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  • Want to Sleep Better? Tip #2: Prep Your Nightstand for a Good Night’s Sleep

    Falling asleep is one thing. Falling back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night is another thing.

    Picture this: I’m sleeping peacefully but wake up due to someone staring at me, our noses almost touching. My 9-year-old child stares at me and whispers, “Mom, Mom” to wake me up because she’s had a bad dream. 

    Startled, I scream in her face and she jumps out of her skin. Both of our hearts thud in our chests. Breathless, I tell her it’s OK and do my best to comfort her.  

    She shuffles back to bed and I’m wide awake. Of course, it’s too early to get up.

    First, I check my mindset about getting enough sleep. 

    Then, to calm my body and mind, I use my sleep props. Here is what I pick up from my nightstand to help me fall back asleep:

    1. Lavender oil roller. I have a roller applicator that I use to roll lavender oil onto my chest and wrists. While lavender oil does not have a sedating effect, it often has a calming effect. Some people who experience anxiety use lavender oil to ease their symptoms. 

    2. Weighted blanket. Medicine asserts that using a weighted blanket can help people with sleep disorders. The pressure of the blanket on the body is similar to a hug, putting your autonomic nervous system into a restful state. 

    3. A book and booklight. To avoid a screen and its blue light as well as the addictive nature of swiping and scrolling, I pick up a piece of fiction. The narrative helps me fall back asleep. Story prevents my mind from making a list of to-do’s for the next day or from trying to find the answers to all of life’s problems. Research shows that reading helps people to fall asleep.