We all know that going to bed at the same time each night is important. What we do leading up to that time is just as important to a good night’s rest. When you’re little, a bed time routine consists of a bath, jammies, reading, singing, praying and getting tucked in for lights out! We can use that advice even as adults to help us create a bed time routine that eases us into slumber.
Take a Bath – about 90 minutes before bed time take a hot bath that will raise your body temp. It’s the drop in temperature after that may make you sleepy! Soak for 20-30 minutes. The more drastic the drop in body temperature the more it will make you sleepy. A shower can work also, but is not as effective, or as relaxing.
Jammies – dress for comfort. Light loose clothing for most, but wear what you need to keep you warm, but not too warm. I LOVE my fuzzy socks, but have to take them off for sleep.
Reading – TV and computers are No-No’s before bed (yeah, I see a lot of you online late at night, I am SO guilty of not following this advice!) But some experts say that light easy reading can help your brain ease out of the day. Turning off anything that stimulates your brain, and escaping to another world in a good novel, especially when done regularly, will signal sleep to your brain. Magazines are great too!
Singing – yeah, I can’t sing. But soft music does help some people get to sleep. Also think about sound machines or white noise machines. One of my wise Fibro friend recommends Binaural beats, they may be effective in helping get you to sleep. Free apps out there for your phones to give it a try.
Praying – prayer at the end of the day is important to me. I pray all during the day, but night time is when I can just let it all out with God. Journal if that helps you. I call it mind dumping. Just get everything out of your brain so you can rest. Make a list of things you need to get done the next day, talk with God about anything that is bothering you and pray for rest, restoration, and peace. My older kids find it comforting to keep a few comforting Bible verses by their beds to meditate on.
Tucked in – your bed should be clean, cozy and comfortable. Soft sheets, blankets that keep your body temperature regular. Satin pillow cases keep your head from getting too hot (and bonus ladies, they are great for your hair and skin and don’t leave creases on your face!) Check these out from SewCalledLife, an Etsy shop. Make sure you have a good quality mattress that is comfy for you. Body pillows are great for extra support. I think of my bed as a little nest for me.
Lights out! Ideally there should be NO light in a room you are sleeping in. Darkness helps our bodies produce Melatonin, the hormone that helps us get sleepy. No TV (guilty!) even the light from clocks should be covered, and unlike 3 year olds, we should NOT have a night light (guilty!!)
Oh and one more tip, Exercise! When I take my 3 year old to the park, I just KNOW he’s going to bed easier that night. When you exercise during the day your body is more ready for sleep that night.