We are so dedicated to keeping our babies and kids’ sleep routines but we often neglect our poor tired selves! Here are some ideas to help you customize a nightly routine that works into your lifestyle. You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time (well, hopefully better than a baby)!!
1. Listen to your body and learn your rhythm/cycle to determine the ideal time for you to go to bed and wake up each day. Ideally you will go to bed at the same time and wake naturally feeling refreshed at the same time every day. If this is impossible ensure you have a routine at each sleep time (no matter how short, to ‘train’ yourself to know when to switch off and sleep).
2. Endeavour to slow things down so you’re not rushing to finish work/chores just before bedtime. Just 15 minutes to an hour of unwinding time will benefit your sleep patterns.
3. Avoid screen time for an hour before sleep. TV’s, computers and tablets emit EMF’s (Electromagnetic Fields) and blue light which stimulates the brain and messes with your internal body clock by suppressing melatonin.
4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks. Alcohol may feel like it puts you to sleep faster but the quality of your sleep will be affected. Enjoy a herbal tea instead. Additionally, don’t go to sleep on a full tummy or an empty tummy. Eat your evening meal early.
5. Incorporate relaxing rituals to train your body to sleep well. These may include a bath, hot towel rub, reading a real book or deep breathing exercises.
6. Spend a few minutes writing any thoughts/worries that may be playing on your mind or write a list of things you need to do the next day so you don’t spend precious sleeping time worrying about the day gone by or the one coming up.
7. Use calming oils in your bath or on the inside of your wrists. Oils like lavender, rose, sandalwood, chamomile, juniper and marjoram are known for their soothing effects.
8. Make sure regular exercise is part of your day. Exercise and/or lots of movement every day will promote better sleep.
9. Avoid napping too late in the day or it might affect your falling asleep at night.
10. If you find you are lying awake for longer than 15-30 minutes, get up and read a book until you feel tired.