Updated: May 1, 2020
Everyone I talk to about sleep has the same issue. The racing mind. I'm sure it's happened to you too. The more you have on your mind, the more likely it is that you really do need a good night's sleep and the more likely it is that racing thoughts will get in your way.
Of course, most of you already know that sunshine and morning exercise can help as can a melatonin supplement if you need help with regulation. And most are also aware that tube time right before sleep is a no-no for those who struggle with dropping off.
But still, sometimes you get off track and fail to take care of yourself in all of the ways that you should. And if you care for others in your life, as most of us do, staying on track is sometimes an extremely difficult thing to do.
But if you take your job of caring for others seriously, you know how important it is for you to feel your best, and you probably know how important a good night's sleep is.
So here are my top three weird ways to get yourself to sleep when all else fails.
1. When your mind is racing, you've got to find a way to park your cars. Think of each of your concerns as a car racing around your brain. Pick a place, either on a notepad next to the bed, in your phone or on a recording. If you don't park it somewhere it's just gonna keep on racing!
2. Don't count sheep. It doesn't work! They're too cute. Instead, count down from 500. You will get sidetracked and lose your place dozens of times but that doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you are able to bring yourself back to counting again and again. It doesn't even really matter if you start up in the wrong place. Just keep counting. Believe me, this works.
3. Eat a balanced meal several hours before you plan to sleep. If you need a snack, make it a balanced snack. Popcorn alone is not balanced. Cake or alcohol are the two worst things you could have! Two apple slices with nut butter is a better choice.
If you want more information on Sleep, Eating, Learning, Fun or SELF read my blog here!
Nanci J Bradley, 60, is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI