It’s no secret: I have a hard time falling asleep, especially when I go to bed too early. And I have a hard time staying asleep. I blame it on my head.
In there there’s always so many thought dancing around like bumblebees, and I have a hard time getting them together. I always keep a notebook beside my bed, just so I can write down my thoughts and hopefully keep them out of my mind in that way.
The notebook beside my bed is not the only one I keep; I have notebooks for almost everything:
my thoughts regarding my business
food notebooks where I jot down recipes
notebooks for school where I write down theories and ideas for my thesis
a notebook for all the things I want to do in my life
a notebook for a bucket list my bf and I keep together
one for Christmas presents
one for things I’d like to own
one for ideas for our home
and one more for all of my thoughts and the things I’d like to understand better or get to know, such as historic moments in time, queens and kings of England or France and artists that I’d like to do some research on.
If you ask my friends and family, they will tell you that I forever and always carry some kind of notebook with me, even if it’s just a piece of paper, it will be filled out to the edges by the end of the day. So my mind has it’s own life sometimes, why I have done some research on what will help me fall asleep at night and what will help me stay asleep all night. Here’s what I’ve found & what I think works for me:
1/ Keeping a notebook on your bed table – and not forgetting a pen, ahem…
Like I wrote, I like to keep a notebook beside me when sleeping. This helps me clear my mind and helps me getting all the thoughts and ideas out of my head. Sometimes when I wake up the morning after, I think to myself “what a ridiculous idea, why in the world did you think of that as a good one?!” or “wow, my mind really worked hard last night, this is great!” or “woah, that was a stupid one, why do you want to open a deli?!”… This is merely a tiny selection of what I might think to myself when I look in my notebook the next day. Some of my ideas are wonderful, and I really want to work hard on them and some are not. This confusing mind of mine needs some structure, and the only way I have success by getting it exactly that is by keeping this little notebook with me. When I get to write down my thoughts and ideas, I feel like I’m emptying my head, which works for me in order to fall asleep and stay calm.
2/ A colouring book
My boyfriend’s sweet mom gave me a colouring book when we went skiing. I have many time thought of getting one myself, but I’ve had had a hard time putting it into my schedule. That was a big mistake. The mindful peace and the mindfulness you yield from colouring everything from birds to elephants is amazing. It truly clears your mind, given that the colouring is the only thing you are focusing on and the only thing occupying your mind; “what will I colour next? What colours scheme do I want for this one? Should I colour it once more, so it becomes more radiant?” It is wonderfully calming to colour these animals, which this book consists of, and I will definitely keep the ‘habit’, as I plan on doing this a few times a week, especially at night, as it calms my mind and lets everything else out.
3/ Doing yoga
Actually I LOVE doing yoga in the morning, given that it makes me feel so relaxed and so ready for a new day. But the past few months I have tried to implement it into the late hours in the evening, exactly because it makes me feel relaxed, de-stressed and because it clears my mind. When I do yoga at night I usually don’t overeat for dinner, due to the fact that my body then will feel heavy, and given that doing yoga on a full stomach is not a good idea, been there done that, not going to do it again. Another thing I think is quite important when doing yoga at night is that I don’t do Ashtanga, I usually do Hatha and the classic Asanas or Yin yoga with some deep breaths and stretches. Half an hour of this, or even just 15 minutes or 4 sun salutations is that’s what I feel like doing, makes me feel delightfully stretched out and relaxed. I often end every session with an Ohm and a Namaste while either laying calmly on the floor or sitting in the Siddhasana.
Yoga is great every morning as well, but I will make a separate post about that.
4/ Raw honey!
I’m telling you honey raw, that raw honey is the thing! Every night I try to make myself a cup of warming tea with milk and honey. And whenever I remember to get more turmeric I will make myself a golden milk (recipe will come later).
“The sweetness of honey causes your insulin levels to rise, which in turn releases the neurotransmitter serotonin. Then, the body converts serotonin to melatonin – a chemical that helps your body sleep. In addition to serotonin, amino acids are found in honey, which contribute to the production of the amino acid tryptophan.When tryptophan gets to the brain, it is converted into serotonin and, eventually, melatonin, so you have even more of it to help you sleep better.”*
Honey will essentially help you relax and calm your body, and whenever I’m winding down for the day, I usually either make myself a cup of ayurvedic caffeine free tee with honey and either milk or almond milk or a cup of golden milk, which uses turmeric, honey, almond milk and pepper, which helps reduce inflammation and helps the body calm down. This recipe is also ayurvedic and I will put it in a separate post in here.
5/ I eat before going to bed
“That’s a no go”, you might think, “your tummy and your body needs to rest during the night!”. And yes, it does, but first thing; if I don’t eat before going to sleep, I will wake up in the middle of the night starving, like really starving! Second; some foods helps you calm down, fall asleep faster and staying asleep the whole night. I usually make myself a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, almonds and bananas or two eggs which I make into an omelet. This really helps me fall asleep, and scientists recommend this line of foods that will make you sleepy and help you during nighttime:
– Eggs – Milk – Cereal – Chickpeas – Almonds – Banana – Herbal tea or decaf tea – Sweet potatoes – Kale – Cherry juice – Salmon – Jasmine rice – Yoghurt –
So if you, after a long day, return to your home starving hoping to hit the bed anytime soon, don’t call for take-away or junk food as that probably will have the opposite effect; keeping you awake and making your body feeling heavy and exhausted. In stead make a quick dinner with the foods above and not only will you feel light, you will most likely also fall asleep fast and take 8 hours in a row.
Reading really helps me calm down at night. Reading classic literature from the 19th century England is a big help for me. Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Villette. I have finished all the classics in my bed or in my sofa before going to bed. Life seems so uncomplicated and yet so complex. Reading books on how to manage your time in the morning does the job for me as well. Reading calms my mind, given that I only have to focus on the story that is unfolding in my mind, which is creating images of a either a world that seems so far away or of my morning routines. Reading has many, many benefits, that too I will do a separate post on, due to the fact that it can help you in so many ways, you just have to make time for it – maybe at the the end of the day.
The internet is filled with things do to and try in order to fall asleep at night and in order to stay asleep. You will find numerous things that might work for you, why you should go take a look the world wide web to search for some solutions and things to try out if you, like me, have a hard time getting your mind together and falling asleep.