I was talking to a friend of mine this morning and she said that like me and so so so many other people, she has a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. She often works the late shift and ends up falling asleep on the couch. I can commiserate with her on this because, with the stress of life comes an inability to relax. So, when my friend comes home, it takes her so long to relax that by the time she slows down, she’s already asleep!
I’ll tell you guys exactly what I told her: the key to falling asleep and staying asleep is a bedtime routine. It works just as well as when we were 5 years old.
My routine starts about an hour before I want to fall asleep:
9pm – Sip some chamomile tea (with an ice-cube because I’m too impatient to let it cool down) while I write a short entry in my personal diary.
9.15pm – Draw a warm bath. Throw in some epsom salts if you had a hard workout that day, it aids in muscle recovery.
9.30pm – Settle into bed with my fan on (wind helps me sleep) and earplugs in my ears (see below). I find some trivial summer romance novel or something similar to calm my brain and take it away from work.
10pm – Hopefully I’ve drifted off to sleep and can wake up at 6am ready for a workout!
^These earplugs changed my life. They were originally made to keep the water out of swimmer’s ears but are incredible at keeping out noise. I was uncomfortable at first because you basically seal off your ear cavity and I was scared I wouldn’t get them out. But I did! And 5 years later, I still use them every day. The best part: you can get them at any drug store for very cheap!
– Keep a notebook next to your bed to write any thoughts that may be spinning around your head. I often have my best creative ideas right before bed and they’re always there waiting for when I wake up!
– Sleep with a heating pad near your body, the warmth continues the relaxation from the bath.
– Sprinkle a few drops of lavender on your pillow, the smell and its effects are amazing.
– Never fall asleep and stay asleep on the couch or with the TV on. It’s important to separate the sleep zone from the unwinding zone.
– Also, never do anything but sleep and baby making in your bed; including eating and watching TV. Don’t mix zones!