If you’re one of the 500 million Americans who have trouble falling asleep at night, you know how your restlessness can throw you off-kilter for the entire day. Tossing and turning, waking up every hour (on the hour), fidgeting, throwing the sheets off—it’s no fun at all!
And while some sleep conditions can’t be controlled. There are so many that you can nip right in the bud… If you’re willing to switch up your evening routine.
Let’s get down to it. Our lifestyles, they’re demanding. And unfortunately, we live in a world that prioritizes the hustle and bustle, an “always ON” mentality, a, “check your emails until you fall asleep and check again as soon as you wake up” culture. Sigh. I’m tired just thinking about it.
Sleepiness affects more than just your crankiness in the morning. It inhibits your reaction times, abilities, alertness, hand-eye coordination, and even your memory. Matter of fact, the CDC says insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic in our country!
So, what are the leading causes behind your rough night’s sleep, and what can we do about it? Well, the answer might be right at your fingertips! Let’s take a look.
Inconsistent Sleep Schedule
You stayed up a little too late last night watching TV, and now you are paying for it. Your daughter waited until 9 p.m. to ask for help on her homework, and now you’re both scrambling at the dining room table until the wee hours of the night. Sound familiar?
Staying on schedule is not easy, especially for young families. But to keep your life consistent, start a family schedule. Take all of the kids’ school calendars and write them out onto one big calendar that everyone can see. Add in your daily to-do list, as well!
For the kids, schedule an hour for reading. For yourself, schedule an hour for needle felting in the evening. Create a bedtime for the entire home and stick to it. Hard stop! Yes, stick to it…even you.
Tech Before Bed
iPads, TV, laptops, video games—buzzing, dinging, flashing lights, all of it—it’s not doing you any good in the sleep department. That blue light emitting from our screens tricks our bodies into believing it’s daylight. So, what do our bodies do at midnight when we just want to sleep? Our brain signals to the rest of our body that it’s time to party!
Blue wavelengths are great during the day. They help boost our attention and mood! But at night, they’re downright disruptive, and they’re the main reason why so many people have trouble sleeping at night.
What to do about the pesky blue light? Create tech-free time two-three hours before bed! This allows your body to wind down from the day slowly. Start by making a cup of tea. Read a few chapters in your new book, and then take a crack at your current needle felting project for a little while.
Just because you create a tech-free time doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Enthrall yourself with your latest creation, and when your bedtime looms, place your project down for safekeeping, and take a stab at it (see what I did there!?) again tomorrow.
Anxiety that Lingers
Caffeine, stress, and anxiety can all contribute to those lingering, pesky thoughts that just won’t let you rest. Whether you’re staring at the ceiling thinking about all of the work you have to do tomorrow or are second-guessing whether you remembered to pay that bill, somehow, it all piles on at night.
Needle felting allows you to stay present. When you’re punching a needle repeatedly (and being mindful not to pierce your fingers), you can’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. You have to live in the moment. Presence, as it turns out, is the simplest way to keep anxiety at bay.
Experts say crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or chronic pain—easing stress and increasing happiness.
Not to mention that psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi equates flow—the few moments in time when you are so completely absorbed by an activity that nothing else seems to matter—with the secret to happiness.
And get this. He doesn’t just say this because he’s got a secret passion for crafting. He supports this statement with decades of research!
So, what do you say? Does needle felting have a place in your nightly routine? Do you already needle felt to help calm you down after a long day? We’d love to hear your tips!
Are you new to needle felting and have no idea where to begin? You’re in the right place! The Bear Creek Needle Felting Academy offers the support and direction you need, plus so many time-saving tips.
With a video library that’s continuously updated, a supportive community, and direct feedback from me, you’ll be amazed by the magical pieces you create.
Click here to learn more!