So this is a blog post for ladies and gents, I know I have been sort of writing more towards girls for the past year except for this little doozy about how to be a man at your company Christmas party but today this is for both of y’all.
The thing is, life gets a hell of a lot harder after college, I know, insert direct eye contact followed by a dry and monotone “No Shit” here.
Some little things you took for granted like being able to sleep from midnight until 1 PM just don’t happen anymore on the weekends.
In fact, if you drink more than a couple beers or whiskey and waters now you probably aren’t going to be able to sleep much at all.
A little thing called “anxiety” or like me and my friends like it call it xxxiiettyyyy has taken over your normal ability to let loose and function normally.
Now after you binge drink on a Saturday during the day, and fall asleep around 10 PM you wake up at 2 AM with the straight “where am I’s” and you have to watch mindless infomercials or Wedding Crashers on TBS for the 1,000th time until you can doze off again around 4 AM just to wake up on Sunday to go to brunch or watch the game only to not be able to sleep at all Sunday night. After two days of on and off disrupted sleep, by Monday you are a fat faced zombie with wet hair and an attitude.
This constant cycle of trying to act like you are 21 again while having the responsibilities you actually have: a job, rent, paying your cell phone bill, remembering to get toilet paper and just plain functioning beyond wearing sweats to your 10 AM, going to the gym then napping until someone wants to drink wine and watch Intervention like you had to do 5 years ago, is an extremely hard balance that I am still trying to figure out completely.
Even though we are more tired than we have ever been in our entire life, it’s harder to sleep now than it has ever been before.
So here are a few tips to help you sleep tonight, tomorrow and hopefully Sunday, the world’s favorite insomnia day of the week.
1. Work out
This is something that is really hard to fit into your schedule, especially when you live in New York. Your constantly being bogged down by crazy work days, long hours then plans and events that go into the night that it’s so hard to nail down time to work out. Not to mention that it sucks a big fat one. Working out is the worst. It almost always feels like a chore, and if you’re like me and the thought of going on an elliptical and then doing 100 sit ups makes you want to jump out the window, then you need to find something you like.
Tons of people have been trying the new Cross-fit craze and are totally into it, I recently found yoga and seriously it’s changed my life. I’m just about as strong as I have been since I played Water Polo in college or swam in high school and it’s just a total cleansing of the soul. If that last sentence made you want to punch yourself in the face, obvi yoga isn’t for you– try something else.
The thing is, working out really does help you release nervous energy. You get that lactic acid moving and it’s like a release of endorphins that really helps you feel more motivated and happy. I don’t think you have to get into a routine of working out every single day obsessively, but maybe switch up a few things in your life.
The only way I make myself go to yoga is I found a teacher that teaches every single wednesday, and no matter what, I go to that class and you can see a direct corrolation in my mood from Wednesday to the rest of the week.
If you don’t have the money or the time to go to a gym try other things like taking walks or runs right when you get out of work, or before. When I was going through all that roommate horse shit last spring, the only thing that would calm me down was to throw on my sneakers and go for a giant, fast paced walk and talk to my mom or a friend on the phone.
But, if you do work out, try not to do it 2 hours before you go to bed– that will rev you up and you won’t be able to sleep!
When I moved to NY and I had a roommate that had such loud encounters with men that my neighbors approached me one morning complaining, I started sleeping with a fan to drown out her noises. I realized that the noise of the fan was able to drown out most street noise as well.
I was able to sleep longer, more soundly because I had a constant noise in the background that sort of was able to override the rest of the world.
Once I introduced my boyfriend to the sound machine, he was completely sold. He never used to be able to sleep in his bed through the night and now he can.
If you don’t like having a fan blow on you hook up this app to your speakers and dream away! I just use the free one (that goes without saying.)
Also this app rules because you can use it when you are traveling on business in the hotel room.
3. Eye Mask
Ok this is a littttttttle girlie. But when I’m having the sleep anxieties from drinking all weekend on Sunday, sometimes I need a sleep mask to help close out the light that comes in through my window.
You can get them at most drug stores for like $10 in the traveling section or get some super cute/fancy ones at tj maxx or online.
4. Try not to drink so much on Sunday
I know hair of the dog, the game’s on, your friend just got engaged…brunches, lunches and wine with dinner, but the less you drink– the more easy you will be able to get to sleep. Alchohol is a depressant, as much as you feel great when you are out, the next morning comes depressing feelings of what the hell did I do last night and with depression comes anxiety.
Dubbed the Monday scarries by my friend Elizabeth, by Monday morning you are so filled with regret and remorse: I spent how much at Off the Wagon? WTF I ate nachos? I texted who?? that you can barely breathe so try to relax it on Sunday.
Sure a bloody mary or mimosa, maybe a glass of wine with dinner aren’t going to really add or subtract, if anything you might feel a little better, but more than a couple can send you further into a bought of hollyyy sheeetssss.
Try on Sunday to not drink as much caffeine, which brings me to the next one.
5. You’re probably drinking too much caffeine.
Think about your Monday – Friday routine. Are you drinking coffee in the afternoon? If you are, it’s probably effing up your sleep as well. Also, diet coke has a ton of caffiene in it as that we don’t even think about, so if you’re drinking that after work or with dinner, it might be forcing you awake too.
I remember I went to the movies with my friend about 4 years ago and instead of dinner, we each got a giant XL diet coke at the movie theaters.
We were so hyped up on caffeine, we stayed awake until 3:30 AM giggling and prank calling people when we both had work in 5 hours.
Not a good look.
Other treats such as dark chocolate, and green tea have caffeine too so if you’re not able to sleep this might be a cause for sure.
6. Have an unwinding routine
If you get into having the same routine every Sunday. Maybe go for a run in the afternoon or morning, or even a walk– make dinner early, take a really hot shower and drink some tea, read– you can sort of sink into the motions that you are supposed to feel tired, even if you aren’t from partying.
7. Sleepy Time Tea
My friend Emily and I used this religiously in college and honestly, I don’t know how or why it works, but it really does. Mind over matter.
With that being said, stay away from sleepy time extra, that shit made us cracked out to the max!
8. Make lists
If you are feeling super overwhelmed with what is going on in your life, make a list. As soon as you have that list, it will automatically seem more manageable. Even put stupid small things on there like buy new socks too so you can feel happy when you cross them off.
9. Change your sheets
Fresh, clean sheets make sleeping so much easier. Stop being such a slobbone and wash them or change them once a week. Make a habit of that every Sunday as well and even try to make sure your room is clean and everything is put away.
ALSO GIRLIE but there is something so soothing about watching these people sell kitchen gadgets and nail polish bedazzlers and your mind sort of slips into a mindless meditative state.
Happy Friday, now get to sleep.