Is lack of sleep affecting you?
Can you fall asleep, but if you wake up can’t get back to sleep? Or are you exhausted and go to bed only to lie awake tossing and turning for what seems like the entire night?
When people are going through challenging times in their lives, not getting enough sleep is often an issue. There are many reasons why people can’t sleep at night. Pregnant women often struggle finding a comfortable position to sleep in, a person who has chronic aches and pains can't get comfortable, or someone who has a mind that won’t quiet.
I always tell pregnant women that the last month of the pregnancy is preparing you for the sleepless nights you are going to have when the baby comes. This is a reality! Some new moms do get sleep, but for many, lack of sleep is a huge issue.
For people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, getting into bed may be torture. They lay staring at the ceiling, or toss and turn throughout the night. Their minds won’t quiet, and they can’t stop thinking about them.
When we lay in this state, we start to think of the "What if" or "Why" questions and our minds start to loop. Often, we go through endless scenarios about our situation such as:
• Could I have done something differently? • Why won’t this baby sleep? • Are they ok? • How can I go on? • I’m lonely • Why does my body hurt so much? • How am I going to be able to go to work tomorrow? • I can’t focus • Did I lock the door?
Ideally, we are supposed to sleep 7–8 hours a night, but many people don’t even get half that amount. The problem is that lack of sleep is cumulative. If you only get 6 hours, then how do you make up for the other 2? The next night you only get 6 hours again. That means you've missed 4 hours of sleep. The night after that you sleep 5 hours— add 3 more hours of missed sleep. That makes 7 hours of missed sleep over 3 days. This adds up and before you know it, you are exhausted and have no energy to function throughout the day.
I was speaking to a couple of new moms and this is a huge issue. One said to me that she doesn’t get more than 4 hours of sleep per night. She doesn’t know whether she is asleep or awake. The other has a child that is nearly 2 and said that she spent the first 18 months sleep deprived. This affected everything in her life, and she wasn’t enjoying time with her baby or being a mom. She felt guilty because of the way she was feeling. These thoughts and feelings just kept going around and around. Add to it the lack of sleep and here is a recipe for high stress, exhaustion, and doubting yourself. Left unchecked, this can lead to anxiety and depression.
When you're going through a challenging time, your mind is processing and this can lead to sleepless nights. When we are grieving, we keep replaying unresolved issues and the “what ifs.” Do you lay in bed wondering if you will ever fall asleep? Then get agitated and angry because you can’t fall asleep? I have clients who say that nighttime is the longest part of their day and often the loneliest.
Lack of sleep is a complex subject and I am not an expert. However, I think of when my kids were little and I created a bedtime routine for them. They knew what happened after dinner and what to expect. So why not do this for yourself—create a bedtime routine.
A few holistic suggestions that may help:
Turn off electronic devices at least 1.5 hours before you plan to go to bed. This includes watching Netflix or scrolling on your phone. These shows are often loud and drama-filled, and we get overstimulated and can’t settle.
Don’t eat before bed because it stimulates your digestive system. Your body will be digesting food which will keep you awake.
Journal about anything that is bothering you, or things that you keep thinking about. Getting these thoughts out of your mind grounds the information.
Make your To Do List after dinner for the next day. This helps your mind relax so it isn’t going over and over what you have to do tomorrow.
Listen to relaxing music.
Don’t drink coffee in the evening because it is too stimulating. Have a cup of Chamomile or Lemon Balm Herbal Tea (recipe below). These herbs calm the nervous system, your tummy, and your mind.
Have a bath and add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender calms the nervous systems and your body and mind will begin to relax.
Go to bed an hour before you plan to sleep and read a magazine or a book. Do not bring your electronic devices into your bedroom.
Keep your bedroom on the cooler side, and have your window open to allow fresh air to flow in. A stuffy room makes you foggy and lethargic.
Chamomile Tea Recipe:
There are many more things that you can do to help you sleep, however, here are a few to try to see how they help you. Remember consistency and having a nighttime routine is key to getting a good nights sleep.
Through my personal journey, I have found a road to deep healing using holistic modalities including Neo-shamanism, plant remedies, energetic protocols, codes and meditation. I teach others the same tools and strategies so they can establish, and maintain, healthy boundaries. I offer 1:1 sessions where together, we work through unhealed core wounds, often developed during childhood, and energetically clear them. Clearing mental and emotional blockages provides a pathway to healing, inner wisdom, and life transformation. Work with me and take your life to the next level! Feel free to connect with me here for a Discovery Session.