But not really. This headline had me laughing out loud. For most people the struggle is in the falling asleep part, less than the staying asleep. There are countless obstacles (especially in this social media fuelled world) that can disrupt our circadian rhythms, and prevent an easy get-to-sleep-quick regime. But fear not. After countless years of dealing with this problem, I have found my top five solutions. And they probably aren’t things you’ve read elsewhere. Ok, some of them are standard, but some might just surprise you. 8pm is my ‘turn off’ time. It’s not my go to bed time, but it’s the time I like to start thinking about bed … and how I can help myself get to sleep sooner. Here are my five non negotiables when it comes to snooze o’clock.
Burn it in an oil burner. Spritz it (diluted in water) on your pillow, or even on your face. Or rub a few drops on your temples. The use of Lavender has been around for centuries. It is one of my favourite essential oils because of it’s calming properties. I instantly start taking deeper breaths and feel clear when I can smell it in the air. It’s also great as an addition to a massage medium; so for those lucky enough to have a partner who likes giving massages (me!), include it in your foot / neck and shoulder routine. Especially before bedtime. Instant zen.
Lights on electronics, and lights around your home, can have a detrimental effect to your physical body, and effect the natural pattern of your sleep / wake cycle. At 8pm, I walk through our home and turn off all the lights, barring a soft lamp in our loungeroom. I notice I stop squinting so much, and my eyes get a little heavier. Usually if I have a slight headache (hello raising children!), I feel it ease off with the lights turned off too.
Yes, yes, we all know we need to brush our teeth before bedtime. But if like me, you also like a little dark chocolate on the couch post dinner, then what time do you clean your teeth? Just as you feel sleepy and walk to your bedroom? Only to turn on one of those bright bathroom lights and stand up straight brushing, flossing for five minutes right before bedtime? No, no. Don’t do that. I used to, but have recently changed it. Now i’ll sneak off a little after my sweet treat and brush, and return to the couch to watch more Netflix or read a book, so it’s one more thing ticked off my list.
Speaking of reading, we’ve started trading in TV nights for reading nights. Only once or twice a week so far, but it’s heavenly. I’ve had a stash of books on my bedside screaming at me to open for what feels like forever, and have now started on the pile. I love that after the boys bedtime I can get genuine uninterrupted reading time, and it naturally makes me feel sleepy sooner as i’m not staring at the bright lights of a TV screen.
Chamomile, Green, Oolong, Buddha’s tears. You name it, most herbal teas will put your body in a sedative state (the good kind), and to me is the key to a perfect night sleep. Packed full of antioxidants, fat burning, and increasing your blood circulation, are but a few of the many reasons to sip the warm stuff before you catch some zzz’s. Lately with the pregnancy I haven’t been as keen, but let’s face it, pregnancy knocks you out at nighttime pretty quick anyway. It just wakes you up an hour later to pee. Insert eye roll emoji here.
So there you have it, you’ve probably heard of some, if not most of these – but here’s a gentle reminder to you, especially those parents prepping for the upcoming school holidays, and all of us approaching the ‘silly season’ – focus on your sleep friends. It’s vitally important to our bodies wants and needs, and will give you the best running system for all those busy parenting days ahead.
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