Photographer & Mental Health Advocate

Lifestyle & Mental Health Blog of Ashley Jacklyn

Five tips to help you fall asleep at night.

I've been an insomniac for most of my life. I have proof because I remember watching the show "The HoneyMooners". All I remember is that it was in black and white and the main guy was always telling his wife "Bang Zoom to the Moon" cos' she was always getting on his nerves. As a kid, I wasn't really good with telling time but I knew by which shows were on t.v and I knew every time that show came on it was 11:00 pm. Another show that I watched was "COPS", I'd sing the theme song "Bad Boys" and dance to it while my Titi rolled her eyes, probably praying that I'd knock out already. That show came on at 2:00 am.

So now back to the point of this blog, how the hell do I get any sleep!? The truth is, I still have a hard time falling asleep. My mind is a very active place at night; for example, I lie in bed wondering why race-car is a palindrome and did the person who created language do that on purpose. You know stuff that will totally help me out in life, not!

Throughout my life, I have tried almost everything to help me sleep; Melatonin, which gave me vivid ass nightmares, chamomile tea which tasted like glorified dirty water to me, even meditation because you know, everyone thinks that will cure EVERYTHING. The tips that I'll be giving you are just things that I have been testing throughout my life to see if they actually work.

1. Make a sleepy playlist.

I know there is some type of scientific evidence somewhere on the net that says you should NOT have your phone on when you're sleeping but hear me out. One day I found myself really stressed that I couldn't mute out my thoughts and I decided to painstakingly make a playlist that consisted of music that only HELPED calm my mind. This playlist is ever growing, ever changing but will always be a playlist that tells my brain "okay it's time to shut up." Music, it's always been a huge part of my life (#bandgeek) and I find extreme comfort when I'm anxious and/or sleepy. Think of some music that actually resonates with you on a higher level, it can be with lyrics (if it is, try to find lyrics that are soft) or with none at all (usually what I prefer). Try to find songs that make you think about the emotion it's making you feel and see if it's something that can help ease you. I know it sounds crazy to make you choose each song but it is important to create an atmosphere with comfort and safety as the foundation. Let me know if you need any sleepy music recommendations, I got you!

2. Night time showers.

My mother was always a clean freak and made me shower every night. She didn't want the dirt from the outside to get onto my bedsheets, which totally makes sense now but back then I thought it was cos' I smelled, haha! You would think something so simple as a night time shower wouldn't have so much importance but it does. When I shower I am not only physically cleaning my body, I am also cleansing my mind & soul. Like any movie or book you've seen or read, you know that water is a huge symbolism for cleansing of physical dirt and symbolic dirt: drama, stress, anger, pain and so forth. When I shower I try to also cleanse my mind of these toxic emotions so that I can go to sleep with only love and good intentions for the next day. I don't want you to think that this instantly stops me from thinking these toxic emotions but it does help me try to gain power over my thoughts and allow myself to heal. Every day, I believe we are healing because we're growing into our new selves and that truly takes a lot out of us. Allow yourself to just sit/stand in the shower and let the water fall all over your body and let the toxins of that day go down the drain. 

P.S- I try not to take too much time because I know how important water is and I don't want to be wasteful, so don't kill me!

3. Lush's "Sleepy" body lotion.

I do not know where this lotion has been but thank goodness Lush brought it back. I've been wearing the Sleepy body lotion for two weeks now and I have come to the conclusion that the aroma in the lotion calms my body down which is crazy because no other lotion ever calmed me down. At first, I was like oh this is just a typical scam to make you buy something that smells so good because we ALL know Lavander is suppose to calm you down but I honestly feel more relaxed when I wear this after my night time showers. Can you tell I'm creating an atmosphere of comfort that tends to all of the senses, except taste, unless water counts then woo! I know this might not work for everyone but it's something that I am truly happy I found to add to my regimen. If you don't believe me then you should try some yourself at your local Lush store, you can always ask for a sample and try it before you buy it. Oh, and before I go to the next step I wanted to say that I mostly rub the lotion on my neck, chest, arms and a tiny bit under my nose. You could do it all over if you want because it really makes your skin soft and hydrated but I want to save as much of it as I can so it'll last me. 

4. Aromatherapy, stress relief for the nose.

 Shout out to Grandpa Succulent! <3 

Shout out to Grandpa Succulent! <3 

So far we have two of the five senses down on our journey to create a beautiful space for comfort and safety. This next tip is for the sense of smell (though the lush lotion could also be considered it but work with me here okay.) and I know I'm sure everyone knows of aromatherapy. I think aromatherapy is a huge part of creating a safe atmosphere, that's why I'm addicted to candles! Usually though for bed time, I use my aromatherapy diffuser that uses water instead of fire cos' we know fire at night is a no no. I tend to gravitate towards earthy and soothing smells like sandalwood, patchouli, sage, and frankincense. For my diffuser, though I think think this could pertain to other ones, I put lukewarm water, and 5 droplets of the scent for that night and cover it and voila. It's a really simple tip but something I've grown accustomed to doing every night. These diffusers aren't expensive at all btw and you can find them almost everywhere online. Just make sure you find scented oils that you like and make you feel relaxed. 

5. Reading, Sudoku, Writing.

I just finished the novel "Sad Girls" by Lang Leav and loved quietly reading it out loud at night before bed. I like reading out loud because I feel like it makes my brain work harder and it makes me fall asleep faster while I have my sleepy playlist playing in the background as white noise. Since I finished the book, I've started to do some Sudoku which seems to knock me out instantly because it is hard AF. Brian used to write at night and I'd see his eyes slowly closed and the pen fly across the paper making a hard line, lol. I think writing can be a beautiful way to end the night, like a cathartic release to whatever else is stuck in your mind. If none of these is your fancy then you could meditate and or pray. So all of the five sense here, (drink water for taste lol) to get the body, mind, and soul prepared for bed. If you have any of your own tips on how you get to sleep, I'd love to know!

 

BONUS. Get a head massager.

If you don't have a significant other who could rub your head, then I suggest in investing in a head massager. I'm not sure where I bought this one but it really tingles my body and relaxes my head which always feels really tight with pressure. I truly hope that this can help any of you who are dealing with insomnia because people don't seem to understand that insomnia can be a really isolating situation because everyone else is already in dreamland and there you are, stuck. I know we all get jealous of those that can fall asleep anywhere but if we keep trying to find the right things that work for us, I'm sure we will be those people too. Goodluck and 

Until then,

xoxo Jacklyn