My entire life has been a struggle to fall asleep at night. Sure, I’ve had those nights when the moment my head hits the pillow, it’s lights out, but those are few and far between – even more so lately. So, how do you get yourself to fall asleep? I’ve tried everything from putting the tv on a sleep timer to using the sleep sounds on my alarm clock. The television was a poor idea because the colors and the brightness of the screen actually keep your brain active and hinders the sleep process. For the longest time, I tried reading before bedtime. This worked, except for when I was reading an incredibly engaging novel and I wouldn’t want to put down the book. Normally, podcasts aren’t my thing, but I found one that has helped me — not just to sleep but to sleep peacefully through the night.
At the tail end of 2018, my sleep patterns deteriorated. Some nights I wouldn’t sleep more than two or three hours a night, which left me exhausted during my work day. Most days you would catch me doing the classic head bob that someone attempting to fight the call to sleep would. I was irritable, irrational, apathetic…in other words – a major grouch that no one wanted to deal with. One of my goals for 2019 is to create better sleep patterns, track them, and sleep more effectively. I know I’m not alone in saying that some nights, I could climb into bed and drift off before 10 pm and still wake up feeling tired the next morning.
January 1, 2019 – I decided to do something I wouldn’t normally do. I listened to a podcast. I have never really found that I engage with the subject matter and they tend to become just background noise that I completely tune out and ignore. This is also the trouble that I have with audiobooks, but we can get into those another day. Anyway, I found this podcast, on Spotify – “Nothing much happens; bedtime stories for grown-ups” by Curiouscast. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would work, and I haven’t been doing this consistently before bed because old-habits-die-hard, but the nights that I do fall asleep the podcast, it’s immediate and I wake up feeling well rested and a sense of calm. Some mornings I feel like I could take on anyone and anything that presents a conflict in my day (is that overdoing it? You would have to be in my head to understand, haha).
The left chart is my sleep with/without the podcast’s help and the chart on the right is using the podcast to fall asleep no matter what time I finally decided to call it a night. There’s only an hour’s difference, but I am confident that I will see my average will improve each week.
If you don’t believe me or the powers of a bedtime story podcast, then just listen for yourself. Trust me, you will never go back to counting sheep again.