10 Helpful Sleep Tips

This post is a paid collabration with Aeroflow as part of the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network

When Mary was first born, I never had any sleep. No one had ever told me that babies seriously never sleep at all. And after about one day, I was ready to give up. I was an only child and had never even babysat in my entire life. In the hospital, the nurses had to literally show me how to change a diaper because I had no idea how to.

So when we brought Mary home, I thought it was going to be a team effort. But of course, I was wrong. My husband woke up early to go to work and got back twelve hours later so during the day, I took care of Mary. And since he worked, I had night duty too because he needed sleep for his job. So this was my normal face everyday.

And then sometimes it was this.

And then finally, it usually ended in this.

Mary usually woke up every two hours for a bottle and a diaper change so when she slept, I slept, literally. And she didn't start sleeping straight through the night until she was six months old. So in between that night, I was a walking nightmare. All I wanted was sleep. I didn't care about anything else, just sleep. If you couldn't tell by now, I don't do good with sleep deprivation.

Even though Mary is older now, sleep is still very important. She might be sleeping through the night, but I can’t keep up with her during the day if I haven’t had enough sleep. And while stress might be part of the reason we can’t sleep, an underlying chronic illness can also be the cause.

It wasn't until years later did I find out just why I couldn't handle going without sleep. It's because I have hypothyroidism. Without medication, you will feel like you can barely get awake.

But it's not just hypothyroidism that can make you not get much sleep either. Sleep apnea can be a cause as well. If you have trouble sleeping and wake on and off during the night, try taking the Aeroflow sleep apnea quiz.

Aeroflow has a lot of sleep apnea resources along with selling their CPAP supplies as well. What's so great is that you can arrange to pay with your health insurance and they deliver right to your door.

But something else that makes Aeroflow wonderful is that they offer home sleep testing services. After talking with a sleep technician, they will determine what sleep test is best for you and ship the devices to your door. You have 24/7 customer service and when the test is done, you ship the devices back for them to be analyzed. This is a much better route than having to go to a lab to sleep.

So how do I embrace sleep now all these years later? I make sure to follow these simple tips to help keep my night relaxing and ready for bed:

1. Maintaining a healthy diet is key to being able to sleep at night. If you eat a lot of sugar and starch then you will have a harder time getting to sleep than someone who eats from all the food groups.
2. Exercising during the day is a great way to help you get tired at night. Since after exercising most people feel energized, you don't want to exercise before bed since that will get you more awake.
3. Smoking, drinking and coffee should be avoided before bed since they can help you stay awake longer.
4. To help your body relax, you can use breathing exercises while lying down. Focusing on your breathing is a great way to forget about the day.
5. Thinking about peaceful images is also very helpful in aiding sleep. Thinking about something that relaxes you or makes you happy can help you finally fall asleep faster.
6. A comfortable mattress and pillow is a must.
7. If you have sleep apnea, make sure you have everything ready to go for when you get ready for bed.
8. Don't use electronics before bed. That includes the phone, television or tablet. Electronics can keep your mind going and having them on during sleep can actually disrupt your REM cycle of sleep.
9. Adjust your room temperature to something that is comfortable for you. I personally can't sleep if I am too hot or if I am freezing cold so my temperature is usually set on 71 degrees at night.
10. Finally, dim your lights while getting ready for bed to help your mind adjust to going to sleep. Keeping bright lights on can wake your mind up so you don't want anything brighter than a dim light on.

I hope these sleep tips help you and here's to more good nights of sleep!