A woman relaxing on her side on a couch, watching something on her phone, propped up on the coffee table.

My Insomnia Remedy: Shower, Couch, Bed

Last updated: December 2022

Our fall break trip is coming, and my family did not vacation this summer. To say we are excited to step out of the norm for a few days is grossly understating the fever-pitched hysteria with which we have been talking and texting about this trip. There is not much that can bring us down now. Amidst all the fervor, I am having to consider how to keep my winning streak going with my nighttime routine for insomnia to help with travel.

Success at last

I have insomnia, and over the last several months, I have had an incredibly difficult time coping with it – beyond what is normal for me. The last 2 weeks, however, have been a huge relief. Some combination of things I tried finally worked, and I am averaging about 5 ½ to 6 hours nightly. Amazingly, when I wake up at night, I am able to roll over and drift back off without too much trouble or tossing and turning.

Thankful does not cover it. Now, though, I am beginning to stress out about it. The too-good-to-be-true feeling is worming its way into the back of my mind.

Changing my routine: the winning combo

After fighting for several weeks to get even 2 solid hours of sleep each night, I began experimenting with changes in my routine.

No eating after 7 PM

I stopped eating and drinking after 7 PM again. That seemed to help somewhat years ago, so I decided to give it another try.

Evening showering then hit the couch

Where I had been taking my shower and going straight to bed, I tried lying on the couch after my shower with all the lights off and watching something completely mindless until that sleepy feeling made its appearance. Once I caught myself drifting off a time or 2, I turned off the television and headed to bed.

Off to bed

The first night I put all these together into 1 routine, I hit the jackpot. Virtually every night since then, I’ve slept after following the same steps and adding a quick sleep meditation.

Once or twice, I’ve seen the better part of the 3 AM hour, but I am still counting this routine as a win. This may be a short-lived solution, but it has made a world of difference in my mood and my ability to focus through the school day.

Can I keep the ball rolling while traveling?

I don’t want a single thing to put a damper on our vacation – I really don’t. If my insomnia inadvertently gets packed, I will be one disappointed mother. One of the reasons we look forward to vacations so much is that routine goes out the window, and we are free to do as we please when we please. For us, that has always included eating and sleeping. Am I going to be able to stick to this routine on vacation? You bet I am.

While I know we will come and go at odd hours, I do plan to follow my eating and sleeping habits to the best of my ability. We see our share of restaurants just before closing time, but I, for one, don’t anticipate eating after 7 PM, even if it destroys a part of my soul to watch my daughter enjoy chips and queso at 10 PM.

My nighttime routine: shower, couch, bed

I know an actual set bedtime will be nonexistent for a few days, but if I stick to the order I have established of shower–couch–bed, I believe I will be a lot more likely to rest, even away from home. Walking, shopping, and bouncing from 1 event to the next will surely wear me out – surely.

I won’t say with 100% certainty that I will sleep like a baby, but I am going into this with high hopes, as anyone should go into a vacation, right?

What nighttime routine for insomnia helps you achieve restful sleep? How does traveling affect your nighttime routine? Please share your story or comment below.

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