Do you remember being little, and doing anything to try and stay up late? Nowadays most of us would give anything for an early night or at least a decent nights sleep.
When did we become so bad at it?
Personally I was always a good sleeper, these days it’s a massive struggle. Rather than walking around like a zombie and moaning on about being tired to anyone who will listen (I know I’m not the only one!!), I want to try and do something about it.
I think Netflix, YouTube and Instagram have a lot to answer for when it comes to me not getting off to sleep. I can scroll or watch for hours without noticing the time.. before I know it I’ve only got 6 hours before my alarm will be going off. Tell me you’re the same?!
The recommended sleep time for adults is 7 to 9 hours per night. I get nowhere near this… not a chance. I need to work on it!
We probably all know what we should be doing, but don’t actually bother most of the time. I think it’s a lot to do with the fact we have so much on our plates these days, we spend our time doing lots of things for others and we forgot to look after ourselves. Self care needs to be higher up on the list of priorities.
I’ve decided to devise a bedtime routine. Who says these are only for kids?
Here we go….
Preparing the space
- Declutter the bedroom – a tidy & clean environment gives a much more peaceful vibe. Who wants to try and sleep whilst looking at a ‘floordrobe’ and ten dirty cups that need taking downstairs? So, a good tidy up is on the cards. I might want to do this before it’s actually time for bed, as I doubt it will be very relaxing.
- Décor – my room is currently neutrals and muted yellow. Apparently lavenders, blues and greys are the best to have in a bedroom. Blackout blinds/curtains are probably a good idea too – I need to invest. I can’t change my bedroom immediately so I’ll just have to wing this bit for now.
- Set the mood – for sleep that is (get your mind back on this please)! Warm lighting that isn’t too bright. A candle or an oil diffuser going for a little bit… just don’t fall asleep with anything still burning. My oil diffuser is one of my favourite things I have bought recently. After a little bit of researching into the oils, I use a mix of lavender and peppermint on a night. It’s relaxing but also helps with the feeling of breathing easily and stops the room feeling stuffy.
- Temperature – an open window for fresh air, a fan, the right bedding are all things I should probably consider. In winter I would probably put the heating on for a little bit, but I sleep better if the bedroom isn’t too hot. No one wants to wake up a sweaty mess with their hair plastered to the side of their head!
- Bedside Table – clutter free obviously, but I plan on leaving a notepad and pen on here (does anyone else love stationary?). I can then write down anything I suddenly remember I need to do as I’m trying to go to sleep. It can be niggling things like this that keep me awake sometimes. A glass of water on here might be a good idea too, but not much else other than that.
- The Bed – I recently got a new bed, my mattress isn’t too old and it’s very comfortable for me. I just think I could do to find a pillow that suits me. I’ve got a feather one at the moment and it’s basically gone as flat as a fart!
- Caffeine – I personally try to avoid this after 2 pm, this is my preference and I am sure everyone is different with their own caffeine tolerances. I even read a recent news article saying that coffee doesn’t disrupt sleep. I don’t believe it.
- Bath-time – a warm bath or shower using some lavender products can help with relaxation. Clean teeth. Fresh PJ’s/nightwear is always a winner too. Any excuse to hit Primark for some new jammies.
- Winding Down – I want to avoid watching TV and using my phone for at least half an hour before I want to sleep. Reading an actual book or my Kindle might be a good replacement. Meditation is also something I do like to do, especially if I’ve had a really hectic day and still feel a little bit wired at bedtime. I admit it felt really strange at first but once I stopped caring what people might think it became easier. There’s some really good meditation apps too, such as Headspace and Calm… although YouTube also has some excellent meditation content for free.
- Bedtime – I’m trying to go to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. I think this will take a while so at the moment I am aiming to be in bed for 10pm and asleep by 11pm at the very latest… even at weekends!! To some people that might make me a loser but right now I couldn’t care less! I like being at home on a weekend anyway and I can still have a decent enough time with friends and still make it into my pit for this time anyway.
Time for sleep
- Relaxing sounds – some people may prefer silence, and earplugs could be an option. I prefer relaxing music or sleep sounds such as gentle rain and I usually use my Amazon Echo Dot for this.
- Eye-mask – This is one of the best things I have found to help me sleep. I want to look at the different ones available as mine is very basic. Apparently you can get really comfy ones that don’t squash your eyelashes. I felt like an idiot with it on the first few times but I’m over that now. A fun fact about me is that I sometimes have hallucinations at night, usually of animals in the bedroom or crazy men at the window… the eye mask has helped reduce this!!
The biggest thing for me I guess is actually thinking about what I am doing on a night and making a conscious effort to look after myself.
I am so guilty of just seeing out my day and crawling into bed after a hectic last minute cleaning spree or something similar. No wonder I can’t sleep when I’m running about like crazy instead of chilling out. Even when I stop, I’m thinking about what still needs doing or what is happening the next day.
Getting to sleep easily means I need to calm down on a night, and put any thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow to the side line. I need to be present in the moment and relax.
It’s all easier said than done so I’m hoping that putting this on paper and devising a proper routine means it will actually just become a habit. Then I can wake up feeling refreshed, because right now I can’t remember the last time that happened!
No one ever truly feels like they have everything under control… do they?