My Top Twelve Tips for Healing Insomnia

Does fibromyalgia cause insomnia or does insomnia cause fibromyalgia?  I do not have a definitive answer. However, I do know that insomnia can wreak havoc on health and well being.

I first succumbed to fibromyalgia in 2003, and insomnia took hold of my life for seven long years.

15 years later, my lifestyle has completely changed and I have embarked on a new life path, embracing a slower pace of life, as per the title of my memoir.

My top tips for healing insomnia are:

Limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol 

Sugar and caffeine are both stimulants. Eating sugar causes a spike in blood glucose levels, causing an immediate stimulation of the brain.

Caffeine acts on the central nervous system to increase alertness and attention. It can stay in your system for up to 12 hours – not so good if you are prone to insomnia!

Alcohol may help you fall asleep more quickly, but you will spend less time in a deep sleep, and more time in the less restful REM or Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep. In addition you may have to visit the toilet more often during the night…

Avoid exercising close to bedtime

The jury is divided on whether exercising before bedtime affects sleep quality. If you suffer from insomnia, it is worth experimenting on exercising at different times of the day.

Personally, I find exercising in the evening delays sleep and impairs my sleep quality. I avoid it completely.

Avoid watching television, using a computer or mobile phone before bedtime

In the evening, our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that helps us feel sleepy, fall asleep and stay asleep till daylight. It then naturally dissipates.

However, televisions, computers and mobile phones emit blue light, which can prevent the body from producing melatonin.

If you suffer from insomnia you may find it helpful to avoid watching television, using a computer or mobile phone 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.

Bloggers please take note!

Keep to a regular bedtime

Our brains and bodies are subject to a Circadian Rhythm which regulates our sleeping patterns, our energy levels and appetite…

I was born a lark, and always feel better going to bed and waking up early. Sadly, I find even occasional late nights a problem, as my Circadian Rhythm takes a very long time to return to its usual balance.

Sometimes, I decide it is simply not worth it.

Epsom salt baths

Epsom salts are rich in the mineral magnesium, which helps to regulate neurotransmitters responsible for calming the body and the mind.  Magnesium also regulates melatonin levels.

I find Epsom salt baths help my muscles to relax, and aid restful sleep.

Magnesium supplements are also worth considering. I include magnesium in my daily vitamin and mineral support; I do not thrive without it.

Keep you bedroom free of clutter

One of the insights I gained through my years as a natural medicines therapist, was that CHI or energy needs to have a clear channel to flow in both our bodies, our homes and our workplace.

Clutter impedes the flow of CHI and can contribute to a busy mind, poor quality sleep, blockages in our career, the flow of abundance…

If you suffer from insomnia, please consider having a major clutter clear out in your bedroom and removing excess books, furniture, clothes lying on the floor…

A calm environment aids a calm mind.

Keep electronic equipment out of the bedroom 

I have already touched on the detrimental effects of televisions, computers, and mobile phones on sleep quality.

If you are finding it difficult to sleep, please consider removing electronic equipment from your bedroom.

Decorate your bedroom in restful hues

Bright colours in your bedroom will stimulate your mind, and are not conducive to restful sleep. If you are an insomniac, consider letting go of bright yellow, orange, or red walls…

A restful or pastel palette of duck egg blue, pink, pale grey, lilacs, soft greens… will help you sleep more soundly.

Invest in a good quality bed and bedding

We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep, therefore it is worth spending a little extra on a good quality bed. I use hypoallergenic bedding, which I wash in environmentally friendly products. It helps my breathing and promotes good quality sleep.

Invest in your well being. You are worth it.

Keep a journal by your bed side

As a blogger, I often find I get my best ideas just before I nod off. I write them down immediately, lest I forget!

I also add any “To do” thoughts that surface and jot those down too.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

Life can be tough at times, but cultivating an attitude of gratitude has helped me through life’s ups and downs. I write a note of ten good things each and every day in my journal, no matter how small.

If life is challenging, I remind myself that:

“This too shall pass.”

