I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by own thoughts this week. I usually post on a Sunday, but I couldn’t tease out my ideas enough to find any kind of clarity. So rather than ramble on incoherently, or give up completely, I thought I would write (albeit a bit late) about something that I know pretty well: Sleep.
Sleep is just the best. It is the one time when your job operating your body is over, and you can let all of the healing and repairing processes take place without any of your input. I am personally a 8-9 hours of sleep kinda gal. It takes something very special to tempt me to compromise this. I know everybody is different, but I cannot function with any kind of joy or ease if I haven’t had enough sleep. I have learned to accept this rather than apologise for it, as it can make me seem anti-social.
Now I can’t promise that anything I tell you will change your sleep cycle, or allow you to get more sleep than usual. If you have consistent trouble with getting enough sleep then you should probably get your doc involved. But what I have found, is that implementing these things has helped me with falling asleep and feeling that I have slept more deeply, more often.
This doesn’t have to be a structured, rigid thing. Even just trying to clear your head for a minute or two, can really help that feeling of all of your thoughts swirling around as soon as your head hits the pillow. Allow yourself to think those thoughts and then let them go: release them somehow. You could try visualising them floating away like balloons or imagine putting your thoughts in a box that you are not allowed to open until the morning. Just experiment with it. The important thing is to have some unstimulated time before lights out.
2. Establish routine
In conjunction with the quiet time, try to have a few set things that you do before you go to bed. You are essentially training your brain to know when it is time to go to sleep. My Mum does the crossword in bed and she claims that now if she picks one up during the day, it makes her feel sleepy.
Here is what I do (or try to most nights)
- have a shower
- write in my line-a-day journal
- maybe read a page or two of an easy-going book
I kid you not, I felt a little bit sleepy just thinking that through! Yours doesn’t have to be the same but the idea is to start winding down and stay away from stimulants.
3. Ban screens
Falling asleep watching TV, or scrolling through our news feeds until the wave hits, is extremely common-place for a lot of us. We all know it’s supposed to be really bad for us, but we do it anyway. Some people try to claim that it help makes their eyes tired, but this doesn’t mean that you get a good sleep. In fact, the light is suppressing your sleep cycle and keeping your brain alert.
It’s also easy to get in the habit of looking at social media last thing before you go to sleep and first thing when you wake up. It’s not the best, particularly if you have an actual living, breathing human next to you to talk to. Sean was actually the one who banned phones from our bedroom. We now charge ours in the lounge, and plugging them in has become a part of our bed-time routine. This is the easiest change that you could make to benefit you sleep. But before you even think of the excuse…
4. Buy an alarm clock.
Getting a good nights sleep is an important form of self-care. Although our sleep requirements may differ, everyone feels a bit crap if they get less than they need. Give it a try, coz being a badass is hard-work and the world needs you at your best.
Peace and love
The image with this post is a picture of my bedside table. I try to keep it as uncluttered as possible and only with my favourite things.