Everyone is in bed except you.
You stumble around the kitchen tidying up from the day and getting lunches ready for tomorrow, trying to remember the dirty dishes go in the dishwasher and the food goes in the fridge and not the other way around. You throw on a load or two of washing, remove the main safety hazards from the lounge room floor, have a quick shower and then fall into bed yourself.
Or do you?
Or do you look around and see no-one? No-one hanging upside down off the lounge, no-one dragging the cat across the hall by the tail, and do you look down at your legs and notice that no-one is hanging off them so you do a little jig, just because you can?
And then you notice the sounds; a bit of a sleepy snuffle from down the hall, a dog barking off in the distance. And nothing else. No bickering, no phones, no TV, no “Muuuum!” (Or “Daaaad”)
This quiet time late in the day is so different to the noise and busyness of daytime that it is understandably enticing. This may be the only time you get to watch TV, read, check out your social media feeds and just relax, and so why wouldn’t you stay up until midnight to relish the peace?
You need to sleep. It might be that you set yourself a bedtime where you get to chill out for a while but still get to bed more than a couple of hours before it all starts again. Or maybe if there is something on telly that you really want to stay up and watch then you do, but you make sure you go to bed earlier the night before and after.
Here are some simple tips to help get more sleep, and better quality sleep.
Value sleep for the priceless thing that it is; care for your mind and body by committing to getting more sleep.
Go to bed. Try to establish a routine and try to avoid falling asleep in front of the TV; resist the lure of staying up for hours just because it is quiet.
Quieten your mind. Maybe do a short meditation or visualisation; if you tend to worry, write problems down well before going to bed, together with possible solutions, but put a time limit on this. If you are a list-maker, jot everything down and then leave it to tomorrow.
Avoid over-heating. Have a warm (not hot) shower or bath, use fresh, clean natural fibre bedding that is lighter-weight, turn off the electric blanket before getting into bed and try to ensure your room is well ventilated.Use relaxing aromatherapyas drops on your pillow or with an oil burner (make sure the room is well ventilated and don’t go to sleep with a candle burning).
Don’t work in bed, don’t use your laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Bed is for rest, sleep and sex.
Avoid having a heavy meal just before going to bed; a light snack like some mixed nuts, peanut butter on crackers or yoghurt is ok, just not a big feast or main meal.Avoid coffeeafter about 3pm (or earlier) and limit wine(or other alcohol) to one glass.
Trying a calming herbal tea like chamomile or passionflower. If you need something stronger, see a herbalist or naturopath for advice. Amino acid and nutrient supplements to support healthy neurotransmitters can help reduce over-stimulation and anxiety.
Exercise regularly if you can, even if it is a short walk on some days and something more vigorous other days, but avoid vigorous exercise just before bed.
(Scroll down to Janes profile to find out more about Jane, the services she offers, and where you can tap into more of her great advise via her own blog)