I remember at this stage of the pregnancy with Hunter, I was in need of some type of bed-time routine. I’d take a 10-20 min. shower – in the complete dark. And then, I’d lay on the yoga mat for 20mins, again, in the absolute darkness, just taking in every breath. Then finally, I’d be ready to get in bed (with the lights off still) and fall asleep. It’s been hard this pregnancy to find any alone time especially when the boys decide not to nap sometimes. It’s made it seem all the harder to not want to stay up later to get my fill of “me”. Which starts this cycle … not really sticking to a healthy bed-time routine. Things like pinterest, blogging/catching up on blogs, planning this-that-and-the-other-thing … not all bad things but not great cultivating grounds for a full restful sleep either. Especially having screen time before bed.
Taken from some advise (listed at the end of the post), and other common sense and tricks I’ve used before, I know that I need to do the following to get this bad habit back on track.
1. unwind an hour before a set bed-time – Not 15mins before I go to bed, but an hour before I decide to go to bed with no electronics or “work”. It’s so easy for me to have my phone on to scroll through the days events, or have my computer to quickly look up something. Got to re-establish some boundaries here.
2. find my ritual (again!) – It may seem funny, but I loved having that pre-Hunter routine. I actually almost looked forward to it. Seasons play into what that may be (as right now, sitting in a hot bath, I sweat at the thought of!), but I at least need to work something in to be consistent with for the time being. Right now, for me I’m thinking that needs to be stretching. Maybe even a sudoku/crossword before bed, like I used to …
3. sweep my kitchen floor – I’m pretty sure I read this one time in a Martha Stewart magazine(!) and when I do it, it psychologically makes me feel like I’ve done something to leave my kitchen in a ‘decent state’. If I could be perfect, I’d especially love the kitchen (as well as every other room in the house!) spotless so that I could wake up to a fresh clean slate. Clearly, it doesn’t always happen the way I’d like – not all dishes fit in dishwasher, leave the garbage to take to the back until morning, etc – but if I at least sweep my kitchen floor, somehow, it just feels better and I can leave my cleaning duties to rest.
4. unload the information in my head – Too often, the ideas/problems/solutions/make up of the day keeps swirling around in my head as I’m tying to fall asleep. Like suggested in the one post below, journaling would be a good way to get my thoughts out. I’ve also found that having my daily planner & list book nearby allows me to put aside my to-dos for the next day and be able to clear mind about today.
5. applying cedarwood essential oil – It may seem like a myth, but this oil … helps me sleep! The nights I do not use it, I know it. Cedarwood contains the highest amount of sesquiterpenes – stimulate limbic system which helps us to relax, destress, uplift our moods – and somehow, it just works on me. I actually do not wake up for a solid 6 hours, which is crazy as being pregnant, I’m usually up quite a bit.
6. stretching – If there is one thing I am terrible at being consistent with, it’s stretching! Ok, maybe that and replying to texts and emails(!) but really … for how simple and benefiting it is to stretch, I should be doing it a lot more. Taking a yoga class definitely helps me with that but I can’t manage going out to a class every single night, right before bed <smile>. As I mentioned part of my “routine” goal, I’d like to incorporate an element of stretching right before bed and stick to it.
I am sure there are other things that would help in the overall process (i.e. improving foods I eat throughout the day, etc.), but for now, I am going to focus on these and hope for the best! Do you have any nighttime rituals? Or things that help you sleep better? Either habit or myth, I’d love to hear what and how it works for you!
. bedtime snacks that are supposed to help sleeping.
. 7 tips for creating a healthy sleep routine.
. though i’ve never used/needed it, this explains why white noise helps people sleep.
. handful of articles pertaining to bedtime rituals.
pic pix: right before bed, Aug.2015, my room