Have trouble getting to sleep? Be kind to yourself even if you are worried about it. Part of getting ready to relax is allowing for the discomfort of the unknown. Know you are working on new habits and that effort pays off.
Have you been working to shift your bedtime routine to support your quality of sleep. This is one of the hardest skills my clients struggle with. It is such a fearful time because “what if I don’t get enough tonight?” or “will I even get to sleep?” the thoughts begin to plague us before we hit the pillow.
Your job … is to believe that you can shift old patterns and that you are patient enough to work through the effort it takes to make a change in your life. This is hard work. New behaviors take 20-40 days to get set up. Sleep is one of those that takes a while, and often we’ve conditioned ourselves to worry about it.
Tonight, as you go to bed, have grace with yourself and say “I am going to sleep well. I have been working hard to get back on track and shift my system, step by step. I am doing the work and I sleep well as a result”. If it does not go great, just remind yourself that you are working on it and step by step shifting old patterns. Have compassion for the work you are doing and know that each night you give it effort you help make those changes possible.
For some hitting the hay comes easy. For others it becomes a struggle night after night. Here are some ideas on how to get to bed easier.
From the time we are babies the experts preach bedtime routines. This doesn’t change as we get older – I think we just quit listening as closely.
Enjoy Mario, He’s pretty funny and has some good things to add to your routine!
Routines help us adjust to our activities of daily living so we can trigger physical responses without too much thought. Think about how you respond to a favorite song, a smell, or your drive to work automatically. Creating a bedtime routine can work wonders for those trying to get enough sleep on a consistent basis.
Here are some ideas:
Dim the lights around the house
Play restful / soft music – music effects our heart rates – think group x class – that’s why they keep the tunes pumping. Not what you want at bedtime. Pick something that soothes you and slows you down.
Use a calming scent – lavender, chamomile, etc – in linen sprays, candles, or sachets
Take a warm bath
TURN OFF THE TV & COMPUTERS – the screens are actually moving in ways your eyes and brains have to keep up with. So even when we may feel it is unwinding us, too close to bedtime it keeps our brains working hard making it harder to transition to sleep.
Drink calming or herbal teas
Invite your family to participate in the routine by reading together, sharing quiet stories about the day, or just being quiet
Practice yoga or other breathing / stretching activity
Whatever you choose to do use the same routine each day – creating a pattern of your behavior allows the body to become more in tune to it. This allows the body and brain to shift into the pattern easier. If you want to be able to shift into sleep easier try using the same music, smells, and activity routines each night to create a pattern for your bedtime.