Lately, it seems we have been inundated with so many disturbing news – the stalled economy, threats to world peace, bomb threats, droughts and natural disasters… the list can be overwhelming. Even a prepper who has done as much as he or she is able to, can’t help but worry if it’s enough. These worries can lead to sleepless nights, filled with relentless, upsetting, doom-filled thoughts causing you toss and turn your way into the next morning.
A lot of people seem to be having this same problem: some just live with it, others take prescription anxiety medicine, and some others take non prescription sleep aids. Sleep is so important to health and well-being. Lack of sleep was even found to contribute to weight gain. To rule out any physical reasons for lack of sleep, see a doctor. I had a recent checkup and the doctor said lack of sleep was a common complaint among all his patients. He named stress as the main reason. I decided to find out about non pharmaceutical methods to help get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few ideas that seem to work:
1. Get into a comforting routine close to bedtime. Take a warm shower, sip some camomile tea, or read a mindless novel. Try something soothing that will get you to slow down and relax.
2. Go to sleep the same time every night. By keeping to the same schedule on weekends and week nights, your body’s internal clock will adapt to sleeping and waking at a consistent time.
3. Keep your room dark at night. Living in an apartment in an urban area, we get a lot of light filtering in from neighboring buildings. The apartment also keeps bright lights outside for safety reasons, which is a good thing, but too much light affects sleep. We installed “blackout curtains” over the apartment blinds to keep the bright lights outside from affecting our sleep.
4. Exercise daily. I find that I sleep a lot better when I do some form of exercise daily. Otherwise I wake up at 2 am and am unable to fall back to sleep until morning.
5. Don’t eat too close to bedtime. Going to bed with a full stomach is bad news for a good night’s sleep. If you know you are going to eat a heavy meal, don’t eat late.
6. Set your thermostat to a cooler setting. A cool room seems to be more conducive to sleep.
7. Limit your news gathering to the morning hours. I find that if I watch too many news shows or read too much stuff on the internet right before going to bed, I will either dream about it or worry about something. Best get your news fix in the morning. The same advice applies to such shows as Nostradamus predictions, Mayan calendars or any other doomsday topics: watch them early in the day!
8. Limit caffeine. I drink three cups of coffee but all before noon. As much as I’d like it, I find that if I indulge in caffeinated drinks late in the day I tend to lose sleep.
9. Face your fears. What’s keeping you up at night? Money problems? Worried you haven’t prepared? Whatever it is, come the next day, sit down and make a plan to deal with it. Take the steps you’ve been putting off.
10. Don’t forget your prayers. Saying a prayer of thanks before sleeping always seems to help me. Thinking of all the things for which you are grateful will give you calming thoughts that will help you settled down and rest.
There is so much turmoil in the world today, but so much of it is beyond our control. You can only influence what’s around you. If you have not done anything to prepare, start now. If you have prepared, be confident you have done your best to be prepared for whatever happens. Don’t lose sleep over it. Your health shouldn’t suffer due to your worries. I bid you peace!