When I’m worried and I can’t sleep. 
I count my blessings instead of sheep.
—Bing Crosby

Hello, Love

For some of us, sleep occurs as soon as our head hits the pillow. For others, nightfall is a time of of inveterate restlessness.

How I wish I was one of you lucky dogs who fall asleep quickly!

This past week I’ve had such great a difficult sleeping. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I’m in a new place, sleeping a new bed in a foreign country filled with strange new sounds. Trying to catch some zzzzz’s in the middle of a bustling Spanish weekend is like trying to capture the wind.

Malaga sizzles with intensity. I have windows open to catch the breeze, but along with the cooler gusts, come the sounds of dogs and people and vehicles.

Whiz! Whiz!
Bark! Bark!
Chirp! Chirp!
Pop! Pop!

Grita! Grita!
Buzz! Buzz!

The warm nights in Spain are filled with such an aliveness that one can not help but grab a sangria and dash to the rooftop to join the rest of society.

Absolutely lovely!

Yet night after night of tossing and turning and little rest, I’ve become irritable. I’ve made another wrong turn to the mythical Land of Nod, and daylight comes too early East of Eden.

I’m curious…

What do you do when you can’t sleep—especially if it occurs night after night?

Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Pop a pill? Obsess over every sound? Ruminate about something that happened (or will happen) at work? Turn on the TV? Check your email on your smart phone? Try ten different pillows? Get frustrated and throw all ten pillows on the floor?

I’ve tried every one of these options!

If you’re like me and have trouble falling or staying asleep, I want to suggest you try self soothing.

​What is Self Soothing?

Self soothing likely conjures up the images of trying to get the baby to fall sleep or of Linus dragging his blanket off to school while sucking his thumb. Rightfully so, most of us rarely think self-soothing is for anyone over the age of a toddler.


Self soothing is a grounding technique used to calm an overactive amygdala. It can be any activity that brings you a sense of inner peace. The key to proper self soothing is to remember one size does not fit all. One person finds the noise of a fan soothing, but another, annoying. One person loves their hair stroked as they fall asleep; it drives the next person crazy.

Test out different methods to see what works for you.

Self Soothing Suggestions To Try So You Can Get Better Sleep:

  • Sip chamomile or valerian root tea just before bed
  • Try earplugs
  • Listen to calming music or a guided meditation
  • Take a warm bath
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Use a white noise machine or a fan
  • Pray (Dear God! Please help! works for me.)
  • Hug a stuffed animal
  • Sing a relaxing song in your head
  • Put your hand on your heart and say kind things to yourself

Self-Compassion Challenge:

Tonight before you fall asleep. Try one or more of these self soothing suggestions above.

Alright, sweet one. Let me know what helps you fall asleep when you’re having a restless night. Post your suggestions below.

Sweet dreams,


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Feature Image:Sleep Tight” by freestocks.org on Flickr

Today’s post was written in the lovely roadside cafe El Mori, in Alhaurín El Grande, Andalucia, Spain.

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