• Bedtime & Overnight Hacks

    1. The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique. I swear by this, but keep in mind that it doesn't work overnight. Repeat:  It. Does. Not. Work. Overnight.  It's like working out, you have to do it consistently to see results.  So don’t let articles about how this technique didn’t work for them after a few days of doing it discourage you.  Those articles are like someone saying they did ab workouts for a few days and didn’t see a six pack right away.  But seriously, I would say it took about 2-3 months for my body to really respond to it.  I do it throughout the day and right when I get into bed. And if I can’t sleep overnight.  On most nights, I pretty much fall asleep during this exercise.
    2. Positive Reflection.  After this breathing, if I’m awake, I do a mental scan of what I'm most grateful for, the best parts of my day, how the day made me feel. And generally fall asleep.
    3. Music: Have a ‘go to’ playlist of music that keeps you calm.  I urge you NOT to use your iphone or Alexa.  The problem with Alexa is that if you talk in the middle of the night, your brain will think it’s time to get up!  So dare I say...get a CD player (yes, the 1990’s still have their place). There are tons of audio/music for insomnia on itunes. Delta waves sleep music is really good.  And if you sleep with a partner, you can set that up in a guest room so you can go there (I have made my guest room a sleep oasis for sleepless nights).  
    4. A few good breathing exercises, if you wake up and can’t fall back asleep.  
    5. Visualize.  While you breath deeply, visualize something that relaxes you.  I usually see myself hanging out at the beach.  
    6. Plan B.  If you can’t sleep for more than 15 minutes, the standard advice is to get up, do something like read, and come back.  It worked for me, but only sometimes.  So I will say that just staying in bed and breathing worked better for me (even if it’s an hour).  My issue with the 15 min ‘get up’ philosophy is that it can make you freak out once you’ve been in bed 15 minutes and feel like you will never sleep if you don’t get up.  But really, it can just take that long on some nights (especially when your hormones aren’t cooperating).  So whatever works for for you, I would try both.  And I know it goes against our natural inclination, but don’t stare at the ceiling with your eyes open.  Either get up after 15 minutes or keep your eyes closed, both of those are attempting to go back to sleep, whereas staring at the ceiling basically says you’re not even going to try.  
    7. No clock in room!  If I know it’s 2 AM when I can’t fall back asleep,  I will start to panic about how little sleep I’m getting.  You can have an alarm for the morning though.  
    8. Touch touch touch! If it’s your thing, I can’t stress this enough.  As a mom, as a wife, as a daughter, and as a friend.  Cuddling produces oxytocin which relaxes you and cuddling also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.  Two for the price of one :)