After a conversation with my friend the other day I told her it sounded like she had the “New Home Blues.” I made this up on the spot to be funny but I then did some research on it. Mostly it was just her talking about how after buying a new home she was having trouble sleeping in the new location. I thought that it made perfect sense that she would be having trouble sleeping. After months of the house buying process and moving stress, she is now physically in a new location and environment. We can all adapt but it may take some time.
Fall is a great time to start some new sleeping habits. The days are shorter so we are no longer enticed by the Sun to stay out longer than we should. The temperature is more moderate and cooler, which allows perfect sleeping temperatures. If you are in a new home these are two positives that can work in your favor. It is also the season of routine. If you have children they are now back into a school routine, and you may notice a change of pace at work. People are settling in and getting back to a more set schedule, which is harder to follow during the summer.
Additional environmental habits that can help with sleep anxiety in a new home are light and sound. Try and make sure you aren’t being affected by artificial light close to bedtime. Live someplace busier or even quieter? This may be a good time to start using some white noise to fall asleep with. My friend just made the move from the country to a busy college city. Not only is there traffic noise but random outbursts from the over-excited inebriated population. White noise can help make the transition to sleep by eliminating these outside factors.
If you have fallen into the cycle of having trouble sleeping you start worrying about not sleeping. This makes it even harder to fall asleep. Try aiming to go to bed 30 minutes before you normally plan too. When you plan a bedtime it is then easier to try some winding down practices. Read a book that seems dull to you. Start turning off lights and making the room dimmer. Breathing exercises and light meditation can also start to help. Avoid reading on electronic devices or watching television right before bed. The blue light can interrupt your natural rhythm.
New home blues, hopefully, will not last forever. Be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for what you went through buying a new home. Don’t use right before bed to worry about what boxes are still left to unpack or what needs doing the next day. Take the time to be happy and content with your accomplishments and just be in the moment, quiet, and let yourself drift off to sleep.