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I Haven’t Been Sleeping

Hi guys!

A few days ago, I mentioned on Instagram that I have not been sleeping well at all. I am up for several hours just waiting to fall asleep which turns into anxiety.

I was so tired I didn’t know what to do with myself, and I started to spiral. I did not want this to be my new normal…I don’t want to be tired all the time. So, I raised my white flag and asked for help. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts with me!!

I am fortunate to be connected with Alanna McGinn, an incredible sleep expert who helped Timmy and I sleep train Sonny. Not only is she an expert in children’s sleep, but also adult sleep. She sent me an amazing email with tools that I started using. I am happy to say I fell asleep last night! I hope these suggestions help others who are also struggling with sleep! Follow her on Instagram and check out her website, goodnightsleepsite.com

xo,

Whit

SLEEP TIPS FROM ALANNA MCGINN

Insomnia anxiety is super common and I say that to help you take the pressure off a bit. We all go through stages of acute insomnia for whatever reasons (travel, stress, illness) and then what happens is we start hyper focusing on it and it can build a vicious cycle of anxiety and stress about not sleeping which only makes matters worse. It’s a slippery slope and happens to the best of us. Here are some things you can do if it continues:

  1. Keep a sleep diary. Every night write down when you went to bed, what time you fell asleep, if you woke up throughout the night and how long it took you to fall back to sleep. Often we imagine our sleep issues to be far worse than they actually are and when it’s written down we can start to visually see exactly where we are at and the progress we are making, which can elevate some of the insomnia anxiety you may be feeling.
  1. You should be sleeping 85% of the time you are in bed and there are going to be nights where you just can’t sleep. Sometimes it takes time to teach your body to fall asleep and lying there staring at the clock is just going to make you more anxious. The goal is to train your brain that bed equates to sleep so you don’t want to lie awake for hours. It is best to get out of bed if you can’t sleep and go into another room and do a quiet and restful activity like reading a book, drinking a warm glass of milk, etc. until you feel sleepy enough to head back to bed. Maybe 10-15 minutes or so. I know this is hard to do because you’re exhausted and getting out of bed in the middle of the night doesn’t sound appealing but it may only be a couple of nights for you to retrain your brain.
  1. Turn your clock around. Clock watching is the worst and we all fall victim to it. It adds to any anxiety you already have and it doesn’t help. Set your alarm so you know it’s going to go off but then turn your clock around so you can’t look at it.
  1. It’s important to start thinking more positively about sleep and brush off the negative thoughts. You have had some crappy sleep and that’s okay. It happens. Try not to get too hung up on it. Take a breath, own that your sleep hasn’t been great but that you are a great sleeper and you will sleep well again. So much of our sleep struggles are routed in the thoughts we think aboutsleep. It’s not just the lack of sleep we struggle with—it’s how we react to that lack of sleep that can make the difference between a short-term sleep struggle and a longer-term one!
    • Think of your brain as a muscle. You need to exercise it and do so in a positive way in order to allow your subconscious mind to convince your conscious mind that she knows best. As you exercise that “muscle,” it becomes stronger over time and your actions become more automatic and take less effort. You condition your brain, the same way you condition your body. Do a daily positive affirmation exercise to restore your relationship with sleep. Create a list of six or seven affirmations about your sleep. You DON’T have to believe these to be true at the moment. Write what you WANT to be true or what you remember as being true from before you struggled with your sleep. But keep them realistic and simple as well. So, things like:
      • “I have always been a good sleeper.”
      • “I think I’m doing much better these days.”
      • “I love my bed and I love to sleep there.”
      • “I am capable of sleeping without medication.”
    • Set aside time three times a day to sit down for 10 minutes and run through your affirmations. Run down your list; look at them closely and say them out loud. Say them into the mirror. Say them in different voices, different affectations. If you like reminders, write them on Post-It notes and stick them on the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator. Let the positive thoughts about your sleep slowly begin to take over the overwhelming negative thoughts that are currently coursing through your brain.
  1. I see that many of your followers commented that you should try CBD. This is something that I myself am training and studying more on. There is evidence that it can help with sleep and something that I really want to delve into and learn more about. Personally I would rather see you take something like this over sleep aids or pills or Unisom. I don’t have a particular brand that I can recommend yet. I’m trying to find the best one to partner with but there are many out there that you can look into.

At the end of the day try not to let this blip stress you out. You’ll sleep well again and the less you stress out about not sleeping the faster you will start to sleep again 🙂

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