How Journaling can help you get a good nights sleep.

I am sharing how journaling has helped me get an awesome nights sleep and the benefits I have gained from this routine I have gotten into.

For me finally getting a good night’s sleep has been a long time coming.  The past 11 years have seen me hardly getting any sleep thanks to our tweenager not sleeping for the first 17 months of her life, and then our seven year old having sleep issues as well. 

But five years ago my sleep went beyond not getting sleep due to the junior sleeplovers. 

At the start of 2015 Mr Sleeplover transferred back to Melbourne for his work.  We decided to move to a rural area to be closer to our families rather than the city.  This meant Mr Sleeplover would have to travel to the city for work.  We didn’t really understand how long it would take for him to get to work and home each day.  Some days depending on the traffic he could be in the car for four hours.  Not ideal when you have a young family as he was tired all the time.  Previously when he travelled, he would be away for a night or two but as his office was only 15-30 minutes away, he was home in the mornings and at night. 

It has been wonderful being able to see more of our families but for me this move hasn’t been as awesome as I had hoped. We left behind a great lifestyle, better weather and a great group of friends, and I have found moving back to a country town hard.

The kids had no trouble with the move and they love their school and are very settled here, so we won’t be moving in the near future.  As much as I would like to.

Then just after we moved life threw me a massive curve ball to stir things up. So now I had to deal with financial, marriage and health stress. This in turn revealed a range of emotions I didn’t even know I needed to deal with. 

As you can imagine there wasn’t much sleep during this time.  I would toss and turn most nights.  I was exhausted all the time and this was no good for me or the family.

Realising things needed to change

Realising that things needed to change was one of the reasons I have started this blog.  Hopefully by sharing my stories I can help others obtain a good night’s sleep and not feel stuck like I did.

The first thing I needed to do was to get some sleep.  Not by taking anything to help me go to sleep, but to treat the underlying issues, so that at night I fall asleep with no trouble and stay asleep.

When you are exhausted it is overwhelming to know where to start. I have tried many things to help me sleep but the one thing that has stuck with me during this time and that I am really enjoying the benefits of, is journaling.

Not “Dear diary the girls at school have been mean to me”, but more of “let’s get all this crap out of my head”.

Oh wow, what a game changer this has been for me. Getting the stinking thinking out of my head and onto paper has been amazing.  The changes to my mindset have been significant as well.

When I first started, I was journaling at night, right before I went to sleep.  But I was so exhausted I couldn’t even lift a pen to paper.

Then I was journaling as soon I got up.  This can really set up your day for a great start but I had to learn to be flexible as one morning I got annoyed when my youngest sleeplover got up early with me and I couldn’t get my journaling done.  Oof, mother guilt for that one!

So now I am flexible with when I journal.  It can either be at night or morning depending on what is happening for the day.  If I journal at night, I get it done about an hour before bedtime, usually after I have got the girls into bed.  I’m not as tired and it is a good way to finish the day by getting everything out my head before I go to sleep.

If I journal in the morning the time can vary.  It could be when I first get up, after I’ve taken Evie, our puppy for a walk or even after school drop off.  Sometimes I will journal in the afternoon.  It all depends on what is happening on the day.

While the perfectionist in me thinks I should be journaling every day and at the same time of the day I have had to let that go and remember to do what I can, when I can.

Types of Journaling

I have discovered there are different types of journaling and I spent too much time researching and not starting. Then spent too much time worrying about if I was doing it right.  It did take a while for journaling to feel natural. 

Once I got started it was like the floodgates opened.  Now I just do what feels right for that day.  I might do one of the journaling types below, or I may have a prompt, or I may have something that I need to seek clarity on.  The answers to everything are already in you.  You just need to let them get out and I have found journaling to be the best way to do this.

These are the different types of journaling I do, but you can google for others:

If you are just getting started remember journaling is for your eyes only. Sometimes I can’t even read what I have written as it is so messy.  If you are worried about someone reading it you can write it all down and then burn or tear the pages in tiny pieces and throw them in the bin.  It can be as simple as writing down “today was crap” and shutting the journal. 

Benefits of journaling

Also, by clearing my mind with journaling I have noticed I have a much more positive mindset.  I have found it beneficial to get all the negative crap out and onto paper so it is not festering in my body. Hanging onto all those negative thoughts is toxic and makes it hard to be positive.  I am usually a happy and positive person but I can really let my negative thoughts rule my day and make me miserable. 

Journaling helps me sleep better, and I no longer toss and turn before bed.  I have released all my worries and the noise in my head onto the paper so I fall straight to sleep now.  I have also found I am more creative.  I didn’t even know I had a creative side.

So, if you are seeking a good nights sleep, I recommend journaling.  You will be surprised by the benefits.