How to Beat Insomnia and Actually Sleep Every Night

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Please remember that the advice and opinions given on this website and in correspondence with correlated email addresses such as hello@simoneclement.com are anecdotal and unprofessional. I am not a doctor, I am not a therapist, and I am not a healthcare professional. Consult a doctor before doing any of the recommended activities on this blog.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

You’re laying in bed.

 

Tossing and turning….mind going 1000 mph.

 

And for the life of you, you just can’t seem to quiet your mind and fall asleep.

 

It can be VERY frustrating.

Especially if you have to work in the morning.

You’ll just watch the clock.

 

Getting angrier and more frustrated. The bang-your-head-on-the-wall, down-on-your-knees-praying kind of frustrated.

 

Until you give up and decide to watch TV for a few hours before falling asleep on the couch.

 

At 5am.

 

So if you opened this article to find a quick fix to this problem….

You’re in the wrong place.

 

But if you’re willing to develop the habits, and use the tools to truly put insomnia in its place once and for all, you’re in the right place!

Yay!

 

Table of Contents:

How to cure insomnia

  1. Go to bed at the same time every night
  2. Use an eye mask and earplugs
  3. Use these mindfulness tricks
  4. Drink relax or sleepytime tea
  5. Use Aromatherapy or humidifiers
  6. Stop using all electronics before bed
  7. Don't take naps after 4 pm
  8. Wake up at the same time every day
  9. Use a WEIGHTED BLANKET! Yay!
  10. Have some mindfulness/output time
  11. Exercise every day
  12. Follow a strict bedtime routine
  13. Read boring books before bed
  14. Don't try to fall asleep for more than 20 mins
  15. Go get some Vitamin cottage help

What NOT to do

 

 

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insomnia remedies:

 

1. Go to bed at the same time every night

 

The trick here would be to go to bed at the same time every night. But I know the weekends are difficult.

I end up going out with friends, or staying up late with my boyfriend watching a movie…and eventually ruining my sleep schedule.

So then, Sunday rolls around and I’m up till midnight begging my body to fall asleep!

To combat what I call the Sunday night insomnia, I do a couple of really-important-can’t-skip-them things.

 

Firstly, I exercise (#6 below). Early in the afternoon or early morning. I exercise hard too. Because just a light jog around the block won’t help me.

 

Secondly, I get really serious about my bedtime routine (#7 below).

Often my bedtime routine falls apart a little on Friday and Saturday nights. But on Sunday I get serious.

 

Thirdly, and as a last resort I take a sleeping pill. I don’t like taking sleeping pills for many reasons…reasons which you probably already know (e.g. dependence issues, health issue, grogginess the next morning).

 

But I do take the pill sometimes. Mostly because I prefer to give myself a little nudge rather than skip my morning work hours (I blog at 5am before work!!).

 

BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR. SERIOUSLY FOLKS, I'M NOT A DOCTOR! 

 

Moral of the story? Yes you need to keep the same sleep schedule. Yes there is a little wiggle room, but you’ve got to compensate for the slack, especially if you suffer from bad insomnia.

 

For related reading check out: 9 Secrets to Curing Acne Naturally

 

2. Get an eye mask and some earplugs.

 

Part of good sleep is blocking out all noise and light.

Personally I use the ear plugs EVERY NIGHT, without fail.

In fact, I can’t sleep without them anymore. Check these out here at amazon:

 

3. Use these mindfunless & breathing tricks if you can't sleep

 

  • Use the calm app from iTunes or Google Play. This app has 30-minute guided meditations to help you relax your body and mind for sleep.

 

  • The second mindfulness trick is one my boyfriend used to beat insomnia he had in adolescence and introduced to me. It works wonders, and it’s really fun.
    • The idea is to imagine a beautiful thing in your mind. Something that makes you feel happy (but not excited) and calm. For example, he used to imagine taking his future child to an amusement park that he went to as a child.
    • I, for example, imagine our house decorated exactly as I want it to (without allowing myself to think about money limits, cause those stress me out).
    • Another example I sometimes do, is I imagine my perfect day, or my dream house.
    • There are no limits to this imagination trick. The only rule is you have to focus completely on this exercise, you can’t allow your mind to wander AT ALL.
    • For example, if you do the imagine your perfect day exercise you have to focus on every step you take from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep.

 

  • The 4-2-6 breathing technique helps center your mind. Breathe in through the nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of two, and exhale for a count of 6-8. As you go you’ll realize that your breath gets deeper. This breathing technique is an awesome insomnia remedy.

 

 

4. Drink "relax" tea before bed

A very awesome alternative to sleeping pills is a nice relax or sleepytime tea. You can find this at any local grocery store.

 

Another great idea is a sleep elixir. I was suffering from extreme anxiety, which was causing my insomnia. I just couldn’t relax. Then I found this AMAZING book by a French guy to heals people with plants!

 

 

This book gives recipes for making your own sleep elixir at home. Or you can check out his website for local distributors. I found one near my home in Madrid, Spain and the little potion bottles are a godsend!

 

They help me feel relaxed and unwind after a day, out in the world, feeling anxious.

 

 

5. Aromatherapy and Humidifiers

 

My humidifier is an essential in dry Madrid. I put a couple drops of essential oil to top it off. I use lavender, drip a couple of drops into the diffuser or humidifier and off you go!

 

Essential oils that are good for sleep include: lavender, sandalwood, bergamot, and cedarwood.

