LIFE // What to do when you really can't sleep

Thursday, 13 August 2015



Having anxiety can sometimes get in the way of life, particularly your sleep. Often you'll be awake with negative thoughts of the day plaguing your mind. Here are some things I've found that help me.

Read a book
Reading can be a calming way to distract yourself from anything that's on your mind. It's just so easy to escape into the pages of a great book. Whether it's a gripping page-turner, funny autobiography or an old favourite book, eventually your eyes will get nicely tired and you'll feel ready to sleep.

Stop browsing social media
I think a lot of people these days can't switch off, often checking their feeds on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram first thing when they wake up in the morning and right before they go to bed. When you're in a terrible frame of mind and other people on your feed appear to be having the time of their lives, it's bound to make you feel even worse. People using social networking websites are only showing you the parts of their life they want you to see: edited, filtered and at the most flattering angles. If you're constantly tweeting, photographing and posting to prove how much of a good time you're having, how much of a good time can you really be having? Switch off - I doubt you're missing much.

Meditation really works
I know how new-age-hippie this sounds, but believe me when I say that meditation is a really great way to relax before bed. When I first tried it, I was a complete sceptic who didn't believe it would really help me at all. I've tried a couple of different guided meditation apps, but my favourite is iSleep Easy - Meditations for Restful Sleep. What I really like about this one is that you can mix up different meditation and breathing exercises to create your perfect bedtime meditation playlist. The voice of the woman who reads these meditation tapes is very relaxing and somewhat hypnotic. You can even choose to put the sounds of rain or the sea in the background of your playlist.

Colouring in: Not just for kids
Adult life if busy and stressful of times. You may have a lot of priorities like a full time job or perhaps higher education. Colouring in is probably not one of those priorities, but have you ever noticed how calm and focused children can be with crayons and a colouring book in front of them? Art therapy is a real, proven way of helping many people to express themselves and overcome their mental health issues. There are lots of lovely colouring books you can buy now, which can be the most fantastic relaxation tools. I recently picked up a copy of Colour Yourself Calm: A Mindfulness Colouring Book, which has so far helped me to de-stress at times when I get worked up with anxiety. Each page has a beautiful mandala to colour, with a corresponding meaning or quote.

Upset? Write it down
Sometimes, you might have those terrible nights where you can't sleep because the negative thoughts are slowly creeping one by one into your mind, until your face feels hot and you want to scream, but just start sobbing instead. Its good to have a journal to vent in at times like this. Knock Knock sell some really great ones like 'I Can't Sleep: A journal for passing the time when insomnia strikes and my brain is circling in on itself, cannibalising the trivialities of the day and exaggerating the ticking of the clock, reminding me that every minute spent awake is another minute closer to when I'll have to wake up, though many of the great artists and sages were insomniacs and that's part of how they got so much done, so if I can't sleep I might as well write and channel my misery into something productive' - If this sounds like you, maybe it would be worth investing in this book.

Remember: Everything seems worse late at night
My mum would always tell me this, and whenever I'm crying because I can't sleep, I'll suddenly remember. It's true - Your problems feel so much bigger alongside the weight of other thoughts and all of the things you have to face when tomorrow comes. Sleep is a healing process, and everything will feel much better when you wake up in the morning.

8 comments:

  1. Reading a book really helps me! Or drinking warm milk hehe.. xx Thanks for the tips!

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    1. Hey, no worries. I've never tried the warm milk thing since I prefer dairy-free alternatives, but I don't think those would taste very nice warmed up. I like a good cup of herbal tea before bed though, like valerian or camomile - That tends to do the trick!

      ♡ Emily x

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  2. Great tips. I agree with everything you said about social media too, when you're feeling bad seeing everyone posting happy go lucky photos or statuses is just the worst. Definitely doesn't make me feel any better!

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. The thing is, people are only ever going to project the bits of their life they want people to see, and sometimes it's going to make you feel like everyone else is having a much better time than you. But who knows, they could actually be totally insecure themselves and feel the need to share things to get 'likes' to feel better about things. It's scary how much of our lives are lived online now.

      ♡ Emily x

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  3. Absolutely love this post. I really want one of those Colour Yourself Calm books.. but all the tips are honestly so helpful. Well done ♡♡♡ sharing this on my twitter.

    http://thedalmatinka.com/

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you've found this helpful

      ♡ Emily x

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  4. Great tips here! Love the idea of colouring before bed, need to grab myself a book!

    www.ohjanuary.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Do it - They're really good! There's a gorgeous Paris themed one I've seen that really want to buy.

      ♡ Emily x

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