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!