Sleepless Nights

 Dried Chamomile Buds-A perfect companion to restlessness

Dried Chamomile Buds-A perfect companion to restlessness

I was recently in Florida to stay in my mother’s house, which has been abandoned for 2 years.  You might be thinking: abandoned? Why would she want to stay there? Well, I am stubborn, I wanted my own space, and she told me it wasn’t so bad. She bombed it for bugs before I arrived, and has left the air on to avoid mold. How bad could it be? Well..this city gal is not as country as she might think. Dead bugs were everywhere. Spiders, flies, lizards, and unknowns were hidden in all the nooks and crannies. Not to mention the bat carcass I found on my second day. Now you might want to know how the hell I managed to sleep in this environment-The first night was the most difficult, but even in the state of things, I knew I would not function properly the next morning if I did not get some rest. I burned sage, santo palo, lit candles, and prayed. I stripped the bed of all the linens, and threw them in the washer. I slept on the mattress with my sweater as a blanket, and prayed for the morning to come. When it did, I cleaned this place like no other. Things were feeling better, and I was more relaxed. However, when nightfall approached, I was scared out of my wits.  It was so QUIET.  I was paranoid about bugs, bears, and rapists!  Howwas I ever going to get to sleep?  I had to coach myself by saying, “Chase, you are just in the woods.  You are not going to die.  Everything is fine!”

Seems extreme, but I think anyone would have shared these fears.  The good news is, not only did I sleep, I got 9 hours the first 2 nights!  Since then, I have been disrupted by raccoons on a few occasions, but I am steadily getting 7-8 hours a night.  Back in NYC, I suffered from a bout of insomnia.  It was excruciating. The insomnia came simply from worrying about this trip, my future, and my job. These are common worries that most people fret over surely, but my appetite was destroyed, my energy levels depleted, and my emotional state was a mess.  I was desperate. I share my story about Florida because it’s a lighter one, but there is nothing funny about not sleeping.  

Tools to combat sleepless nights:

  1. No caffeine after lunch, not even green/black teas. NO SODA.
  2. Do not eat before bed, give your body time to start the digestion process before you get horizontal. I’d suggest no food 2 hours before sleep.
  3. Have some herbal tea about an hour before bed.  If you wake up to pee regularly, skip this step. Uninterrupted sleep is what we you trying to achieve.
  4. Soak your feet or take a hot bath for at least 20 mins.  Use essential oils or salts if it enhances your bath time.
  5. Massage your feet.  My acupuncturist suggested this and it’s helpful.  Diagram attached.
  6. If you’ve got things from the day hanging in your mind, write it down.  A journal is one of the most helpful tools for mental relief.  
  7. Light a candle, or some intense just before bed.  This way your brain starts to get a signal that its wind down time.  If you stick with this ritual, you will see results.
  8. Stay away from cell phone, computer, and television screens just before sleep.  The LCD light is infectious and makes you think we need to be UP!
  9. Keep TV, phone, and computer in another room.  Disconnect completely.
  10. Read a book.  If you are used to watching tv, switch to a good book.

These are my top 10 tricks.  I hope you can find some relief!  We are all busy people with tall agendas, but without proper rest, we are doing a major disservice to our mind and body.  You can drink green juice all day, but without sleep, it’s no use.  Check this link for a breathing exercise that works. http://youtu.be/gz4G31LGyog

This is the point on your foot you want to massage before getting into bed.  I like to do it while in the bath so I can get into bed just after!

Chase ElderComment