There were many years of my life where I didn't get restful sleep. I tried different sleeping pills and I hated how I felt the next day. It wasn't until I got myself into a really great routine that I can now fall asleep when my head hits the pillow and sleep through the night until my alarm goes off in the morning. I exercise almost every day as well, and this is a big help but there are things I do in the last couple hours of my day that make a big difference. Before I found my new routine I would sometimes find myself working until 3am, then trying to get to sleep but being wired. Today I’m sharing Three things I do before bed to set me up for a great night of sleep. They're simple. Anyone can do them and they've made such a massive difference to the quality (and quantity) of sleep I get.
A screen curfew.
It turns out as an adult I function really well with set curfews in place. I no longer find myself in bed aimlessly scrolling for hours on end realising that hours of good sleeping time have ticked by. For the couple hours before I want to sleep, I'm not on my phone or my laptop. I also don't even look at my phone in the morning (except to turn off my alarm) until I've been awake for at least an hour, usually more. It means no more "just checking my email quickly" before seeing an email about something that gets my brain going when I should be winding down. No more wasted hours when I could be sleeping. No more blue light messing up my sleep pattern and convincing my brain it's time to be awake. And in the mornings? It's up to me what I think of for that glorious first hour or two. No one else is getting priority in my brain. I have the time to write in my journal, meditate, make my breakfast, all while thinking about whatever I want to.
If you're reading this you've probably heard me mention a gratitude journal before. This whole blog is based on the concept of it (I even have a little notebook for it). Each day I write down three good things that happened in the day. I don't just write them down and forget about them. I sit with them for a few moments and remember how I felt when that positive thing happened. I remind myself of how lucky I am to have these small things going on throughout my days even when I've had a bad day. My brain is in the habit now of picking up more of these positive little moments. The fleeting things that usually pass us by. And when you fill up a notebook with little lists of three good things? You can look back and remember all of those wonderful positive things that happened.
Read a book.
This isn't when I choose to read my most informative non-fiction books. I carved out an hour in my day to get into bed with a book because I have always loved reading and realised I wasn't finding the time to do it as much as I wanted to. That just meant I had to make the time and so I did. I get into bed an hour early, sometimes with a cup of herbal tea, and read my book. It means my brain can shut off and I can really relax before it's time for bed.
Do you have a bed time routine? What is in yours?
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