How to improve sleep

8 Ways To Improve Your Sleep When Sleep Becomes A Problem

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I look at my kids peacefully sleeping every night and I’m a little bit jealous. Why can’t they hear anything when they sleep? How can they sleep for so long? 

I’ve always been a light sleeper but I never thought that it would bite me in the butt when I was older. You think your sleep will improve once the kids get older, but that didn’t quite happen for me. It seems to have only gotten worse. All of my kids sleep well for the most part, but now I’m the one with the problem. I’m the one who needs sleep training to fall back asleep. Where is the book on sleep training adults? I think there’s stock in that one. 

The Problem!

While I haven’t found that book yet, I’ve been trying a number of things to help me fall asleep and stay asleep. It used to be only that I had trouble falling asleep. Now it seems to be more about staying asleep. I’ve always woken up during the night but never really had a problem falling back to sleep. I would wake up, glance at the clock, and get excited to see that I still had x amount of hours left. That was a win! Now it’s a problem. I might have x amount of hours, but I’m not falling back asleep to get them.

I’m not sure if I’m pre-menopausal, a mom with too much going on, or someone who has always had this problem, but it needs fixing because it’s quite frustrating. I don’t think I’m the only mom out there suffering from this. If there are other moms who experience problems with sleep, then I thought it’d be nice to share some of what I’ve tried to help squash the problem. Everyone is different. Some of the things that work for me may not work for you and vice versa. I find there are definitely some that don’t work for me. 

8 Ways to Improve or Help You Sleep

Let’s start with the basics, but maybe not so obvious. 

A New Pillow-

I have yet to invest in a good pillow. Some years back I bought a pillow that my chiropractor recommended, but it was expensive and horrible. I think my daughter ended up taking it from me. I assumed I was sleeping on it wrong, but how do you sleep wrong? When we recently bought a new bed the salesman made a few good points about buying a pillow. I know it’s his job to sell me stuff but I’d never really thought about what he had said.

He said that you need to find a pillow that fits your neck and shoulder size. Meaning that you have to find the right pillow thickness that works for you. Maybe I’m behind, but that really made sense and I never thought of that before. It made me think of how my chiropractor sold me a pillow saying it was what I needed, but it actually hurt me more than it helped. Don’t worry, I don’t go there anymore. Just because a pillow is supposed to help with something specific that is causing trouble for you, it still might not be the right one for you or the right size.

A New Mattress-

As I mentioned above, we bought a new mattress. We realized that as we got older, we needed something firmer. My husband, a much bigger person than me, found himself nearly rolling out of bed because the mattress was too soft. I found that parts of me would ache more and often found it uncomfortable to get out of bed. The hard part is that our size difference has slightly different needs.

Someone with a smaller build like mine can find a bed that is too firm very uncomfortable for the hips and shoulders. I have found this to be true when I sleep on very firm beds. It feels like I’m sleeping on the floor. Whereas my husband would do well with a firmer mattress. We decided on a medium-firm mattress. It’s taking some getting used to for both of us, but I think it will work out better than our old mattress.  

On to Other Sleep things…

Yoga for bedtime

There are a few yoga poses that can help relax the body to fall asleep. I like the poses that I can do in my bed. One of my problems is if I get tired in one location and then move to my bed, that could potentially wake me enough to where I can’t fall asleep. For example, if I get too relaxed putting the kids to bed or accidentally fall asleep with them or even on the couch, then I can forget the hope of falling asleep in my own bed. 

Here are ten poses that I usually tend to choose from. There are definitely more. The last thing I need to do is go scrolling on my phone to fine a pose or stretch, so it’s best if I commit a few to memory and stick with those. If I want to learn more later, then I can have a look during the daytime. 

-Legs us against the wall

-cat/cow

-child pose

-sphinx

– forward fold

– happy baby

-supine spinal twist

– bridge pose

– reclined pigeon pose

– corpse pose- maybe you’ll fall asleep in it if it’s the last pose you do. 

Essential Oils

I love my essential oils, but I don’t use them often enough. Depending on the oil, I often diffuse them or make a roller with a carrier oil. I like to use coconut oil. Sometimes, I put the oil on my pillow. I get my essential oils from Young Living.  These are the 3 oils I enjoy using at bedtime:

– Stress Away (a Young Living oil blend)

– Lavender oil 

– Peace and Calming (a Young Living oil blend)

– Ylang Ylang oil 

There are more that can be used to help with sleep, but again, these are the oils that I know and like. 

Tart Cherry Juice

A friend told me about this one. I’m skeptical of taking anything, so I looked it up on the old internet and sure enough, they said it can help with sleep as well as other things like gout! I still needed more proof from the people at the local health store. This is a new thing I’m currently trying. I think it may be improving my ability to fall asleep better and not stay awake if I happen to wake up during the night. I’ll be sure to update this section if anything changes. And I’ll add that it doesn’t taste too bad either. There is a pill form if you prefer that. 

Get Everything Out of Your Head

My brain seems to do everything but settle down when my head hits the pillow. Thoughts and ideas tend to race through my head. All of my creative ideas always reveal themselves when I’m more relaxed. I have to get it out of my head or it’ll keep me awake. I’ll keep thinking about it over and over again. If it’s a creative idea thought, I get worried I might forget it. I try to keep a journal by my bed, but sometimes I don’t want to turn the light back on. So I grab my phone and either type a note or make a few voice notes. 

Melatonin & Magnesium

My husband has been taking melatonin on and off for years. He says it really helps him relax and fall asleep. I’ve tried it and it only seems to make my body feel heavy and I don’t necessarily drift off to sleep. I gave up melatonin for magnesium. If I take magnesium, I do a combination of things. I do think it helps but to be sure I usually roll on one of my favorite oils and practice a few yoga poses. I believe there is an improvement in my sleep when I do these things. 

Things I’m thinking about trying For Sleep

There are a few more things that I’ve been thinking about trying. 

  • A sleep headphones headband- I’ve tried wearing my headphones and earbuds to cancel out any noises, but my ears get sore. I’m curious to know how this feels and if it will actually stay in place on your head. 
  • Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs- I didn’t use earplugs in the past because I don’t love things in my ears. I also find myself listening to see if I can still hear any noises. I’ve often worried about not being able to hear if there’s an emergency of some kind or if the kids need me. No matter the age, you’re always worried about the kids, but I think I’ve entered a stage where I just need to sleep.
  • Sleep Patch- I got sucked into watching a few episodes of a Youtube vlogger that my girls watch. She was going to Target to shop for products for a self-care day. She bought a few wellness patches and one was for sleeping called Dream. I looked it up to find out the ingredients. It had Melatonin and a few essential oils. If I come across some of these, I just might have to try it.

Final Thoughts

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now and I hope that’s all I’ll need. The funny thing is that I said 8, but I named 10. Guess that’s how tired I am. If you’ve found anything that has really helped you find your way to dreamland and stay there, I’d love to know. You can always comment on this blog post, or send me an email at krista@adaptablemom.com to let me know what you’ve discovered to help you sleep better.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog! I hope to see you back again for more of “The Adaptable Mom.”Want more Adaptable Mom blog posts? Sign up here to be alerted about new posts or check out past posts on the blog.

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