We can’t be very curious, present, and loving if we don’t have a good night of sleep, right? Let’s do a quick trot around the bases:
- Zara talks about phone modes, limiting caffeine and alcohol, and reading.
- Daman Ashworth enlightened me on “sleep pressure” (your body, ready to sleep).
- Screens surround us, many with blue light. Check out When Women Inspire.
- Mental Health at Home has a whole series on sleep, including what it is.
- Delusional Bubble reminds us to turn out the lights, have a schedule, drink milk.
Let’s move on to how to fall asleep like a baby!
Fall asleep like a baby…maybe
I got a chuckle out of the New York Times saying to get better sleep, read less news. To be fair, they are talking about reading news immediately before bed. Guaranteed reading about COVID-19, Coronavirus, and social distancing is not going to help you get all cozy and dreamland-ready. And during this time, it is espcially important to get good sleep.
Speaking of quarantining, Inc. is being a buzzkill and telling me to avoid long naps to get a good night’s sleep. Isn’t that the purpose of “working” from home? Mmmm….naps. They also say get outside! That’s a great idea. Get some sunshine. Feel the warmth on your skin. And get your body ready for a blissful night’s sleep.
My personal favorite, though, is this article about having a sleep routine. Doing the same ritual every night is a great way to prep your body for bliss. Shut down the screens and the caffeine. Draw a bath or draw in a journal. Listen to music or watch your thoughts.
What’s this about a nightly routine?
Here’s something I’m interested in: productivity. I know. It sounds like an oxymoron for someone on a site about presence, curiosity, and love, who should be stopping and smelling the roses and lost in thoughts by the hours to be talking about how to get more stuff done in less time. Hey, it’s okay. Get more stuff done; have more time for smelling roses.
To be productive, you need routines. Here’s an article from the Next Web about the difference between habits and routines. Essentially, routines turn into habits. Seriously, we can go down the rabit hole (no pun intended from the GIF above) on habits and core attributes, but let’s keep this about sleep. Being well rested. And the routine isn’t just for going to sleep, for maximum productivity, you need morning routines, too.
So what is my ideal (something I’d like to do, but don’t always do) nighttime routine?
- No caffeine after 4 p.m.
- Stop using my phone or computer.
- Take the dog for a short bathroom walk.
- Brush (and floss) my teeth.
- Get undressed and be cool (body temp…I’m already cool.) (So are you!)
- Read for at least ten minutes.
- Meditate to sleep by watching my breath go in and out.
Some nights may be like this, but let’s be real: most nights are not quite that perfect. That’s okay. The idea is to have self-compassion and keep trying. Keep sleep holy and recognize its importance. Hopefully we’ll cover that later. Until then, rest well!