I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but something seems to be getting in the way of my sleep schedule. Maybe it’s the random hours of class schedule or the sky getting darker or my increasingly long mental “to-do” list, but I am working to get to the bottom of it. I am usually a stellar sleeper, like I could be a sleeping model. I love to sleep and prioritize my 7-8 nightly hours of slumber way above most other things.
Things would be so much easier if I drank caffeine, but I don’t, so with daylight savings time changing things up again soon, I thought it might be helpful to share a few things I’ve been trying to improve those nightly zzzzzz’s.
1. Slow Down. I try to give myself an hour for my night routine. I put away my projects, turn off my computer, and start winding down. I wash my face, brush my teeth, pack my lunch, lay out my clothes, straighten up around me, and spend time with Husband.
2. Light Candles. My mom recently introduced me to Woodwick flickering candles that sound like a fireplace. I enjoyed the calming scent and relaxing sound so much that I burned the whole thing in less than a month.
3. Spray Pillow Mist. I’ve been using Bath & Body Works Eucalypus Spearmint mist since high school and swear by it. The scent encourages me to take deep breaths and mentally prepare for sleep.
4. Play Calming Music. I’ve been loving the George Winston playlist on Pandora.
5. Make a List. I write down everything I need to do tomorrow so my brain can rest without having to hold them in working memory.
6. Turn Off the Lights. I try to keep all artificial light out of my bedroom. No TV’s, no charge chords, and no night lights. I need a dark space for my brain to unwind.
7. Count Your Blessings. This has really been helping as my final step. I usually fall asleep during this process (after blowing out the candles, of course). I enjoy thinking through the day and reflecting on everything that went well and everything I am thankful for.
8. Don’t Look at the Clock. If for some reason, I wake up in the middle of the night, I make myself promise not to look at the clock. It stresses me out to think about how long I have until I have to wake up, so I just imagine I have plenty of time and hop back in bed.
That’s my routine! I’m planning to stick to it and hope for a quick return to my peaceful nights. What do you do to encourage restful sleep?