Do you regularly have a hard time falling asleep? Do you stay up all night before an important event? Do you struggle to nod off any time you know that you’ll have to wake up early the next day?
If you’d asked me the same question not long ago, I’d bet you my sleepless nights were even more frequent. As early as four years old, I remember lying half the night awake. I learned to focus on a toy across the room, closing one eye, then the other, until I fell asleep—which is a little sad, as trouble sleeping isn’t something any child should have to deal with!
Later, I’d pretend to write books in my head (I’ve probably written hundreds!). Something about laying my head down at night has always caused my brain to wake up.
But, I’m happy to say, not anymore—if an idea pops into my head before bed these days, I simply jot it down as notes, since that’s when some of my best business ideas are born. Since I’ve finally learned to beat insomnia, I thought I’d share a few tricks that work to put me asleep almost instantly—and are a lot better than counting sheep.
What Could be Causing Your Insomnia?:
The Mayo Clinic lists the following as some of the most common factors that contribute to difficulty falling or staying asleep:
- Stress, including concerns about work, school, health or family
- Health problems
- Change in your environment or work schedule
- Poor sleep habits
- Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
- Eating later in the evening
Learning to Calm Your Overactive Mind
Many of us who struggle with difficulty falling asleep probably share another trait: a mind that just keeps racing. While everyone’s thought process is different, some of us start thinking about our next task or move before we’re even finished with what we’re currently doing.
While that kind of fast-paced thinking can make for a really productive day, it certainly contributes to difficulty falling asleep! That’s why I had to learn how to slow down my internal dialogue and practice keeping my thoughts “in the moment.” Here’s one of the better articles I’ve found that teaches you how in just 12 steps.
What Helped Me Sleep Better At Night
After describing my difficulty sleeping, a friend recommended that I try Melatonin—and it was one of the first times I slept well through the night. At first it was such a relief to find a natural sleep aid that worked, I was taking Melatonin every evening. However, I found I was having to increase my dosage every so often—not something I’m very comfortable with—so now I limit my Melatonin usage to when I’m traveling or the night before a big event.
- Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain
- Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles
- Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables
- You can also buy it as a supplement
Is taking a melatonin dietary supplement safe?
In most cases, Melatonin supplements are safe in low doses for short-term and long-term use. However, WebMD advises anyone considering Melatonin supplements to talk to their doctor before taking them.
Also, be aware that Melatonin supplements can give you incredibly vivid dreams! For someone like me who already has colorful dreams, sometimes the vividness of my dreams on Melatonin were overwhelming—important to note if you’re a vivid dreamer, too.
How I Think My Sleeping Disorder Went Away
About a year ago I tried the HCG Diet and had ordered these drops that are part of the weight loss program. The girl I purchased the supplements through recommended that I drink Omnitrition Nite Lite at night to help me sleep. Its main purpose is to help rebuild collagen after weight loss, but this stuff totally changed the way I sleep—even till this day.
I only look it for the 40 days I was on the diet (not even every night). In fact, by the end I was taking half a tablespoon instead of the whole. Yet, somehow after taking OmniNite, I no longer have any trouble falling asleep—and it’s been 10 months!
You might say, “Well losing weight helps too!” But, I was sleeping poorly back when I was a kid (and I was certainly thinner then!)
Be warned, the OmniNite also gave me vivid dreams, but these days my dreams (and sleep) are pretty much normal. By normal, I mean that I’ll stay up on my computer on YouTube or blogging until 1 or 2 a.m., and then have a hard time waking up in the morning because I stayed up too late. But that’s my normal. And hey, at least I can finally sleep when I want! Plus, once I’m awake and ready, I hardly ever get sleepy during the day.
Bottom line, if you struggle with problems falling asleep, don’t give up! Talk to your doctor about trying Melatonin, learn techniques that help slow your thoughts, and don’t give up hope that something can make a life-changing difference in the way that you sleep.
For me? A comfortable mattress, fresh air, and a cozy room make sleep that much better.
Hope this article helps you or someone you know! Thank you for reading and please share.
Image credit: Sasha Smith
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