Guess who just saw Zoolander for the first time really recently?? This lady, who also sucks at sleeping. Sometimes it’s stress, and sometimes you’re just a hopeless insomniac, or romantic, or something. I’m terrible at getting to sleep, so I thought I’d put together this little list of things that work for me or seem to make a difference. Most nights.
Avoid caffeine after 2 pm, and most importantly, stay on a regular sleep schedule. Pick a time to get up every morning, and get up at that same time every day. Your body will let you know when it needs to go to sleep if it knows when it needs to wake up. Below are some things that can help you adjust, or help you out when you can’t keep a consistent schedule.
Pukka Sleep Tea is DELICIOUS, and really does work well. It has lavender flowers, which “they” say are relaxing, and I think I’ve written about this before so I’ll stop now.
Valerian Root tea: Very stinky, tastes ok, and very efficacious. Brew it with a lid over it for at least 10 minutes, and it’ll knock you off your feet and into the land of sweet, sweet dreams.
L-Tryptophan: This is the amino acid that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. I take up to 1500 mg, which will generally put me out (unless I’m under a lot a lot of stress).
Melatonin: Pretty standard stuff; you can get this anywhere. Your brain makes this when it’s time to sleep (or doesn’t, in my case). I take 10-15 mg, on different nights from the tryptophan. They are more effective when you switch them out.
Sleep mask: I like this fancy one from Catbird NYC, but the nice bamboo ones from the health food store will do as well if you don’t want to look like a kitty cat. I cannot sleep if there is even a sliver of light anywhere, so I keep these everywhere I may conceivably try to sleep some day.
Organic sheets from Gaiam: I don’t think these actually help you sleep, but they’re so so soft and wonderful, and organic and good for the Earth. The Earth likes that I have these, right? (Pro tip: Buy these on sale.)
Acure lavender body lotion: The aromatherapeutic benefits of lavender are stress-relief and relaxation, so the more lavender before bed, the better. This lotion has a lighter, sweeter lavender scent than a lot of the really cloying lavender products out there. It sinks in fast so you won’t grease up your sheets.
DIY sleep mist: You can spray this on your linens, in your room, and even on your self. It also doubles as anti-stink bathroom spray. You need a glass spray bottle; (no plastic, since this has essential oils). Cover the bottom of the bottle with about 1/10 inch, or just very small amount, of vegetable glycerin. In that, you can mix about 10 drops of lavender essential oil (for a 4 oz bottle; less drops if smaller bottle), on its own, or add 5-10 drops of another essential oil. Lavender combines well with rose and ylang ylang, but the interwebs have many ideas for scent combinations with lavender as well.
And finally, Ravi Shankar. Don’t judge. Sweet dreams.