Tossing. Turning. Checking the clock and figuring out how much sleep you will get if you can just fall asleep right now. When you finally drift off into a slumber, you are harshly woken up by your alarm clock ring and dragging yourself out of bed and into another day of fatigue. What if I told you as another women with ADHD, by adopting my strategies below you could start sleeping better not just for one night but every night. Sound too good to be true? Well, read on, because here are my own personal strategies, I have used to get a restful, restorative slumber that will leave you looking forward to bedtime instead of dreading it.
Go to Bed 15 Minutes Earlier- When it comes down to it, sleep is a number game. For a woman with ADHD to remain healthy we need at least 7 hours of sleep each night, closer to 8 if you want to feel and function at your best. If you have been shortchanging yourself on rest, start off tonight by just getting into bed by 15 minutes earlier than the night before.
Write In A Journal- Keep a small notebook and pen on your nightstand and start a gratitude journal. Taking a few minutes to reflect on your day and then jot down three best things about it calms your mind, improves your mood and lets you drift off to the land of zzzz on a high night.
Turn Off All Electronics– One of the most causes of poor sleep is our technology obsessed world that we live in this includes cell phones, tablets, laptops and the TV. The bluish glow of these electronic devices prevents our ADHD brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Make it a habit to switch off your electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
Make It Routine – If you think a bedtime routine is only for kids, think again. you maybe cheating yourself out of a powerful weapon in the battle against insomnia. A simple routine – it doesn’t have to be much more than following a nightly pattern of washing up, laying out tomorrow’s clothing, having a small snack, and then writing in your gratitude journal – quickly trains your mind that sleep is coming.
Dreamtime Playlist- I use different playlists for my work, walk and sleep, so why don’t you create one as well. You can choose any of your favorite slow jams, classic music or just dreamy jazz tunes- as long as the beat is slow, the lyrics soft or nonexistent, and the tunes relaxing (this isn’t the playlist for toe-tapping, head-bobbing songs), listening to music while you drift off to dreamland is a good way to wind down. Nature sounds, such as rain, waves, crickets or running water, are a similar option.
Plan Tomorrow Today- Before going too sleep, write out your next day to do list. This can be part of your nighttime routine. Not only does this make you feel more efficient in the morning it is another good way to quiet down your ADHD brain so you can get to sleep.