Sleep Tips for When Your Brain Just Won’t Quit

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I have a brain that just won’t quit. If you tell me you had a cupcake for breakfast my train of thought is the following: Cupcake – That time I baked carrot cupcakes for Rob in college – Carrots are good for your eyesight – I need to make an eye doctor appointment – I missed my dentist appointment last week –  I wonder if my dentist secretly hates me – I wonder if all my friends hate me – That’s stupid Kimberly, you should think about puppies to feel better about yourself – Remember that time you saw that internet meme about a chihuahua that looked like a muffin. – Muffins are like cupcakes only healthier. – Oh yeah, we were talking about cupcakes…you should probably respond now.

This business only intensifies the moment my head hits the pillow. While my husband is zonked out, I am planning escape plans for a zombie apocalypse for not only myself but my family members and friends as well (don’t worry guys, I got your back!).  In the likelihood of this ever happening, I’m pretty sure I have a well thought out plan. But  in the meantime, I’d like to sleep!

After trying EVERYTHING (acupuncture, saging my house, sleeping crystals, counting sheep, melatonin, exercise, fans, noise machines, new bedsheets, etc) I think I’ve finally got into a great nighttime routine. Here are some of my favorite tips!

  • Headspace – For days when I am really, really overwhelmed and I can’t shut my mind off this ten minute guided meditation is the only thing that can calm me down. According to Fitbit, it lowers my heart rate but more importantly by the time I am done with the recording it makes whatever big freak out I was having seem more manageable.
  • Golden Milk Latte – Also known as Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Calming Creamy Turmeric Tea. There are tons of recipes out there but my favorite one includes making a paste out of water, turmeric, black pepper (it helps boost the health benefits of tumeric by 200%) and coconut oil. I store it in the fridge and whenever I go to bed, I heat up some almond milk, add the paste and some honey and have a little nigh cap. The act of creating the latte is calming in itself but this drink is jam-packed with antioxidants and other good for you stuff. It’s an anxiety tonic in itself!
  • Cold Air and Warm Blankets – I prefer to sleep in a cool room but lots of warm blankets. Having bed sheets that breathe are super important as well. I purchased mine from Brooklinen and have never looked back.
  • The Five Minute Journal – If you asked me about this two years ago…or even a few months ago I would have told you that gratitude journals are for lame people who have way too much time on their hands. Boy was I wrong! My journal literally takes five minutes or less to write in and it helps me end my day with positive thoughts and feelings. Some people say its like a toothbrush for your mind and I totally agree with that!
  • Airplane Mode – Ever since I started turning my phone on airplane mode about an hour or two before I go to sleep, my life has improved exponentially. The light the phone emits actually signals your brain to stay awake and scrolling through social media is a guaranteed way to keep the wheels in your brain turning for all hours of the night. Instead, I try to take the time to talk to my husband instead. This is both the easiest and hardest thing for me to do.
  • Army Crawl Sleep Position – This position basically immobilizes your body so you can’t thrash around wildly.
  • Sleep Mask- When used in conjunction with the army crawl sleep position, this is magic! It’s so simple and so effective because it blocks out any light from your vision and forces you to stay asleep. I currently use a Qatar Airways mask, but this one from Modcloth is so lovely!

It has taken me years to perfect my sleeping routine and I still have trouble with it sometimes! Let me know if you have any additional tips and tricks for me in the comments! Sweet dreams!

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