I wasn’t always a bad sleeper.
When we were young and even right up until I left home after high school, we were made to go to bed by 8:30pm. Phone calls (on an actual landline) were not allowed to be made or received after 8am.
I remember thinking it was soooooooo stupid. I wasn’t tired and I wanted to talk to my bestie (and trail the long curly phone cord down the hallway and away from listening ears of course. I mean, we’d be probably talking about that cute boy in class, or something about Jesus. I know the 2 topics seem such a contrast but hey, we were teenagers not nuns).
I’d get up at 6am because I had gone to bed so early. I remember thinking this is weird.
When I went to uni I continued the practice out of habit and I actually loved it. While my room mates were sleeping in until lunch time, I was rested for class and accomplished heaps in my morning.
Then I get engaged.
And got a job to pay for the wedding.
That job was cleaning offices.
At ridiculous hours of the night.
And that was where my late nights started to creep in.
Once I became a mother and I was going into my 2nd year of running my coaching biz, I would stay up after Flynn had gone to sleep and would do all the things.
It became normal for me to also want ‘me time’ then.
I started to get sick continually.
Last week, I decided that sleep needed to take a priority. I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t functioning very well, my decision making was cloudy and I was losing my passion for all things business. (And that sucks because I actually love doing what I do here and coaching all my lovely clients).
So I started going to bed earlier. The first night I went to bed at 8:30pm and the nights after that I went to bed at least before 9:30pm.
And you know what happened as a result?
I was getting up earlier. I started to make time for the things that mattered like connecting with God and then having a small amount of time to get my best blog work done before the boys would get up for the day. Sometimes I go to yoga or meditate. Getting up earlier meant I was getting my ‘me’ time in and in a way that set me up for the rest of the day.
And for the first time in a long time, I felt my body ramp up for wellness. Before I felt like I was going to get sick any minute…
Now I get that some of you may not have this luxury of going to bed early and then getting up early. Perhaps your child doesn’t sleep through or you work shifts but here’s the thing:
We make time for the things that matter to us.
It’s actually true.
And when we procrastinate, we’re hiding what is deep down inside. Those deep desires.
It doesn’t even have to be work related. We could even procrastinate on connecting with our anxiety and listening to the messages it sends us.
Now I get it, anxiety can have you kept up at all hours of the night. For some it may make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
So here are some tips on how to get a good night’s sleep when you have anxiety:
Drink warm milk with some soothing herbs in it.
This is not a sponsored post. I just love this product in particular by The Beauty Chef called ‘Sleep Inner Beauty Powder.’ To be honest, when I bought it, I was sceptical. I had tried a few sleep powders before but this one actually works! It uses passionflower and lemon balm all which have been used to traditionally promote sleep in Western herbal medicine. It does have turmeric in it, which I personally love. (Just don’t spill it all over your pyjamas like I did! Did you know turmeric is still used to this day to dye clothing? There you go, now you can see my dilemma ha ha ha).
Write down the things that are bothering you or are on your to-do list. Then look at each of the worries in particular and write down the best case scenario, the worst case scenario and what you can do about it.
I’ve started to do this regularly (and now do it so well I can do it on the run, in the car, or wherever I might be melting down). My most recent one was where I was stressing about giving a message at Kids’ Church. I wanted to make it ‘just right’ so that the kids would take something away. Then I went into ‘I’m not a good Christian mode. I feel like such a hypocrite. I shouldn’t be the one to give the message. How about if they don’t like it?’ So I did these questions. Best case scenario: The kids take something away from it. Worst Case Scenario: I have to read off a script. What can I do about it? I can pray. I can understand that I’m not trying to impress anyone, I’m trying to guide these beautiful kids to know God and to know him deeply and I can do my best.
Turn off technology.
Technology mimics sunlight and when you are on it right up until bedtime it sends your body a message that it is still time to be awake, hours after you’ve turned the technology off.
If you’re currently using technology to cover up your anxious feelings perhaps you can replace it with the warm milk and journal combo. If that sounds too simple and you still feel the urge to cover up, put the technology out of sight and for a while replace it with something that actually feels nourishing that won’t keep you up at night. A book, playing some relaxing music, playing a board game, heck hugging a loved one even sounds pretty bliss to me!
Sleep is such a vital building block to your health and helping you with your anxiety. Make it a priority and you’ll start reaping the benefits. I know I have!
Oh and P.S if your anxiety could send you one more message it would say: You all know how I love drinking coffee (artisan and preferably brewed by hipsters of course), but seriously, quit drinking caffeine at night, it’s keeping you up. Love you xx.
If you’d love help figuring out why your anxiety is keeping you up at night then get on a call with me to find out how not only can you get your sleep happening but find ways to live anxiety free. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you loved the post please use the buttons below as well.