To stay strong in recovery we need to remember the basics. Getting enough sleep is one of these basics. Being tired and not taking good care of ourselves can lead us back into the food.
Many of us go, go, go all day long, and at night we either crash in bed feeling exhausted, or it takes us awhile to fall asleep. Being in recovery, sleeping pills are not an option for us. So what do we do?
In his excellent article: Beyond Paleo: Get More Sleep, Kris Kresser, a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine, describes it perfectly:
“Most of us run around like chickens with their heads cut off all day, and then wonder why we can’t fall right asleep as soon as our head hits the pillow. If our nervous system has been in overdrive for 16 hours, it’s unrealistic to assume that it can switch into low gear in a matter of minutes simply because we want it to. Of course this is why sleeping pills are growing in popularity each year.”
I know for sure that part of my addiction is being addicted to hyperactivity and adrenaline. Following the tools of recovery gives me the structure I need to create more balance and harmony in my life. Here are five of the practices that supported my program of recovery and can support yours as well, in helping you get a better night’s sleep:
- Create a “switching gears” routine to end your day. Allow yourself time to unwind by spending some time before bed reflecting on your day, reading, and meditating. Your daily inventory can definitely be part of your routine. Have fun adding other activities to your routine.
- Limit the use of technology and screens before bed. Create a “hard stop” time where you stop checking emails, texting, and watching TV.
- Clean your kitchen, including the sink and the counters, and clean up your bedroom space. It might help you relax knowing that you’ll wake up to a clean space.
- Make changes in your space to support a better night’s sleep: make it dark. If light is shining early in the morning, get room-darkening curtains. Keep electrical cables away from your bed. No TV in the bedroom.
- Have a God box. Any box can work – big, small, paper, wood – simply take the lid off and have a small notepad and a pen next to your bed. Write down your concerns on pieces of paper and place them in the box. Turn it over, or “put the lid on it,” and ask God to take care of things for you so you can have a good night’s sleep.
What is your favorite practice to add to your “switching gears” routine?
Please share in the comments area. Would love to hear from you!