Tag Archives: journaling

Battling Insomnia & Getting a Good Night’s Sleep.

Lately I’ve heard many people mention their inability to sleep at night. This is a

toa-heftiba-399392-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

frustrating problem! Sleep is crucial to our physical and mental well-being, as well as our ability to fulfill our daily tasks. Insomnia isn’t normally something I struggle with, but unfortunately I’ve also had my recent bouts of it. There are a few key things that I’ve found helpful for myself, and I will share a few of those tips, as well as some others. Did you know that the journey to falling asleep more easily actually starts long before your head hits the pillow? Here are a few tips that may be useful in battling insomnia and falling asleep more easily:

 

Exercise regularly. There are actually studies which have found that exercise promotes falling asleep easier. Exercise may even help your Circadian rhythm to harmonize itself.

Write a to-do list for the next day. If you find yourself worried about all that has been left undone, write it down. That way you can relax a bit more while also not being stressed out about forgetting what you need to do the next day.

Limit your screen time before bed. It’s best to cut out screens a few hours before you go to bed. If you do find yourself needing to using screens, there are actually glasses you can wear which will help to block out some of the light and allow you to use screens without disrupting your body’s clock. There are also apps that you can download for your phone or computer, including Twilight, which will cut out some of the unnecessary brightness after a certain hour.

Make sure that light isn’t interfering with your ability to sleep. For those living in big cities, streetlights filtering in through the windows can make it very difficult to sleep. When there is light, your body has difficulty falling asleep because light normally means daytime! There is something called “blackout blinds” which are very effective in making a room dark and promoting better sleep. Make sure that any alarm clocks or other electronics aren’t shining where you can see them.

Watch your caffeine intake. Some people need to cut out caffeine after a certain hour of the day, or else they will have great difficulty falling asleep. You may need to limit caffeine throughout the day. Figure out your body’s unique makeup. For myself, I’ve had to cut out caffeine completely. I’m a huge tea-drinker, but after some terrible nights of not being able to fall asleep and feeling wired, I realized that it’s just not worth it. I stick to caffeine-free herbal teas now.

Drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed. I’ve definitely found this to be calming and helping me to wind down. There are many varieties of chamomile tea at the store. At one point I was drinking chamomile tea with lavender, which I really enjoyed. I think a cup of chamomile tea actually helps me to sleep more deeply and get a better night’s sleep as well.

Journal. If you are finding yourself going through a lot, this can be especially helpful. Journal is a relaxing and meditative practice. If you have a lot on your mind, journaling can help you to process this, and to possibly feel less stressed out.

Pray. I’ve written before about the Examen. This prayer is a great way to wind down and wrap up your day. The prayer consists of different parts, but basically you are processing your day before your Creator, including how you are feeling God’s presence, as well as ways that you can do better in life. Any way that you can connect with God at the end of the day can be relaxing and bring more contentment to your life in general.

Are you anxious? Everyone has troubles and challenges. If you are finding that anxiety is having effects on your life, including your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep, please talk to a counselor. There is no shame in doing so! Not only will you find yourself better able to sleep as your anxiety improves, but you’ll also find yourself living a life of greater freedom in all areas!

I hope that you find some or all of these tips helpful! Happy sleeping!

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Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
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Reasons to Journal

(This post came from my old blog, and has a few additions.)

For over 10 years, I’ve consistently kept a journal. I plan to do so for the rest of my life. Journaling helps me vent during the tough times,  celebrate during the good times, and see the interesting in the in-between times.

You can keep a journal for many purposes: prayer requests, your prayers to God, your feelings, events of your life, dreams, important conversations, thoughts on life, and anything else you can think of. The journal pictured is one I used in the past, and greatly benefited from. Below is a picture of the front page for each day. There is a place for the weather, events of the day, where you are spiritually, what you are grateful for, people you are thinking about, and more. The next page is blank for other musings.

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(This journal can be ordered online here: http://journalsunlimited.com/shop/inspirations-a-gratitude-journal/)

I definitely recommend journaling to everybody. You may not consider yourself a writer, but no one else needs to see your journal. It is purely for you. (Of course, you could also write prayers–so maybe you and God.) It’s not something you need to do every day, either, but could simply be a solace in dark times to pour your heart out. You could also simply write positive happenings and moments that you want to look back on. In my opinion, journaling can be a great avenue for emotional health.

This woman uses her journal as a prayer journal to write Bible verses and encouragement as art. I love to look at her Instagram from time to time and see what she has come up with:
http://web.stagram.com/n/hersoutherncharm/

What are the benefits of journaling? Here are a few that I’ve found. For each person, they will be different.
1. It is a positive way to process emotions. If you are angry or sad, writing is a healthy way to process your thoughts. For good situations, it is also a great way to celebrate these happenings. When you are in the midst of making decisions, writing down your ponderings each day can help you see patterns and come to a conclusion.
2. It is a way to track your growth as a person. You can look back at old journals and find ways you’ve positively changed. On the other hand, sometimes you will see other changes that may not be so positive, and figure out how to get back to a good spot. You could use your journal as a way to set goals.
3. Journaling is a great way to relax. Spilling your thoughts on paper is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, or to prepare for a new day. It might even be a good “siesta,” a way to take a break mid-day.
4. Your journal is an avenue to see God’s hand. Journaling is a beautiful, tangible way to look back at situations and see how they have evolved. How good God is, and how wonderful and amazing are His ways! Looking back at old journals and the situation now, I can see the change and that God has answered my prayers!

What are your thoughts on journaling? What benefits have you seen from journaling, if you are a journaler?