Sleep: The Illusive goal

If you’re anything like me, falling asleep at night can be a daunting task. I often find myself rolling around in bed for a while before it comes for me. When I finally do get to sleep, though, it’s not a restful sleep at all. Nearly every morning I find myself snoozing my alarm, much to Matt’s annoyance, and dragging my half-asleep self into the bathroom to get ready. I don’t ever feel fully awake until about 2-3 hours later and even then it is a short-lived alertness.

I’ve done my research into the possible causes of my restless sleep and it’s not all too surprising: exercise more, don’t drink coffee after noon, eat better, no phones 2 hours before bed, etc. I try my best to hit the gym a few times a week, but with my back having a mind of its own, that can prove to be harder than everything else on the list. I wouldn’t say I’m the healthiest person to walk the earth, but I also wouldn’t say that I eat too terrible either. The coffee option can be harder for me as well, since my work does not have a decaf option and I LOVE coffee.

The last option on the list is to limit your exposure to a phone screen, the “deathly” blue-light that our phone screen omit can do a number on your sleep schedule. Most phones have an option to turn down the blue-light that the phone gives off, but often times that does not help – at least not for me.

The lack of sleep I was getting every night was taking a serious toll on me; I found myself to be more moody, lacking joy, and over-all unhappy so it was time for a change.

I set out to find things to tackle my first real issue with the sleep I was getting – falling asleep faster. Often times, I go to sleep before Matt leaving him to be able to watch what he chooses on Netflix. But that leads to me being distracted by what he was watching so then asking him to put on headphones was the next step. He really wasn’t too keen on that idea so it was short-lived. When I was younger, I often feel asleep listening to music and, as I got older, listening to Forgetting Sarah Marshall used to lull me to sleep. Now with the way that my brain works, those options are far too distracting so I was on the hunt.

I first settled on a “white noise” application on my phone, but that was quickly stamped out because I couldn’t stop thinking about that terrible movie where spirits spoke through the white noise. So that option was nixed – on to the next one. I discovered a different app, it has a similar feel to the white noise one but with a twist. I have no idea what to call the noises that it makes and, to be honest, I haven’t stayed awake through the whole thing to see (hear?)  what happens. It’s called, simply, “Shhh” and it’s available in the iTunes App Store as well as the Play Store for Google. I use this app often times when I’m tired but I can’t quite turn my brain off, like when every little noise is keeping my awake. It starts out with static sounds but transitions into a more peaceful nature-like sound that really helps soothe me to sleep.

Often times when using this app, I still have some trouble shutting down completely so I turn to one of my tried and true tricks to help me fall asleep. It’s kind of a weird one, but I start at 1 and count up to 100 then backwards and if I mess up I have to start over again. It’s simple but it really helps- although I always have trouble with 60-70 and end up having to start over again. I actually recently read an article that had tips from an expert on how to fall asleep and I was happy to see that a similar technique is used for some. (article)

Though the options above all help me greatly to get to sleep, I must say that my favorite of all is actually listening to a podcast; Not just any podcast will do, no, only the Sleep With Me Podcast can lull me to sleep. After a random search on the iTunes Podcast app, I stumbled onto this absolute gem. The podcast, written by Drew Ackerman and performed by Scooter, is the absolute best way to fall asleep. Even while I’m writing this, I’m feeling more relaxed thinking about Scooter’s voice. It’s the most soothing voice to fall asleep to. The mindless ramblings and random segways that the podcast takes help to keep  your mind from focusing on one thing for too long and help lull you to sleep. I have never made it through one of the episodes which is crazy because they’re only an hour-long. I promise, I would not recommend something that I didn’t 100% stand behind and if you have any trouble sleeping, listen.

I’ve used this podcast both with and without headphones and the results are the same. I have had it so the podcast ends after one episode or plays all night through the list, both ways I get the same result. Most of the time, I use this to help me sleep with Matt is not home; on those nights, I have the hardest time falling asleep. I’ve also used this when Matt is particularly loud with his snoring and no matter which way I roll him, it never stops. I can’t say enough good things about this podcast. I only wish that I could donate money or something because I don’t know what I would do without it.

With using these tips above, I have been able to achieve the sleep that is illusive for most. I can’t tell you how good it feels to sleep a full night and wake up refreshed, you just have to experience it yourself. If you’re like me and have trouble sleeping, please try the options here, or if you have your own tips/tricks please don’t hold back! I would love to try new ways to fall asleep!

I hope everyone is having an amazing Super Bowl Sunday, I unfortunately don’t have a tv so I’m at the library picking up some books and getting this post out to you all.

Have a good week!

xoxo

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