I love sleep. Seven hours please! I can manage on less, but it’s hard to do anything which requires sustained energy: like getting up early and writing daily posts!
Good sleep creates the conditions for your to flourish. It sets you up to tend to what matters.❤️
I’ve gone through a number of years of very disturbed sleep.
It started when I became a mum (aged 43) and I was up at nights with our daughter. Just as she started sleeping through the night I had an operation which was medically successful🙏🏼, and also led to menopause fast track. Four years of very disturbed sleep followed.😱
This year it’s eased. I have no idea if this means I’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel or simply having an extended reprieve.🤷🏻♀️ Whichever, I’ll take it for now!
So, I understand the difference a good night’s sleep makes AND I know what it’s like to try different techniques and products to help promote it.
Here are the things that make the biggest difference for me.
1. Bedtime blurt.
I keep an A5 notebook beside my bed. No matter what time I go to bed, I write up to 3 pages of random dribble.
Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way introduced me to the practice of Morning Pages. I love those, but evening pages as where it’s at for me these days.
It can feel a bit odd at first writing your thoughts. ‘I wish…if only…I feel…she said..blah’.
This is not journalling by the way. This is simply mindless drivel which neither you, nor anyone else, is going to read. All those thoughts that go round and round in your head. Those situations you’re dwelling on. This is the place to put them. Think of it as your virtual paper bag: you’re chucking everything in for safe keeping during the night.
There are nights when I’ve woken up in the early hours and found it hard to get back to sleep. After a few hours or lying there I’ve got up and done this practice. Then got back in to bed and found it easier to go to sleep. It amazing what ends up on those pages at 3am in the morning! 🤪
BTW if you’re worried that you’ll forget something important, I also recommend having a small notepad on your bedside table. Write down anything you actually do need to remember to do in the morning. You know that you’ll see it when you wake up in the morning. I have found fancy post-its work well for me.
2. Technology curfew
It’s been years now since we adopted a technology curfew in our house. 9pm sharp.
At the start I set phone alarm to get in the habit. I still do sometimes if I know I’m going to be working on something in the evening and may get absorbed.
Turning off the modem at that time helps too.
Last night I did not honour this agreement with myself. I was browsing for Christmas gift ideas and told myself it was okay because it was for others. Doh!🤦🏻♀️
Yep, this morning I’m noticing that I feeling a bit sluggish.
Phone alarm for me this evening!
3. Bedtime rituals
I love everyday rituals. One of my favourites is getting ready for bed.
I’ve given up being resentful and trying to figure out how come my husband has managed to be in bed on his second chapter of a good book while I’m still brushing my teeth. It just takes me longer. Fact.
I see it as my special time. I like washing my face and massaging some oil in. I like putting on my special handcream.❤️
I also keep a bottle of Lavender essential oil on my bedside table. Some nights I’ll put a drop on my pillow. If hot flashes are lurking again – you start to be able to tell after a while! – I’ll pop a drop on the soles of my feet.
4. Cycles and seasons
There are times in the month when I need more sleep – around the time of the new moon.🌑
Conversely, I can manage with less around the full moon.🌕 Indeed I now accept that my body feels a bit wired around that time. Earth has big tides around that time. We’re composed of around 50-60% water so we’re going to feel that lunar effect too…even more so if you’re suffering from water retention!!
And of course, there are the seasons to consider as well. Here in the northern hemisphere it’s currently the season of hibernation.
I can use this awareness when I’m scheduling life activities. I’m more likely to do big work projects or more social meets up around the full moon and in spring/summer. I’m more likely to have a candlelit bath and head to bed early with a good book around the new moon. After you practice it for a while it starts to become second nature.
5. Bedtime alarm
As you may have gathered by now, I’m a big fan of the phone alarm.
You may set a wake up alarm, but have you tried setting a ‘Go To Bed’ alarm? You can actually type those very words in as the name of your alarm so they flash up.
Take when you want to be asleep Then work backwards to allow for your bedtime routine – pet care, putting the house to bed, self care time, bedtime blurt, turning off the modem, whatever your version of this is – and set your alarm for that time.
I invite you to give it a go and see.
So there you have it, dear friend.
My (tried and tested!) tips for a good nights sleep.
Wishing you deep, restorative rest however that looks for you.
Let’s flourish together!