Anyone who suffers from a chronic illness, will almost definitely have suffered from insomnia as well – and anyone else can also suffer with it too! Insomnia is extremely common and can affect one in every three people in the UK*.
I find that when insomnia is at its worst, it’s usually when I’m having a particularly bad time with my ME/CFS. It’s hardly surprising though – when I’m ill, I struggle to expend any energy and so I end up staying on the sofa all day, or worse, barely even making it out of bed. This consequently makes it VERY difficult to sleep at night and I can be awake until the early hours of the morning, sometimes later, struggling to sleep. Therefore, the following day I am ill again, and it just goes on and on until I finally break the pattern.
Over the few years I’ve been ill, both with glandular fever and ME/CFS, I have managed to come up with a few things that can help with insomnia. I’m not saying these are definitely going to work, because they might not, and it definitely won’t just disappear so long as you do these, but you may find some just help you get a decent night’s sleep now and again.
Valerian is my number one go to medicine if I’m struggling to sleep. It is in so many calming and sleeping remedies, but I find it better to just taken the straight homeopathic pills instead. Just one or two of these in an evening will help you relax and get to sleep in no time! You can read more about homeopathic medicines on my Treatments and Remedies page.
2. Fast Asleep Spray
This is another of my go-to sleep remedies, and it is quite literally a spray, to help you sleep. It’s one of the Bach Flower Remedies and just a couple of squirts of this on your tongue will ensure a good nights sleep! You can buy this here.
Lavender is PERFECT for helping you to sleep! Just light a lavender candle, or have a hot bath or shower with some lavender soap and it will help you distress and relax instantly!
4. Short Walk in the Early Evening
A short walk earlier in the evening can really help to use up some excess energy, especially if you haven’t been particularly active that day. Juts try it – it might surprise you!
5. Wake Up / Get Up Early
This is a fairly straightforward one but waking up earlier and actually getting out of bed earlier in the morning means you spend more time awake throughout the day, meaning you are more likely to sleep through the night. I recommend trying to get into a routine of getting up at the same time every morning, and going to bed at the same time every night.
6. No Naps Through the day!
This goes along with the previous one – the less time you spend in bed/sleeping through the day, the more time you might spend sleeping at night!
7. No TV / electronics at least an hour before bed
Everyone will tell you this but I swear no one actually does it… checking instagram is far too addictive! But it actually does help if you don’t watch TV/go on your laptop right before you try and sleep – just an hour in between could make a massive difference.
8. Mindful activity during wind down
If I’m struggling to sleep I always try and practice some mindfulness. I have a colouring book and a dot to dot book which helps me concentrate on the present moment and prevents me from worrying about the past day or the day ahead! You can here more about Mindfulness here!
9. Avon Pillow Mist
I LOVE this product! I bought this a couple of years ago and use it any time I’m struggling to sleep and within minutes I can feel my eyes closing and my mind relaxing.
10. Counting breaths – Mindfulness
This goes hand in hand with number 8; counting breaths is a form of mindfulness and is one that I find extremely effective. I like to count on for 4 counts, and out for 7 – just try it!
So there are 10 ways to help insomnia! If you suffer with it yourself and decide to try some of these out, please let me know how you get on! And if you have any other suggestions, fee free to comment below with them!
*Source: NHS, Insomnia