12 Days of Self-Care | Sleep
Last night, I was up until midnight. I had some work to do and I just hadn’t taken a moment to sit down and enjoy a moment of peace. A few episodes of The Office later, I was editing photos and writing blog posts and I blew right past my self-assigned bed time. By the time I crawled into bed, I found a handful of little things that I had forgotten to take care of earlier, like bring more toilet paper to the upstairs bathroom and get water bottles ready for the kids for the next morning. Oh, and while I was at it, I decided I should probably work on planning the 6 year old’s birthday party because he turns 7 next month. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Needless to say, I woke up this morning feeling exhausted, anxious, and overwhelmed. This has to happen to me every once in a while so that I can remember the importance of rest.
Are any of you really good at getting enough sleep? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS. I know that it is important but sometimes I find it so hard to wind down at the end of the day. There are loads of laundry to do, dishes to wash, blog posts to write, and photos to edit. And sometimes, those late night hours are the most peaceful for me. All of my boys are asleep and quiet. The dogs finally stop following me around the house. It’s the best time for me to sit down and focus.
But then reality hits the next morning when our day has to get started before the sun and I seriously regret not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep. I will say this: meditating before bed has made a massive difference for me in both the quality of my sleep and the amount of time it takes me to actually drift off. Headspace has a meditation practice specifically for sleep and I highly recommend it if you struggle at night the way I do.
Now, why am I incuding this as one of my 12 Days of Self-Care when I seem to be terrible at it? Because admitting our weaknesses doesn’t take away how important some things are. And my hope is that this community will have some encouraging comments or suggestions for night-owls like me! I know there are more of you out there!
I do have a few nuggets that you might find useful, so here we go…
Why you should get more sleep:
SO MANY REASONS. Sleep helps you stay healthy, maintain healthy a healthy weight, reduce stress, improve mood, reduce risk of heart problems, etc.
Aside from the medical reasons, I find that when I get enough sleep I am kinder and calmer to those around me. I also make better decisions and take better care of myself.
How to make it work:
Set a reminder on your phone about 30-45 minutes before you’d like to be in bed. I don’t always stick to mine, but I can tell you that it gets me in bed earlier than if I didn’t have that little nudge.
Read, sketch, journal…do something non-screen related in the hour before you go to sleep. I always notice a sense of calm when I lay down after doing something like this vs the anxiety that screen time can give me.
Meditate! I know. I sound like a broken record here. But meditation is an amazing way to get your mind and body ready for rest.
Diffuse oils like lavender, chamomile, and eucalyptus.These scents can help us relax and they keep the air from being too dry, which can impact your quality of sleep.
Now it’s your turn! I’d love to hear your ideas on how to get more (and better) sleep. It’s such an important piece when it comes to self-care and it often gets over-looked. Leave a message in the comments so we can get the discussion rolling!