It’s ironic that after a tough day it can be hard to get to sleep. Our minds sometimes refuse to slow down. Personally, I hate laying in bed with my brain running like a gerbil on an exercise wheel. This can happen at odd times – most often when the day was eventful but sometimes a movie will engage my imagination so much I start thinking about being part of the action onscreen and any hope of sleep disappears.
So how do you get to sleep when sleep won’t come? I recently scanned an article on the subject to see what others have tried. Of the 15 suggestions in the article, here are the ones that caught my attention:
- “Get up and do something for 10 minutes.” – The idea is to take your mind of the need for sleep. That might work but I’ll bet it depends on what you do. Reading might help but using the exercise bicycle is definitely out.
- “Hide your clock.” – Now this is one that really does help if you are a clock-watcher like me. When I’m stressed about the coming day, I will gaze at the clock and calculate how many hours or minutes I have until I have to get up and face the day. That is sure to sabotage any efforts at sleep.
- “Keep the bedroom cool.” – I absolutely agree on this one, especially during the summer months. Feeling too warm makes me want to fling off the bedclothes and find something to cool me down.
- “Wear socks to bed.” – This is the opposite of keeping cool but in winter chilly feet make me feel tense. I will happily get up and put on socks if it will help me drop off to sleep.
- “Immerse your face in very cold water.” – Say what?!? Whoever thought of adding this to the list must be a practical joker.
- “Include lavender or other soothing scents to the bedroom.” – Of course this is one I think is sure to help anyone who can’t sleep.
There are several ways to add a soothing aroma to your nighttime routine. I keep a spray bottle of water and lavender essential oil in the bathroom. I can put the spray on myself or my pillow. Having a covered bowl of potpourri in the bedroom is also good. Keeping the cover on during the day saves the scent for when you need it. At night, when you turn out the lights, remove the lid from the potpourri and stir the contents with your fingers to release the aroma. If you don’t care for potpourri, you can light a scented candle about 20 minutes before you lay down.
You can also create an herbal sleep pillow. This is a very old method of providing scent in your bedroom. A sleep pillow is a flat cloth envelope containing a mixture of dried herbs. The cloth envelope of herbs placed under your regular pillow will scent the air as you move around at night. Lavender and roses are a must in any sleep pillow. Other candidate herbs include rosemary, mints, southernwood, and hops. Add to them any other herb scent you find calming. If you think an envelope of herbs under your pillow might make your pillow lumpy, put them in a cloth bag and hang it on your headboard or leave it on your night stand.