Friday, 27 December 2013

And sleep. Just sleep.

Sleep? What's that? Lol.
Something that has a huge impact on mental health for a start. Lack of sleep can be associated with all sorts of things, from mood swings to digestive issues and on to irritability via headaches and paranoia (or pianos apparently according to predictive text lol).
I fail at sleep, I always have. And the worse in doing mentally the worse I sleep.... and the worse I sleep the worse I do mentally, rather annoying that! But since in fairly certain that's not just me I figured I'd share a few things I find helpful.
*Note* evidently these aren't the perfect solution or I wouldn't be posting about lack of sleep! Nor do I always follow them. I have done no research specifically for this post so this certainly doesn't qualify as professional advice, it's just things that help me. If sleep is a major issue for you please consult a medical professional not some sleep deprived crazy person on the Internet :p*

- it's generally not good to eat a huge meal just before bed but equally being hungry or thirsty is something that frequently keeps me awake. A drink and a snack before bed may help (in aware this is easier said than done in some cases).
- similarly of I notice any discomfort hunger/thirst/being too hot/needing to pee etc. I find trying to ignore it will just lead to ruminating and obsessing over it.
- routine. This is one thing the professional advice does say. I'm quite good at this nowadays. Pajamas, teeth, cuppa, say goodnight to the dog (:p), meds, sleep.
- try not to get into text/messenger conversions close to bed time. I'm not one to discourage being sociable but yea, it's so easy to just get sucked in and suddenly find it's one in the morning and you're both shattered... I'm bad at this one!
- 'adult night lights'. Generally darkness is advised, and I do prefer it really, but if im having a really crappy night then a lava lamp/fibre optic lamp/anything similar can help drag my mind away from its silly spiral and back to the physical world.
- speaking of which there are mindfulness and meditation tracks and exercises designed specifically for bedtime. It's a bit trial and error finding the right one so I'll let you Google for yourself.  Incidentally, general mindfulness practice claims to help with sleep.
- background noise. I hate sleeping in silence. Although some people are the complete opposite I know. Noise is usually the sound track to one of the comedy panel shows on iplayer. This is probably a poor choice tbh lol. Other options could be the aforementioned mindfulness tracks, white noise, music, nature sounds etc.
- writing a diary.... sometimes. This is a difficult one sometimes writing a diary can help to dump the brain crap and make my head quieter, sometimes it just puts it to the front of my mind. And since I haven't written a diary for a long time it's probably irrelevant.
- cuddly toys. I'm nearly twenty five, I still have a teddy. I don't care if it's childish he came all the way to Mexico with me :p. It's a comfort thing, it's a grounding thing, it's an associative thing. Plus he's cute Hehe.
- doing something productive before bed. Even if it's something silly, it just helps feel a little more accomplished and a little less useless....and a little more like I've earned sleep (I have issues with deliberate sleep deprivation as a form of self-punishment... particularly if i'm not self harming in other ways. I'm working on it lol).

Oh ramble ramble! I should be trying to sleep instead of writing about it (turn off all electrical gadgets at bed time that's a good one!). Picture is my 'grown up' (honest!) Mexican night light, it projects images on the ceiling :). X