I feel grateful that I have the ability to sleep peacefully. I wish this for you all. I feel that it is one of the single most important rituals of my day. I also feel confident in saying that it has been my life saver in times of stress and when chaos is all around me. However, this is easier said than done when the most desired routine of falling asleep does not come to you when you need it most.
I have a bedtime routine which I always follow and it involves the same tasks each and every night. If I deviate from this, I notice the quality of my sleep is reduced.
Pre-paving the steps for sleeping is the key to creating a calm environment to aid falling asleep easily. I never have any difficulty falling asleep, if I do the following:
No Caffeine after 4pm in the afternoon. FACTS: Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and can have a stimulating effect as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. Once in the body, caffeine will persist for several hours: it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be eliminated.
Reduce the temperature of your room by turning down the radiator an hour before you decide to get into bed.
The ability to have complete black out curtains or blinds is very important so that you do not get woken up too early by the dawn.
Have a glass of water or a sports bottle by your bed (this must be covered if in a glass by a serviette).
Turn off completely all technology in the room, remove plugs from the wall. Be sure that no leads are plugged in that cross underneath the bed, particularly a hairdryer, iron or phone charger. Mobiles phones must be switched off and removed from the bedroom. If you need to charge these or your Ipad. Charge these during the early evening, downstairs and well away from your bedroom.
If possible do not have a TV on standby, and better still remove the TV from the bedroom altogether. TV is a stimulant and whilst you sleep your brain processes the thoughts that have been transmitted via the TV. Watching the News can be particularly troubling if it is the last programme you watch before switching off.
Remove all visible distractions from your room, specifically paperwork relating to work. Your bedroom should look and feel sparse and calm. Bed linen should be white if possible, without the need for excessive decorative cushions for display as these take up time to remove and puff up.
Finding the right mattress and pillows is a very personal choice. I suggest that you invest in the best pillows that you can afford.
If you have a mirror which directly faces your bed, re-home this to another place, consider having a full length wardrobe door interior mirror.
Keep a block of paper and pencil/pen on your bedside table to jot down any thoughts that may be occupying your thoughts before you sleep.
If you need an alarm to wake you up in the morning avoid a digital alarm clock and your mobile phone. Replace with a battery operated alarm clock and no tick tock.
If you enjoy reading, use a book light rather than a lamp plugged in, this will avoid forgetting to unplug the lamp from the wall.
Have an eye mask ready for sleeping and if it is particularly cold a hot water bottle. Under no circumstances use an electric heated blanket. You will be sleeping with electromagnetic currents running through your body all night if you do. Using ear plugs is also an option if you sleep with a snoring partner. You can buy soft moulding brands which really help.
Position your bed at least 6 inches from the residing wall to be sure that your head is far enough away from any magnetic currents that may be channelled through the walls for overhead lights and cables.
Hang up all clothes and remove the “dumping chair” that attracts junk in the room.
Get ready to read now or listen to gentle music. Meditation is a great way to induce relaxed sleep. Yoga Nidra Meditation is fantastic.
Deep slow breathing, feeling ready to drift off to sleep and letting go of today, ready for tomorrow.