Natural Medicines

Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Creative Visualisation, Reflexology, Dr Bach Flower Essences, and Emotional Freedom Technique have all helped me in healing my insomnia.

Emotional Freedom Technique known as EFT is particularly useful. You can even practice it in bed while lying down.

The website has free tutorials on this simple yet powerful healing technique.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.


Categories: Fibromyalgia

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  1. Wise advice, Brigid! Having suffered from troubled sleep on and off I have adopted a lot of these measures. At one stage my computer was in the bedroom and that was terribly disturbing even when covered up with a tablecloth! Much better since it’s in my study! I hope your insomnia has gone now and wish you restful and peaceful nights. Hugs xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

      • I still have some nights with no sleep … it is so depressing to one’s spirit and energy. My husband tries to understand but has never had a sleepless night in his life, whereas my son seems to have inherited my busy mind and emotions! Alas! Still, much better and feel clear-headed and happier. Warmest hugs xxxx

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Some great tips! I definitely find that clutter irks me, and it’s a constant battle to keep surfaces clear of paper, pens etc and general junk that accumulates. I’ve also recently invested in a new duvet & pillows so I’d definitely recommend that too as it makes a difference. I still struggle quite a lot with insomnia but at least the rest is more peaceful rather than annoying when I’m lying there unable to sleep! Here’s to better sleep for us all 🙂
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

      • A professional space clearer, sounds like something I’d enjoy (and find easier doing it for someone else). Was that for companies or people in their homes? I’m glad insomnia is a rarity for you now, that’s so positive to hear!! 🙂
        Caz x

        Liked by 2 people

      • A bit of both Caz. I was a natural medicines therapist and teacher for 20 years and used spaceclearing a lot in the latter years. I still do it for myself. I have a couple of posts on it. They are from January and February of last year. 🌼

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very useful reminders (in some cases) and new information in others. I am definitely a piler/clutterer and had not thought much about how that could affect the flow of energy in my life (both awake and asleep…) This one, however, is a big challenge for many of us: “You may find it helpful to avoid watching television, using a computer or mobile phone 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Bloggers please take note!” Thank you for these ideas — and also for your commitment to living a slower life. I feel that our 21st century, gadget-driven lives are more and more insane — and yet so many things (like economic growth) are desperately tied to an ever-more-frantic need to innovate/update/stay competitive with very little time devoted to reflection about the far-ranging and often unexpected consequences of our daily actions/choices… Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Will. I am glad you found some of my tips helpful. I do not know how some of my bloggibg and social media friends sleep at all…
      It is not easy finding balance in life these days but it is doable most of the time 😊


  4. Thank you so much for the tips Brigid. Me and my hubby already follow some of these but we need add few more from here. In today’s life we all need such followings to follow due to our schedules, type of work and technologies around to get good sleep.
    I have watched your book trailer on YouTube, it is really soothing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks Brigid, I suffer from regular insomnia despite following many of these healthy practices, apart from the magnesium which is interesting and something I need to look into. I was wondering if you have any advice when insomnia strikes? Sometimes I wake up at 3 a.m. and spend 45 minutes “trying” to get back to sleep before eventually getting up and having a read downstairs and then going back to bed. But that’s 90 minutes lost. If I could reduce that by half that would already be an improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your own hard work on this website. My niece really loves managing internet research and it’s easy to understand why. All of us notice all relating to the powerful way you provide functional tips via the blog and as well as cause response from some others on the article while our simple princess has always been learning a whole lot. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You are conducting a tremendous job.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. As one who suffers from chronic illnesses I know that sleep is absolutely vital, but something that I struggle with nightly. I appreciate your wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brigid, I am so impressed with your honest-to-goodness wonderful ways to stop insomnia in its tracks. Congratulations on your non-fiction Watching Daisies Grow and the Importance of Slow. The title alone, is another thing to help keep us healthy. “Slow” has never been in my vocabulary – but now…it is! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

    Liked by 1 person

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