5 Bedtime Solutions To Soothe A Busy Mind
Yoga, sleep headphones and Podcasts. 5 essential bedtime solutions to help you fall asleep on those nights when your mind has other plans.
This post contains affiliate links; this means I receive a referral fee if you make a purchase using these links, which allows me to remain well caffeinated and continue to bring you more about life with MS.
I have suffered from sleep problems for most of my life. For me, the biggest problem is getting to sleep because of all the day’s worries and plans would come flooding back once my head hits my pillow. Over the years I have managed to find some bedtime solutions that have helped soothe my busy mind and help get me to sleep in no time which I’d like to share with you.
1. Lavender oil and diffuser
If you read an article about sleep hygiene, you will see that creating an inviting environment is important. Before I even get into bed, I get my environment ready.
The worst part of insomnia for me is when you begin to develop anxiety, and just the mere sight of your bed fills you with dread. For this reason, making my bedroom relaxing and inviting is my first priority
Lavender is known to have a calming effect and can also help aid headaches. It is widely used in many sleep products, my favourite way to apply lavender to my bedtime routine is through adding three or four drops to my aroma diffuser.
An electric diffuser with a sleep timer is my preferred choice for bedtime as they turn off on their own. You don’t have to worry about blowing out candles before going to sleep or open flames and oil in your room. They come with dim mood lighting in a variety of colours so you can still achieve soft lighting that a candle provides.
Zaq have a beautiful range of diffusers and essential oils which you can purchase over at Amazon through our affiliate link.
2. Bedtime yoga routine
Yoga has many relaxing and restorative poses which are perfect to end the day. I used to practice my bedtime yoga routine on a mat in my room. I have started to move my practice onto my bed so I can transition straight into sleep.
There are many yoga sequences to choose from, I’ve added a link to one of my favourites here. I’ve since added a few of my favourite poses to this routine, such as happy baby, child’s pose and reclined goddess.
I use the Yoga Studio app by Gaiam which allows you to save your own custom classes to help guide me through my routine.
Find what works for you and make adaptations along the way. Pinterest has thousands of ideas and examples for bed yoga routines that you can try.
3. Yoga Nidra – Yogic Sleep
Yoga Nidra is also known as yogic sleep or guided relaxation. Yoga Nidra helps you achieve a deep state of relaxation.
I follow recorded classes from an online yoga studio called Yogaia. Live classes are available, but as I am in a different time zone to scheduled classes, I use the recorded sessions. If you’re fortunate enough to be in the same time zone, join in on the live classes, I highly recommend it. The live classes and the ability to interact with an instructor who guides your practice from home makes this program quite unique.
Even though I join the pre-recorded classes, each session feels different and personalised. The studio is set-up with candles and adds to the atmosphere of relaxation I’ve created for myself at home.
Generally, in meditation, you’re not meant to fall asleep, but that’s totally ok in Yoga Nidra. I fall asleep 3 times out of 5. If I don’t, it’s because I had a lot on my mind before bedtime. On the occasions that I don’t fall asleep, I finish in a very relaxed state and typically drift off soon after.
Yogaia has a monthly subscription fee, so if you are looking for free Yoga Nidra recordings or guided meditations, you can find plenty on youtube.
* I practice yoga, but my knowledge of yoga principles is limited. If I’ve used any of the terminologies incorrectly my apologies. Corrections or suggestions to help with insomnia are welcome in the comments section.
4. Sleep with me Podcast
Sleep With Me podcast is something I discovered while I was being taken off some medication that helped with my sleep. For anyone who has detoxed from any kind of drug, you would know that trying to sleep naturally without it is hell in the beginning.
I think it was 3 am one night and I had gone through every sleep app under the sun with no success. I used to use a thunderstorm sound app in the past, but that just wasn’t helping anymore. After two nights of no sleep, I started to explore podcasts to fill in time during those long agonising nights. This is where the Sleep With Me podcast came up as a recommendation in my feed.
The first night I listened to it I thought it was weird and the presenter’s droning voice annoyed me a bit.
On night two at 2 am, I went back to give it another try. It worked a treat and lulled me away into dreamland through a dull retelling of last night’s episode of game of thrones (game of drones). Now I listen to this podcast almost every night. On the nights I can’t sleep the podcast is like a friend in the deep dark night. Oh, and the presenter’s voice is not annoying. It’s become a comfort and a friend.
Sleep With Me is a free podcast with voluntary patronage available through Patreon.
5. Sleep Headphones
Listening to music or podcasts in bed if you have a partner or need fully immersive sound means earbuds. Earbuds equal little nuggets of pain digging into your head, defeating the purpose of listening to something to help you sleep.
This is when Sleep headphones came to my rescue.
Sleep headphones are a washable headband with soft, removable speakers inside. There are a few different brands available.
I purchased the Bluetooth SleepPhones from Acoustic Sheep which is more expensive but means no cords to get tangled up in. Essential if you’re someone who tosses and turns a lot at night. I’ve had my SleepPhones for several years now and has become one of those things I can’t live without.
If you have your own sleep tools, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Good night and sleep well.