I Used To Have Insomnia — Until I Started Doing These Simple Things Before Bed
I've always been a really light sleeper. In Ayurveda, I would be described as having a strong Vata dosha, which is partly characterized by sensitivity and being a sensitive sleeper. As such, I have some interesting routines when it comes to bedtime!
For instance, I always cover my eyes with a T-shirt. I don't wear a mask because they feel restricting, whereas the T-shirt just covers my eyes and creates a total blackout experience. I sleep best on my right side. I can't sleep when my feet are cold, so I wear socks—but only halfway up my feet, covering the toes but not the heel; otherwise, it feels a bit too hot. (I told you I have quirky sleep habits!)
I used to really suffer from insomnia. My racing mind would find plenty of thoughts to fixate on at the end of the day. Thankfully, these days I am able to fall asleep much easier thanks to my go-to self-care practices—which include meditating and journaling at least an hour before bed to process emotions and happenings of the day. It also helps that I've been pretty exhausted from my busy work-mom-life schedule!
My biggest barrier to a good night's sleep is getting things started too late. If our older son's bedtime gets pushed back, or I end up reading him six books instead of three (which often happens with Mama being the "softy" in the family!), then my own evening routine is pushed back later. After that, my husband and I still want our sacred time together in our bed, which includes cuddling, sharing the day, and making love. If we don't stay on track, I end up going to bed at 10:30 instead of 9:30. Hence the power of firm schedules to set our whole rhythm!
A good night of sleep is critical to me. It allows me to feel good the next day and stay in equanimity and peace consistently, which is a big life goal for me. I am more clear, better able to handle the shouting and tantrums of my kids, more patient, and capable of creating my best stuff when I sleep better!
- Average hours I sleep a night: 7 to 8
- Ideal bedtime: 10 p.m.
- Ideal wake-up time: 5:15 a.m. (so I have time to meditate before my kids get up!)
- Nightstand essentials: My journal, herbal tea, Solluna Detoxy, and one of Yogananda's books
- Favorite place I've ever slept: Besides my bed, the time my hubby and I stayed in a Bedouin camp in Jordan and slept under the incredible starry sky in the desert was pretty epic
- Sleep bad habit: Hanging out too late with hubby
- Caffeine consumption: A few cups of black tea with medicinal mushrooms mixed in, or sometimes one or two cups of organic coffee
- How I track my sleep: Whoop
- The last product or habit that changed my sleep for the better: Stretching for 10+ minutes in the evening helps my body feel relaxed and releases tension before sleep
- The first thing I do when I wake up: Say a prayer and an intention for the day and cuddle my kids and hubby for a while before getting up (an intentional act of love)
The following describes my sleep routine on a recent night at home. As I was writing this, it made me realize how intertwined my husband is with my wind-down routine. It's important to realize that setting up our sleep environment is not just about turning down the temperature or dimming the lights. It's about the people around us. Be sure your relationships are healthy—or make moves to improve or shift them if they are not—as who we are in bed with constantly impacts our energy, for better or worse!
5:15-5:30 p.m.: Dinnertime. Eating an earlier dinner gives me time to digest before going to bed—a key part of deep, restful sleep.
6 p.m.: Bath time with the whole family, which includes hubby and our 2- and 6-year-old sons. I get in the shower that is attached to the tub, and my wind-down routine officially begins.
6:30 p.m.: Bedtime and books for my 2-year-old, Mosie, which starts to relax me.
7:15 p.m.: Stretching with hubby, while Emerson, our 6-year-old, is playing next to us.
8 p.m.: Bedtime and books for Emerson, which further grounds me. I meditate in his bed with him for 15 minutes as well.
8:30 p.m.: Elixir time for me and hubby. What we drink varies. Sometimes it's just ginger tea; sometimes if I am looking for more grounding energy, it will be a recipe containing nut milk, such as a golden milk latte. I have a million elixir recipes on hand!
8:40 p.m.: Take three or four Solluna Detoxy supplements with a full glass of water, which contain magnesium, which is relaxing, but with the main intention of having a larger bowel movement the next day, which sets up more lightness across the board and improves schedules, including sleep.
8:45 p.m.: I do my skin care routine
8:50 p.m.: Time for meditation, journaling, and reading
9:15 p.m.: Sacred hang time with hubby (cuddling, sharing, and making love)
10-10:30 p.m.: Lights out!
5-6:00 a.m.: Wake up! The first thing I do is say a prayer, set an intention for the day, and do a gratitude practice. Then I meditate right in bed, getting as much in as I can before the kids wake up.
Kimberly Snyder is a multi-time New York Times bestselling author, spiritual and meditation teacher, nutritionist, and wellness expert. She has authored 6 books, including Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Her highly anticipated 6th book, You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life, (Hay House) just published earlier in 2022.
She is also the founder of Solluna®, a holistic lifestyle brand, Practical Enlightenment Meditation,™ Solluna Circle, and the host of the top-rated Feel Good Podcast.
She has worked with dozens of top celebrities to feel their best, including Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, and Channing Tatum, and has been featured by numerous national media outlets, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Kimberly resides in Los Angeles and Hawaii with her husband and children.
To learn more about Kimberly and Solluna, visit: @_kimberlysnyder and www.mysolluna.com.