When I was in college I started having severe panic attacks and have since struggled with anxiety, although I’ve had MAJOR improvements through cognitive exercises that you can check out here! Adding a new baby to my life though definitely makes it harder for me to keep my anxiety in check. With my first baby, trying to sleep was the worst because even after he started to get the whole sleeping thing down, my anxiety got the best of me and I couldn’t sleep!
This time I prepared myself and I am happy to report I slept great my whole pregnancy and am doing really well through the newborn phase! Here are my secrets:
Put your phone and clocks to bed early: Around the time my husband gets home from work I turn my phone on silent and try not to look at the clock. I sometimes get on Facebook or Instagram but for the most part I try to leave my phone alone. It does wonders for keeping me from thinking about all the things I wish I accomplished that day/hope to accomplish tomorrow. That way I’m free to focus on the present!
Go to the bathroom: I used to wake in the middle of the night and try to force myself to just lay there in hopes I would fall asleep. I felt like if I got up to go to the bathroom I would trigger my mind to wake up even more. Then I would lay there forever, almost get to sleep, and actually have to go to the bathroom! Now if I wake up, I just get up and go to the bathroom without worrying about it, and I think in a way it makes me feel like that was the reason I woke up in the first place and it’ll be no big deal to fall back asleep.
Lavender Oil: I know what you’re thinking, “gee, thanks for another essential oils tip!” I’m not professing it to be a miracle worker but I have found that it helps! I put it on when I’m getting ready for bed or if I wake up in the night. It doesn’t magically help me fall asleep, but it smells good and gives me something pleasant to think about instead of stressing about how tired I feel.
Earplugs: Earplugs are my best friend. I am a super light sleeper so they help shut out extra noise, and they help me feel like I’m ready for bed when the noise is blocked out.
White Noise: White noise is very soothing and also helps a light sleeper like me. Even in the winter I usually have a fan going.
I hope this helps! If you have any other tips please share!!