You have tons of stuff to do the next day. Things you need or want to do. Your brain just isn’t getting the picture, “I need to sleep”. All of your responsibilities are swimming to the surface of your mind, plus every potentially embarrassing thing you’ve done in your entire life. Sound familiar?
As an insomniac myself, I know the struggle of wanting and needing to go to sleep and not being able to. You toss and turn, trying to find that perfectly comfy spot that’s going to send you to la la land. You stare at the ceiling or wall and try not to look at the clock… again.
This isn’t how it has to be. You can sleep and be perfectly rested.
Be honest with yourself
I want you to think about your nightly routine. If you think you don’t have one, you do. Think about what you do at night before bed. Do you watch tv? Read a book? Go on your phone? Play a game? Watch videos?
If you said yes to any of these, it’s possible that you need to be more conscious of stimulating your brain before bed. If you do any of these to “get sleepy” you’re not making yourself tired, you’re keeping yourself awake.
Also think about whether or not you drink anything caffeinated or very sweet. Tea, cocoa, coffee, juice, soda, etc. This could also be an issue.
How can crocheting help?
Okay, so I know you’re asking yourself what this has to do with crocheting?
Let me explain, I am an insomniac, but I found that making a routine, seriously helped me to get to sleep faster.
I hate schedules, I always have. However routines don’t seem as binding to me, and when I thought about it, I realized that I had a routine without thinking about it.
Crocheting is a wonderful pass time, but it can also be incredibly relaxing. In fact there are quite a few health benefits to crocheting. So, I suggest making yourself a bedtime blanket.
The premise is, that you pick an easy 1 or 2 row repeat like a granny square, the square waffle, the c2c, the 3D stitch, the V stitch, The moss stitch, the waffle stitch, the lemon peel stitch, the spider stitch, or your favorite easy stitch.
Then you pick a yarn color you like and a yarn type that is inexpensive.
Now is the easy part, crochet a large blanket. Don’t worry about when you’ll be done with it. Don’t be intimidated by starting a large project. Just start it.
Here’s what you do..
Make a routine around the blanket for when it’s time to go to bed.
Put on some relaxing music, whether it be a sound track, ambient, or classical piece. Try to pick something without lyrics. If at all possible, don’t use YouTube or anything with ads. You don’t want to be interrupted.
Most phones have a sleep timer in settings, make sure you set it for an hour or more, you’re not going to turn it off, you’ll let the timer do that. You also might want to turn on, “skip silence between tracks”, so there’s no interruptions.
If you’re someone who likes a hot drink before bed, try something calming like: chamomile tea, turmeric tea, catnip tea, lemon balm tea, or lavender tea. I’ve heard that people have good luck with warm milk with 1 tsp of vanilla and some honey as well.
Please be aware of what kind of tea you drink and any allergies you may have. Do not drink anything you’re allergic to.
Every night before it’s time to sleep, make your tea, breathe in the smell, and drink it leisurely. When you get into bed put on your music, put it on loop. Then pick up your crochet and start to work on it.
While you work on the blanket, I want you to really pay attention to how the yarn feels in your hands. Watch and really think about how your hands move when you crochet. Think about the color of the yarn, how it makes you feel.
If anything, or everything, stressful happened today, let it run through your mind. Don’t look at it as stress, just observe it and move on to the next thing that happened. Accept the events of the day as something that has already passed. Think about the things you accomplished today, even if it’s 1 thing. Allow yourself to be happy about it.
Think about the music you chose. What do you feel when you hear it? Really listen to the song, it’s nuances, it’s tone.
Feel the stress melt away, let your entire body relax. Think about each muscle loosening, and the stress flowing out of you.
Focus on your crocheting again. You can control what is in your hands, right now. Tell yourself that it’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to sleep. You don’t have a deadline, you control everything about it. Feel yourself crochet and admire your progress. Maybe you did half a row, maybe a whole one, it doesn’t matter. You did a good job and when you’re tired, and ready to sleep, put your work to the side, lay down, and fall asleep.
The first night, it might still take awhile to fall asleep. It might even take a couple of nights to start working. Just keep doing, keep training your brain to let go and fall asleep.
Choosing colors, stitches, and yarn
I really love this color combination, the purple, grey, and teal. This color pallet was made completely by accident. I actually started this blanket as a swatch for the square waffle tutorial, but dark colors are harder to see, so I redid it. However I liked this stitch with the purple so much that I decided to keep going with it.
So, when you pick your color, don’t worry about anything other then whether or not you like it.
You can use any type of yarn you like, but it should be machine washable and dryable. Just make sure you don’t stress about using it. You can definitely use this project as a stash buster. Especially if you use a heavily textured stitch, which are usually yarn eaters.
I’m not entirely sure how big I’m going to make the blanket. Which is why I’m happy that it’s a stitch you can keep adding to till you’re happy with the size. If you’re not sure how large you want to make the blanket then choose a c2c or a stitch worked in a square so you can choose as you go. Otherwise make a blanket that’s at least 100 stitches across.
If you feel like this project would be a “waste” of yarn, because you don’t need a blanket, then you can easily chose to make a large shawl or scarf. If you still don’t feel like this is something you need, then plan to give it to a loved one or donate it to charity.
The important thing about this project is to do it. So don’t let anything stop you, especially yourself.
Something else that’s insomnia and stress inducing is your thought. Specifically the ones you have towards the end of the night.
Are you making an impossible list of things to do?
We as humans, especially female ones, don’t like to leave things unfinished. If you make a to do list, mental or physical, every day that you “only” do half of, it can seriously weigh on your mind.
If you find yourself dwelling on the things, or even just one thing you didn’t get to, then you need to be nicer to yourself.
Make a list of things that you need to do, but make it doable. 1 or 2 time consuming things and 3 or 4 quick things. If you get more then that done, then you’ll feel accomplished instead of inept. I also urge you not to put this bedtime blanket on a list of things to do. Don’t look at it as a chore, but a restful part of the evening that you look forward to. If you find yourself starting to stress about it, then stop for a few days and go back to it.
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