Go the Fuck to Sleep

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"Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains" ~Anonymous

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ow are YOU sleeping? Are you up every night from 3-5 a.m., staring at the ceiling and feeling like you’re going to puke when your alarm goes off at 7? Or are you waking up every hour thinking about everything from your 7th-grade boyfriend (“I wonder what happened to that dude”) to the cable bill you forgot to pay?

If you’re one of the lucky ones who pass out at 11 p.m. and wakes up at 7 a.m. feeling fresh as a daisy, this blog is not for you. I’m talking to the crazies who come awake in the night like a vampire bat on the prowl for fresh blood. Okay, maybe that was a little extreme... but you know what I’m sayin’.

I didn’t “sleep” for close to 13 years. That’s right, you heard me -- for 13 years I was up half the night, every night. And trust me, it was a freakin’ nightmare. So I don’t think I’m being too forward when I say I’m a bit of an expert in messed up sleep.

I went to doctors, healers, acupuncturists and shrinks. I took pills, drank wine and tried to stay up for days just to knock myself out. And you know what? No dice. It wasn’t till I started meditating that I started to sleep again. And after you haven’t slept for years, getting a good night’s rest = you are reborn.

I take my sleep very seriously now. I have sleep rituals and natural sleep remedies—which I’m passing along to you (see below)—because I sincerely believe every little bit helps! (And let me tell you something, I ain’t never goin’ back!!!)

Here’s my tried-and-true Enlightenment Is Sexy™ Ninja-Sleeping Program:

1. Meditate regularly.

If I miss my meditation, I feel it that night. And no I’m not imagining this. I keep records, so I know what works and what doesn’t.

2. Don’t eat big meals before bed.

Think about it. If your belly is full, it’s working at digesting all that food—hence, you no sleep!

3. No electronics 60 minutes before I fall asleep

No TV, computer, cell phone or Nintendo.

4. Drink some tea with honey

(obviously, non-caffeinated tea). You might think to yourself, “Val, there’s sugar in honey! That can’t be good for your sleep!” Well, it turns out it is! Honey keeps your glucose levels up while you sleep, which in turn helps you zonk out all night and wake up ready to rock & roll! And yes, I’ve tried a bunch of “helps promote sleep” teas, and have found the best one is called Sleepy Time, but there are others I’m sure that might work best for you.

Say Goodnight To Insomnia

The Six-Week, Drug-Free Program Developed At Harvard Medical School -- By Gregg D. Jacobs, Ph.D “Based on ten years of research and clinical practice that I have conducted at Harvard Medical School, the groundbreaking program presented in this book is the only drug-free program scientifically proven to conquer insomnia.” Read the Book >

5. Exercise

Get some exercise in during the day (even a little is better than none). Trapped energy doesn’t really mix well with sleep. I mean, really… Don’t be a lazy ass -- you’ll pay for it later!

6. Consider taking digestive enzymes

I’m obsessed with NOW Foods Super Enzymes. If your body is working overtime digesting your dinner, that heats up your body and doesn’t allow you to chill the “F” out later in the evening. They literally break down your food into smaller chemical components, so your small intestine can do it’s job. Abracadabra-foods gone!

7. Take a bath

Take a hot bath with a cup full of Epsom salts stirred into it. After gliding through a normal day, most of us (whether we know it or not) tend to pick up at least some of other people’s energy—um, no thank you. A bath in Epsom salts will wash that “stink” right out of your soul.

8. Skip on the booze!

Skip the booze 2 hours before you hit the hay. Liquor is a sneaky bastard. You think it’s going to help you chillax and fall asleep, but then BOOM! It’s wakes you up when the sugar kicks in. Argh!

I know this combo-platter of tips will help you sleep more soundly! When I do everything on this list, I have no doubt I’m going to sleep like the dead. Wait, do dead people sleep? Hm-mmm?

Let me know some of your sleep rituals. I’m always interested in what works for others... plus, you might really help a sister out with your solid advice.