Tossing and turning at night, unable to sleep? Here are the top ten remedies to help you if you struggle with insomnia!

Have you been struggling to fall asleep at night? Wishing there was just an “off button” to your brain as you lay down for hours wide awake? Feeling SO exhausted that you find yourself getting upset for not being able to fall asleep? Insomnia can make life EXHAUSTING.

This topic hits home for me.

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See, there were periods in college where I COULD NOT SLEEP. Insomnia was an issue EVERY night. It started back freshman year, when I was SO OVERLY exhausted from the demands of being a D1 athlete along with the stress put on me to run to my best ability each day. I would go from 5am practice, to class, to my 2nd practice of the day, to tutoring, to finally back to my door by 6pm only to be starving and ready to go to bed to start the day over again. Insert school work somewhere in the mix. I found myself crying in my bed MANY times as I felt so exhausted, yet couldn’t fall asleep. Tried everything. Sometimes even resorting to taking Nyquil and other medications (which as noted below, I don’t suggest!).

insomnia help

Fast forward to Sophomore year, where I was living in a house that wasn’t “homey” like I was use to, and I didn’t exactly get along with some of my roommates (to say it in the nicest way). Out of discomfort and unhappiness, I again found myself not being able to fall asleep for about the last 6 months of that school year..

Then Junior year..where after ONE bad night of sleep..I began to over think it, only making me have many consecutive bad nights of sleep thereafter.

But don’t worry there is a happy ending! Because I can happily say that since my senior year (3 years ago), I have been sleeping like a baby.

All of this was not to just tell you useless information about my life. {okay maybe some of it was}. But it was to exemplify the fact that YES, I have been in your boat if you are struggling to get good sleep.

And thankfully, I have tried EVERYTHING out there on the web and in books..so you don’t have to!

All you have to do is read the rest of this post for the top things that I have found to TRULY work.

So without wasting any more of your precious time…

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Top 10 Remedies for Insomnia

  • Use your bedroom to sleep, not to work
    • freshman year I was stuck in a dorm where my room was also my study area, and I truly believe that after being able to have separate places to associate work and sleep, it helped a lot!
  • No electronics before bed (or use the app suggest below)
    • For me, especially after starting this blog, I used the hours up until bed time to check emails, write my new blog post, or edits photos for instagram. But the blue light in electronics really has seemed to affect my sleeping like the internet says.
    • My advice? If you HAVE to be using your computer (as a student, what ISNT done on computers these days?!), get the app f.lux for your computer. It takes away the blue light when the sun sets, and your screen turns a gold/yellowish color. It saved me during college with all my assignments being online!
  • Natural Sleeping Aids

melatonin

  • Food/Drinks
    • Foods with Tryptophan: Tryptophan has been shown to help one sleep better, and I have seen it work for me! Eating foods like turkey or bananas that have tryptophan in it before bedtime can definitely help. Especially if you are feeling hungry, I have found I can never fall asleep good on an empty stomach!
    • The protein company I always order from/use, Try About Time, actually makes a casein protein powder with just a little melatonin and tryptophan in it. Use the code “fff1” HERE to purchase it for 25% off!
    • Warm milk or tea with honey was a staple for me during my rough sleep periods.
      • and even though dairy milk is the one with tryptophan and is suggested on the internet to drink, i have found even warm almond milk (which is all I ever drink) to somehow have a soothing affect as well

foods to eat before bed

  • Sleepy Time Tea
    • Like I said above, I have found warm drinks to really help me. But sleep time tea is the star of them all. Again, even though it is natural, I wouldn’t ever want to depend on this daily; but when you are feeling restless, this is a great go to that you should keep on hand!
  • Calming Music
    • I know this sounds a little weird (at least it did to me), but on really bad nights, I would search something like “insomnia music” on youtube, and find a video that was at least an hour long of soothing music/sounds. Sometimes you just need a little background noise to get your brain to shut off!
  • Exercise
    • Maybe it was mostly due to the fact I was use to being active every day, but when I was on crutches sophomore year and couldn’t do anything, I found it very hard to sleep (which I know was likely due to a couple different factors). BUT, I have seen that the days I get to the gym or outside in the sun for at least 30 minutes, I sleep better that night. Try it if you are feeling restless!
    • Going along with this, working out in the morning has shown to be better than afternoon/night. Exercising too late can keep you up instead of relaxing you.
  • Stay on a Schedule
    • I read this all over the internet when struggling myself, yet as a college student, knew it was almost impossible to have a set schedule; every day is different! But I realized it was very true, and finally found a schedule that was normally maintainable. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day; it’ll get your body in tune to it’s internal clock, and help you fall asleep easier
    • Along with this, don’t allow yourself to sleep in, even on the weekends or after a bad night sleep! I was so tempted to sleep in after not falling asleep until 4am (which unfortunately happened more than I’d like to admit during my “rough” period), but then allowing myself to sleep until noon just messed me up for the next night. As hard as it may be, try to make yourself get up so that your one bad night doesn’t turn into a week’s worth of sleepless nights.
  • Cherry Juice
    • I read this on the internet and bought it one time, and it really did seem to help.  And like I mentioned above, tryptophan and melatonin can help your sleep; and cherry juice has both in it!
  • Magnesium Supplement
    • I was nervous to take this at first because I know it can have almost a laxative affect (which btw, if you’re having problems in that area, taking this before bed can help regularity too as it is a relaxant for your bowels!). But because it is JUST THAT, a relaxant, it also helps you sleep. Taking a magnesium pill before bed can help soothe and relax you to give you a good night sleep. I don’t take it regularly anymore, but I use to!

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BIGGEST TIP FROM EXPERIENCE:

Do NOT take unnatural sleeping pills or become reliant on any medications. It only caused me more stress and anxiety (yes I sadly took nyquil and such ALOT), my body became immune to them anyways, and it took my body a much longer process to finally find a natural sleep pattern again because of it. 

Hope that you begin sleeping again like a baby! I know it can be SUPER frustrating and exhausting to say the least. But I PROMISE this season will soon be over. I never thought it would end for me, and thank goodness it did!

Share this if this helped you and comment below what your best sleep strategy is!

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