Anxiety by night: the sleep-stealing b**tard

My fiancé can fall asleep anywhere. I mean anywhere – on a bus, the tube, waiting for me in a dressing room – but also within seconds in his own bed. My ability to sleep, conversely, is a different story. I’ve always struggled with falling asleep and am an incredibly light sleeper – but in more recent years falling asleep has become a real problem.

I believe this stems from my anxiety disorder. Sometimes I’ll just be struck with this intense dread that I can’t shake. It feels as though I’m just about to take the biggest exam of my life. It rises deep from within and can sometimes feel like a physical pain. Alas, the bloody exam doesn’t even exist.

I can lie awake for hours even though I’m so tired and then struggle to focus on the next day with no sleep. How about an afternoon nap, you might say? Forget it. I could never.

HOWEVER, there are many reasons why insomnia can occur and ways you can ease it.

Not alone, hun

Episodes of insomnia are suuuuper common. In fact, it’s estimated that a third of us will struggle with it at some time in our lives.

Although I do struggle with falling asleep, I’ve developed my own ‘sleep hygiene’ system which sometimes works for me. This includes things like avoiding alcohol, not drinking any caffeine after 12pm, not eating a big meal past 8pm and doing my best to stay off my phone when I’m in bed. You can read more about sleep hygiene here. After a good night’s sleep, I feel much more productive and clear-headed.

Sometimes though, it’s worth looking into a little extra help.

  • I have heard that Lush Sleepy Body Lotion can give you that extra boost. It’s filled with lavender oil which has long been thought to aid sleep and using it tells your body that it’s time to start relaxing for bed – has anyone had a good experience with this?
  • Using a White Noise machine works for some babies, why not adults? Especially living in London with all those sirens. I usually use Spotify and play some rainforest sounds, but there are also dedicated sleep aids on the market I’d be intrigued to use.
  • There are also the oft-discussed benefits of getting jiggy with your partner or yourself to aid sleep! I’m no scientist, but a round with the LELO Sona Cruise will have you absolutely zonked out!

To Bedfordshire, we ride

Listening to your body truly is key. If you’re struggling, it may be time to make some adjustments to your sleep routine. Easy changes, like turning off your phone and computer an hour before bed, meditating, going to bed at the same time each night and making sure your room is dark can all improve your odds of catching a good night’s sleep. If you’re still struggling though, it may be time to speak to your GP.

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