 

6. Stop electronics before bed

 

TV, tablet, computer, phone, etc….all off ideally an hour before bedtime…unideally 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

 

7. Don't take naps after 4 pm

 

Pretty self-explanatory.

 

Also don’t drink coffee after 4pm.

 

Also also finish drinking your 8 cups of water at least 2 hours before bedtime. That way you don’t wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

 

 

8. Wake up at the same time every day

 

Same as above! I understand this is not always possible…

 

...sometimes we NEED to sleep in. Otherwise we might start throwing rocks at innocent people who walk past our houses.
 

Establish a set wake-up time during the week…and then allow yourself to break your own rule, when you just need to sleep in on Saturday.

 

 

9. Use Weighted Blankets

 

Thank you universe…for creating this!

 

What are weighted blankets!

Why they are exactly what they sound like!! Blankets that weigh more than normal blankets :).

 

They can be filled with any number of things such as rice, plastic beads, or glass beads. They are stitched into a blanket and produce a calming effect.

 

They are popular in the autism community, but also help people with insomnia, PTSD, anxiety, sleep disorders, and ADHD.

 

If this sound like something you could benefit from, you can buy one here:

 

 

If that price scares you…You can also make your own by following this post:

 

 

10. Mindfulness or "output" time

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If you go to bed and immediately your mind starts racing like crazy thinking of all the things you need to get done, or past memories, or just random stuff it could be that you’re lacking enough time in your daily life to reflect, and to relax your mind.

 

Try practicing mindfulness and allowing some space for your thoughts to flourish.

 

If you’re constantly on input mode during the day, radio, TV, music, people, etc…try allowing your mind some output time!

This is especially true for creative types who have a swiftly creating mind.

You’ve gotta give yourself time to breathe, and time for your mind to explore and create.

 

If you do practice mindfulness try not to control every thought you have or even stamp it out…try instead to get curious about your mind and watch where it leads you…breathing all the while.

 

11. Do at least 30 minds of exercise at least 2 hours before bedtime

 

Exercise is THE most important aspect of sleep hygiene. And perhaps the most important aspect of mental health.

 

Developing an exercise routine is essential to living a balanced and healthy life. If you’re like me and you don’t really like to exercise.

Here are some tips to help you develop a routine that fits your personality:

 

Firstly, find exercise that doesn’t really feel like exercise. Great example of this are dance classes, TRE exercises (It’s like your body exercises and you can just relax and let it happen!), playing with your dog or children, cleaning or organizing the house (Two birds. One awesome stone.), taking long hikes with family or friends.

 

Secondly, develop a strict exercise habit. 

If you don’t aleady have an exercise habit, check out my good habit creator journal.

It walks you step-by-step through the process of creating and sticking to bad habits. Hint: it’s not only about will-power…which let’s face it…works for about a month.

 

If you can’t exercise because you’re sick, pregnant, or otherwise unable to exercise this is when you need to develop an arsenal using all of the things we mentioned in the article. Make a sleep plan for those days when you can’t exercise!

 

 

 

 

 

12. Develop a strict bedtime routine

 

Great things to add to your bedtime routine include:

  • bubble baths (lukewarm! Not too hot as body temperature can affect sleep)
  • light bedtime yoga or stretching
  • face and body hygiene routine (washing face, brushing teeth, etc.)
  • face masks
  • laying out tomorrow’s outfit
  • reading (#11 above)
  • preparing my bag or purse
  • and cuddling with my puppy

Things to avoid:

  • deep or controversial discussions with loved-ones
  • television
  • cell phone or other screens
  • exciting books
  • and anything that causes the opposite of relaxation

Extra tip:

Print out and post your bedtime routine to help keep yourself on track. And set an alarm on your phone to remind you to start your bedtime routines at the same time every night!

Extra extra tip:

Developing a routine is very much about trial and error. If you create a bedtime routine that doesn’t exactly work on the first night don’t adapt yourself to the routine…adapt the routine to you!

Figure out how long it takes to do each item and be flexible in adding or taking things away, moving them around, or changing the amount of time you allow for them.

Being flexible at the beginning is essential to building an effective bedtime routine!

 

 

13. Read bording or non-fiction books before bed

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14. Don't stay in bed for longer than 20 minutes

 

Sitting in bed staring at the ceiling is not going to help you get a good night’s rest.

 

If you can’t fall asleep, get up and do a low excitement, low light activity such as reading or writing in a journal.

 

Avoid TV, doing work, looking at your phone, and AVOID EATING as it starts your metabolic system!

 

 

15. Get somme vitamin cottage help!

 

Sometimes we need just an extra nudge. Over-the-counter solutions such as melatonin are a great solution to sleep problems.

Magnesium sprays are also great for insomnia.

Talk with your doctor about what might be right for you!

 

 

what not to do:

 

1.       If you can’t fall asleep….whatever you do, don’t eat! Eating resets the metabolism and can cause more problems getting back into the right sleep rhythm.

2.       Eat right before sleeping. Finish eating dinner 3 hours before bedtime. Small snacks are ok.

3.       Have coffee after 4pm.

4.       Eat two hours or less before bedtime.

5.       Smoke cigarettes before sleeping.

6.       Use electronic devices 1 hour before sleeping.

7.       Read thrilling or overly interesting novels.

 

In the comment section below let me know...what has worked for you?

 
 
 
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