunately we have a good relationship and we enjoy talking with each other. This gives me some room to ask personal questions and to question some of her assumptions. What’s stopping her from learning how to do things that make you sleepy?
First, we began looking at some standard sleep hygiene practices. If you have bad sleep and aren’t doing these, pick one of these items and give it a try.
Before going into these techniques, we need to have a mindset. This is the mindset that I help work with all my clients. It’s the attitude of curiosity, it’s the attitude that you can try something and learn from the experience. It’s the attitude of no failure.
So many times you scan Pinterest or Google and you find some image that has sleep hygiene tips, and it all sounds the same. It’s just another to do list that doesn’t get integrated into who you are.
That’s why the mindset is curiosity is so important.
You start small, with something that you actually genuinely emotionally want to experiment and try for yourself.
Then you go ahead and try whatever it is, whether it’s asleep technique or an eating practice, and you see how it makes you feel. You see how much time it takes up and if it’s actually a practical thing.
The following list below is a general list of sleep hygiene practices, but perhaps most importantly it’s in the context of behaviors and activities this woman wants to try.
This isn’t just a dry list of items, it’s things that she’s heard of that she wants to try but just hasn’t tried them yet.
One thing this lady has spoken about is planning. She really enjoys planning and organizing. when she does plan, it seems like her stress is last and her day goes better.
Yet often times she says she doesn’t have the time or too anxious to plant ahead of time.
Yet she made an off hand mark to me that she spends too much time on Pinterest.
So because I had a great relationship with her I was able to tease her about this and question what was really holding her back.
Another thing that came up was CBD. because she struggles falling about at night I suggested that she try various teas as well as CBD. She reportedly got a lot of benefit out of the CBD.
Another concept is a bedtime ritual, because right now this lady has no bedtime ritual.
It’s just brush your teeth and go to bed.
She’s not doing any ritual to make her sleepy. She doesn’t know how to do things that make you sleepy!
At first she had some resistance to develop being a bedtime ritual but then she admitted that she tosses and turns before going to bed and that a little relaxation before bed might help her sleep.
For me, getting more sleep has been hugely important. I remember working with my therapist one day, and I was having a similar problem about going to bed.
He taught me in analogy that I teach today to the people I work with. It’s the analogy of an airplane landing.
Airplanes are going up in the air and they have a lot of momentum. If they just go straight to the ground they are going to crash and burn. They need a soft gradual landing on the runway. The same as true with humans.
We run around all day with our busy schedules and unless we take time to softly land our day, will end up crashing and burning at night, which usually looks like tossing and turning.
Another analogy is a stoplight 🙂
Obviously, investing time to relax before bed takes time.
The key mindset is to realize that you are tossing and turning when you go to bed, and not getting any sleep, so you mine as well spend some time before bed and relax so you feel better.
There are a few other items that I also suggested like having a cool quiet and dark room.
Also, she wasn’t having caffeine before bed or alcohol or weed. This was a problem mine.
I thought that I could have a coffee at 5:00 p.m. and go to bed at 11:00 p.m. because I thought coffee only lasted 3 to 4 hours. But after I switched my last cup of coffee to 2:00 p.m., I was able to get much better sleep.