I “sleep trained” myself. I did it. It worked and I am so freakin’ thankful because I thought I was going to go crazy with not getting enough sleep. We have all heard of sleep training. Sleep training babies and sleep training toddlers is one of the most talked about topic between moms and parents who are desperate for a good nights rest with a little one in the home. But years after my kids were sleeping through the night, I realized I needed to sleep train myself. What?! Yep! I, myself, needed sleep training in a desperate way. So I trained myself with these 7 tips to help you sleep.
Like most moms, my days are filled with busy activities, running kids to and from school, extracurricular activities, dr appointments, friends houses, running errands, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, taking care of animals, taking care of kids, taking care of the husband, cooking, planning those meals (not my favorite thing, by the way) etc. You would think after being exhausted from the long busy days, that by the time you lay your head down you would fall fast asleep. Not so, not so. Oh how I wish it were so. But our minds, as tired as they are, just don’t shut off so easily. I know you feel me. I know you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.
You’re already thinking about what tomorrow will bring. What do you need to do tomorrow? Maybe you’re even planning the next few days or next week. Or maybe you’re like me and reflecting on the day you had and are frustrated with yourself because you dint get enough done or because of an argument you had with your spouse or even one (or all!) of your kids. Maybe you’re thinking about finances, the future, a child who is ill, a family dispute, or what ever it is, there always seem to be something. There is just so much to think about. Your mind is going a bazillion miles a minute and you can’t quiet it down!
You need sleep training.
And I’m going to share with you what I have learned in the hopes that it will help you too. Just like with babies and toddlers, our bodies rely heavily on routines, they thrive on them! They really do. I want you to try these tips for several weeks in a row. Watch what happens to your body when your body realizes what is happening. Your brain will recognize these steps and activities and associate them with sleep. Glorious, wonderful, deep, all night long, sleep!
Here are my 7 favorite tips to sleep train yourself. Again, I cannot stress enough, you have got to be CONSISTENT with this. It wont happen over night. Give it a few weeks. It will be soooo worth it! So here you go.
1. Diffuse essential oils.
About 15 minutes before you head to bed start your diffuser. This will allow the essential oils to disperse nicely in your room and for all those oil molecules to get in your bedding and in the air for your to breathe in. I highly recommend Lavender and Cedarwood for sleep because they are both oils that promote relaxation; they may help to relax your body and mind alike. I also throw in Thieves for some immune support while you are sleeping as well, just an extra tip there for ya. If you still need a diffuser and some essential oils, check out this post to learn how you can get your very own.
2. Apply Essential Oils.
I LOVE to apply Vetiver essential oil behind my ears and on my wrists before I go to sleep. As I am physically getting in bed, I apply my oils. I love it behind my ears and on my wrists because they are great locations for me to be able to smell them. My brain associates the smell of Vetiver with sleep. I also love to use Valerian essential oil. However, to be honest, I am not big on the smell of this essential oil, so if you use it you may want to put this on the bottoms of your feet instead lol. But I do know people who enjoy the smell and this is a super relaxing oil for them so I encourage you to give it a try. I don’t necessarily recommend Vetiver and Valerian at the same time. I would try one for a few weeks and see how your body responds and then if you want to try the other one out to see what difference it makes for you personally.
3. Sleep mask.
No joke, I use a sleep mask every single night. We sleep with our bedroom door open and the hallway light on because we still have little kids and it makes ME feel more comfortable knowing there is a light on for them if they wake up having to potty or from a bad dream. I also like my door open so that I can hear them (I’m a worrier as a mom. I worry they will fall off their bed or maybe even something worse, so I like to know I can hear them during the middle of the night if need be). There are two sleep masks that I keep in my bedroom. They do come off of me during the middle of the night and sometimes get buried in the blankets or end up under the bed (don’t ask) so I like to have a back up lol. I have two different ones I got from Amazon. Use your prime membership and get them sent to you asap. I have this one and this one. I love them both equally.
4. No tv, office, or exercise equipment in bedroom.
That’s right, nothing that your body/mind associates with being awake. Your body needs to recognize that the bedroom is a place for rest (and some adult activities if you get my drift). But that’s it. Nothing else. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary away from all other commotion and promote feelings of peace and calm and restfulness.
Your room should be quiet. You shouldn’t hear the tv that is still on downstairs, or the neighbors yelling at each other. I know some of these are not possible to control, but if you can control them, do it. I know some people sleep better with some white noise so you may prefer the constant hum of a fan or white noise machine. Sometimes this helps with drowning out the thoughts that seem to over power our quiet minds at times, or noise from those that are still awake. But nothing too loud or that will make you start thinking.
6. Deep breaths.
Breathing is so important to relaxation. Not only that but when you are breathing, if you focus on your body and the breathing, you are less likely for your mind to start wandering. Here is a helpful tip from the sleep foundation,
“Take a deep breath into your lower belly (not your chest) and feel your abdomen expand with air. Hold this for a few seconds and then release. Notice your belly rising and falling, and the air coming in and out a few times. Imagine the air filling up your abdomen, and then traveling out your airways, over and over. Continue to do this for a few minutes, focusing your mind back to your body and the breath coming in and out. Any time a thought crosses your mind, release that thought and refocus on the breath. Feel yourself relaxing even more deeply.” You can read more from the sleep foundation athttps://sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/content/relaxation-exercise
7. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day.
It’ll be hard at first but it’ll get easier when your body gets used to it. Even on the weekends. Your body will naturally get tired at the “bedtime” it gets accustomed to.
Well there you have it. Those are the 7 best tips I have and the things I personally do to get a better night’s sleep. It took a few weeks after implementing these, but once my body and mind caught on to what I was doing it has really made a difference in the amount of time it takes me to fall asleep and the quality of sleep I am getting. If you have any sleep tips you would like to share please leave a comment and let us know what works for you! Happy sleeping!
Still need your essential oils?
I do have to say one more time, I ONLY USE YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS. They are 100% pure. No pesticides touch the crops. There are no additives in the oils. No watering down. Distilled at the right time of year for the specific plant. They are distilled at the right temperature, for the right amount of time (no short cuts here). To read more about Young Living and their seed to seal guarantee go to www.seedtoseal.com and you will see why I only use them. PLUS, I cannot speak to the quality of other brands and can’t guarantee they will be any good at all.