Seems fitting to write about sleep after this last weekend. After two extremely late nights for me (1am on Friday and 2am on Saturday), it seems fitting to elaborate how sleep has changed for me over the last few months. In case you didn't know, insomnia used to have a regular part of my week for the first 4-5 months of 2015. Although it was once, maybe twice a week, it still was enough to throw my schedule off. I always tried to stay positive and find the silver linings, but having to take another rest day (because doing a WOD on 3 hours of sleep would be a little crazy) or feeling completely drained at work, sometimes finding the positivity didn't always have the power to think of insomnia as "okay". It just ended up being one of those little things in life that you get a little upset about, something to just accept in that moment, with the knowledge that the next day/night will be better.
But by putting all my focus on trying to improve my sleep hygiene and nighttime regime before bed, I found the resolution to my insomnia issue. Here's what has become my new normal to get the sleep I need:
Pure Pharma // When researching insomnia, and trying to find solutions, I read about magnesium deficiency and the connect it has to the insomnia I had experienced. And with plenty of options through supplement stores, I couldn't seem to bite the bullet on purchasing one. That was until I was in Minneapolis for the CrossFit Central Regionals. Pure Pharma happened to have a vendor spot, and I took the opportunity to learn about their magnesium supplement, M3. I was completely convinced it would be life changing - and it has been. From just the first night, and into the first week, first month and up until now, this has been the biggest change when it comes to getting better sleep.
Caffeine Limit // There have been plenty of learning moments in the past when it comes to me and consuming coffee too late in the day. For me, caffeine after noon is something my body just can't handle. Spark is the only form of caffeine I've found to have the right balance of getting me through the afternoon, while still allowing me to go to bed at night. If I do get a (rare) coffee craving, I either have it straight away in the morning or leave it as a treat for Saturdays. Since we usually don't have plans for Sunday morning, I am able to sleep in if I can't fall asleep.
Reading // Perhaps one of the best habits I've picked back up. The drowsiness of reading only a couple of pages does wonders on getting me to fall asleep quickly, and gets my brain to stop thinking about either falling asleep or what needs accomplishing the next day.
Tidying Up // Note - This is never full-on cleaning our apartment. It is simply taking 10-15 minutes to tidy up, which is mostly in the living room. I've found having this place tidy brings some peace right before bed and is totally worth the extra effort before bed. I also make sure to remove any clutter in our bedroom as well, as it has a tendency to make me a little more anxious. I'm grateful for our tiny bedroom, as it has mostly avoided becoming a cluttered space for us.
5 Things // A few weeks ago, I took up the challenge of finding 5 things I am grateful for at the end of the day. Right before I start reading + falling asleep, I try to make sure to quickly type up my five pieces of gratitude for the day. This really makes me realize how blessed I am for my crazy + beautiful life, and helps me to put happiness and positivity into days that have me down.
As of lately, these steps have helped me create a sleep routine that suits me, and helps me to get the best night of sleep every night. I used to shake off the importance of sleep, but have since realized the impact it has on so much of my life. CrossFit, work, relationships and my happiness need me as the best version of myself. And sleep will always continue as a cornerstone in making those pillars happen in my life.
What does your nighttime routine look like?
How do you cope with sleepless nights?
Have you considered adding in a supplement, like magnesium, to improve your sleep quality?