Location: Santorini, Greece
I know… I said I was done with my Santorini pictures but I really needed something calming and relaxing to fit with the subject matter. Lately, I have been struggling with sleep. Back in July, when I left full-time employment, things all started well. I was waking up early and going to bed at a reasonable time. Unfortunately that did not last long. True to my character, I took on board my new self-employed position very seriously and I admit, I am a total worker bee. In all honesty, things are going well. Work that I am so happy with is coming in and I really have nothing to complain about. In fact I could not be more grateful that I am living the life I live. But with that comes an ever-increasing workload. This is added to the copious amounts of things I still need to do such as finish my Pinterest course, learn how to video edit, sort out my weekly newsletter, write two blog posts a week, one Instagram post a night, a ton of emails plus fulfilling all of the commitments I made to brands. Like I said, I am not complaining at all, but the workload meant that I slowly started adding an hour (pretty much weekly) to the time I would go to bed. Some nights, I don’t fall asleep until 4am.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I slept in until about 1pm or 2pm like I used to do when I was studying, but I cannot do that anymore. Firstly because my body just doesn’t seem to want me too – one morning I even woke up at 4:50am?!?! – and two because I have my little Frenchie Luna that needs taking care of. Long story short – I think I have insomnia. There are even times when I doze off on the sofa at night, then I suddenly think what am I doing sitting on the couch when I have this long list of things to do?! I’m suddenly wide awake and that is what leads to me then going to bed at about 4am. It’s not that I then go to bed and sleep, but I often then continue thinking until I fall asleep about 15 minutes later.
I did what every millenial does nowadays whenever they have an ailment. I googled it. I googled the causes of insomnia and surprise surprise – stress. I just can’t escape it whatever I am doing for a living so I’m now convinced I bring it on myself. I stress about pretty much everything. About my business and whether it will be a long-term success, about whether my life is going to be long enough for everything that I plan to achieve, about the level of plastic waste and how it is damaging our planet, about cruelty to animals and the overconsumption of meat – on and on and on. My husband often asks me ‘don’t you give yourself a headache?’. Now I laugh as I write this but yes, yes I give myself a headache. It’s like a noisy neighbour that just never turns the music down.
After admitting to myself that I probably do have a problem with insomnia – I turned to you. My Instagram family. Lately I have been playing a Netflix documentary in the background called ‘Diagnosis’. It’s basically a series of people who are ill with unknown illnesses who are being helped by a doctor that puts their symptoms out to social media around the world. She locates others with the same symptoms who have been diagnosed with rare illnesses or doctors who are familiar with the illness and know how to treat them. I thought this was so incredible and that is exactly what happened here. So many responded to my question on how to fall asleep so I wanted to list your tips here as it seems a lot of you have the same issue with falling asleep. You asked me to share the advice I was given, so here it is. You have all contributed to this!
- Lavender oil or dried lavender
- Supplements: I received recommendations for both natural (like valerian tea) and medical (like melatonin but please consult your doctor for this)
- Avoid anything electronic for at least 45 minutes before going to bed – no phone, no iPad, no computer
- Write your next day’s to-do list so you know what you have planned for the next day
- Read a book – you’ll likely fall asleep on it
- Meditate – some suggested the Headspace app for sleep meditation or just lying in bed thinking pleasant thoughts
- My personal favourite that made me laugh: count frenchies. Impossible, I would just want to pull them all into my bed for a cuddle.
I would love to hear more of your suggestions so please share yours in the comments below. Have you tried any of these tips yourself? Did they help? If they did I definitely want to hear about it. Last but not least – thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my Insta story post. I tried to group similar answers as best I could. I’m loving that I can share your thoughts with others, in the hopes that it helps them too.