Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why it's not just children that need a bedtime routine - you might need one too!

 
While I don't suffer from insomnia, I have a difficult relationship with sleep.  Over Christmas, it could have possibly been attributed to 5 nights on the sofa (voluntarily) when friends came to stay, or sharing my bed with a man so hot (literally - now is not the time for bragging), that he makes magma seem icy.
 
Over the last week, I might blame: back to work 'nerves' (if I'd had them); over-stimulation from doing more than sit on my butt and watch T.V or the social jet-lag of dragging myself our of bed at 6am. Sadly, it's none of these causes. I just do not sleep through the night.
 
We've probably all read the advice for a good night's sleep:
  • avoid stimulation before bed. Any fun activity - apps, TV, computers, WORK, caffeine, and yup blogging - actively prevent the brain chillaxing.
  • avoid over-heating. A hot bath may seem fab, but your body and particularly your brain would rather keep cool to sleep effectively.
  • avoid liquids for a while before bedtime (for obvious reasons) and that includes alcohol. It might make you feel sleepy, but it interrupts your natural sleeping rhythms.
  • avoid eating too late. The initial slump you get from carbs, WILL convert to energy, just as you are trying to nod off.
  • avoid any extreme exercise....
So short of laying like a brick waiting for sleep to take over, it's quite hard to know what I can do to catch a full night of Z's, free from loo stops, water-breaks, hot 'flushes' and just plain 'oooo it's 2am realisations (followed by the 'brick' strategy of dropping off to sleep).
 
Then it occurred to me - being the age where all my friends seem to have small children - that I don't really have a good routine. Everyone with a bambino knows that a solid routine of unwinding = a better chance of sleeping through the night, or at least until a mentionable time of the morning.
Before you ask when I'm drawing my pension next, I can safely say that I am fully prepared to try this routine as it would be a full blown miracle if I managed even a week of sleeping all night.
 
So that is my experiment for the coming week. I will be trying this, if not just for my energy levels, but for my poor, increasingly wrinkled, thirty-something eyes.
 
How do you wind down? I'll update you soon on my progress - I promise!
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10 comments:

Cocalores said...

You are such a meanie! Mommy, I don't wanna go to sleep. Don't take away all the fun in my evenings =(

Ha ha, I totally know you're right, but I have no intentions of doing that or I might die of boredom. Granted, spending the evening in front of the laptop and with your smartphone on the nightstand is probably not healthy, so this is what I am offering you as a compromise!

xo

Natasha V said...

I always manage to fall asleep in front of the TV (usually during a commercial). I'm so weird. Otherwise I definitely have a "nighttime" routine where I make sure to do my skincare routine that tells my brain it's bed time.

Jessica Gehman said...

These are really great suggestions! I try to do a routine similar to this, especially when I am stressed which is when I tend to sleep the worst. I start shutting down the laptop about 10pm, drink a glass of water while making lunches, and then sit on the bed or the sofa and read a book for 10 - 15 mins. Its a great way to be productive (lunches packed), spend time with my husband, and not be glued to the television!

Wenhao Guo said...
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