For as long as I could remember I had been a ‘thinker’ at night. If something went wrong during my day I would often think and worry about it before going to sleep. This impacted my quality and quantity of sleep but it had never been for more than a night or two at one time so it didn’t have a major impact on my life. I was the type of sleeper who couldn’t get off to sleep but once I was asleep I would usually stay asleep. If I woke up, I would easily drop back off.
But around seven years ago my sleeping patterns went absolutely haywire! Drifting off to sleep became this huge struggle. I would get anxious and worry about it during the day and ALL night, literally! The more I worried, the more I couldn’t get to sleep. The more frustrated I got, the more I couldn’t sleep. Until it got to the point where I would only have one or two hours sleep at night. This went on for years, as I tried everything under the sun to cure my insomnia.
In the meantime, I was losing myself. I was living life in such a low vibration, moving through my days totally unhappy and unmotivated because I was physically and mentally exhausted. I knew how important sleep was to recover and rejuvenate which made it worse. I was living in a zombie state.
The hardest and most frustrating part was that nothing had really triggered the issue so I just couldn’t put my finger on what had happened. Therefore I just didn’t know what to do about it.
I read for hours online trying to find a solution. All the information kept saying the same things:
- Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning
- Make sure there is no light in your room
- Only use the bedroom for sleeping and intimacy
- Create a ‘before bed’ routine so your body and mind knew it was time to relax and sleep
- Don’t drink caffeine after 2:00pm
- Drink hot milk or chamomile tea before bed (which made me pee all night!)
- Regulate the temperature in your bedroom
- Get out of bed if you haven’t fallen asleep within 15 minutes
I was doing all that and SO much more but nothing seemed to work long term… I was trying everything natural that I could as I knew taking prescription drugs wasn’t the way to go for me. I must admit, one night I was so desperate I did take sleeping pills… And they didn’t work either!
If you relate to this in some way, keep reading because I will share exactly how I cured all my sleeping issues!
“Taking responsibility for my beliefs and thoughts gave me a sense of empowerment.”
— Michelle Bowater
You’ve probably heard this one before but hear me out, as I like to do things the exact opposite of most people.
At this point in my life, my lifestyle wasn’t great. I was very much in the partying stage and had no clue how much my eating, drinking and partying ways impacted my health and my sleep. When I found a different way of exercising that didn’t follow the, “No Pain, No Gain” strategy I was hooked!
I started doing the exact opposite of what I’d always been taught. I started jogging… actually jogging (like, going really, really slow). Not running as fast as I could which was what I was taught during my time playing school sports. I would jog for only 15-20 minutes. I was going so slow that people would walk past me (hahaha!) but I found the movement of a jog so much more beneficial and I felt energised after this type of exercise.
As soon as I started jogging in this way, I noticed I would fall asleep much faster on the days I did it. My overall health improved dramatically and I started to feel like I was actually alive again. This was a MASSIVE turning point for me as I gained some sort of control again.
I still wasn’t in control of my mind worrying about it but I knew that if I did this physical exercise I would get a decent amount of sleep, YAY!!!
- SUPPORTIVE BELIEFS AND THOUGHTS
I knew my mind was extremely powerful because I knew that worrying about not sleeping made it so much worse but I just couldn’t stop doing it. I would worry day and night only to end up not sleeping, ahhh! Exercise gave me back some control but I couldn’t jog everywhere I went as I was travelling for up to five months at a time, to countries like India and Myanmar. Changing my beliefs and thoughts gave me back full control.
I found a book by Deepak Chopra at the Delhi airport just before I flew home after five months of travelling and not sleeping well. His unique approach was so refreshing! His mixture of, Western Medical Doctor and ancient Ayurvedic techniques had so many different options that I hadn’t tried yet.
As I read, I found that the solutions he offered were the exact opposite of what I had read previously. I started doing everything as I read further but the most impact came when I consciously choose that I didn’t mind if I went to sleep or not. Every time I would catch myself worrying about sleep I would simply choose to ‘not mind’. I would say to myself, “I don’t mind if I sleep or not”. It’s SOOOO simple but this totally revolutionised my sleeping life!
- STAYING IN BED
It seemed like everything I read said to get up if you weren’t asleep within 15 minutes. This didn’t make sense to me as I thought just by laying down the body could rejuvenate somewhat.
Deepak also talked about a study where people who suffered from insomnia came into a clinic where they were monitored overnight as they slept. What they found was, the people they were monitoring thought they hadn’t slept much at all, when in actual fact they had slept a lot more than they thought. For me, this was the evidence I needed to stay in bed because I may have thought I wasn’t sleeping when I in actual fact I was.
You just need to Google to find all the incredible benefits of meditation! Essentially, meditation allows the mind to slow, relax and release the stresses from modern living. There are many types of mediation, guided, using a mantra, or silently focusing on your breath. I love them all.
To support my sleeping patterns I found guided meditations were the most helpful because they allowed my mind to relax while imprinting positive suggestions on my unconscious mind. This allowed me to change my thoughts and beliefs quickly and let go of the worrying I had held onto for years.
I suggest trying them all and see what fits with you and your life.
- EAT WELL
As I said, at this stage my lifestyle wasn’t exactly healthy! As I kept learning I loved what I discovered and changing my eating habits made a huge difference to my physical body and my mental health.
Studies have shown a correlation between unhealthy eating and high anxiety and stress. If you experience worry or get anxious about sleeping, stay away from things like refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soft drink, candy, coffee and processed junk foods. In their place, add more wholesome foods like root vegetables, cold-pressed coconut oil, cacao, rapadura sugar, green leafy vegetables, grass-fed and grass-finished meats. These foods are going to nourish your cells and help create a much calmer mind.
- KEEP SEARCHING
There were many times when I just couldn’t be bothered looking for answers because I was so flippin exhausted but I kept going and kept trying new things. And I got there in the end, and you will too!
Now I would love to hear from you… Do you have any tips on sleeping better? Please share with us below in the comments. Your insight might just be that one thing that changes someone’s life. And if you have a friend or family member who has trouble sleeping please forward this on so we can support them in the journey.
Thank you so much for sharing your tips in the comments below!
LASTLY… if you’re ready to take the next step and take action click here to download your FREE meditation.
Love Mich xx