Sleep . . . am I getting enough? No probably not. Can I get more? No probably not. Could it be better quality? Almost certainly.
Now that all three children are in their own bedrooms and sleeping through I can’t really blame them for my lack of sleep (well except for when they choose to wake up before 7am of course!) Much of the time the only person to blame for my lack of sleep is me!
My own top tips for a good night’s sleep include:
1. Get a decent bed
This may seem obvious however we send a substantial chunk of our lives in bed so it’s important to get it right. At the moment our bed is old, very old – we inherited it about 6 years ago as a bit of a “put me on” – we never intended to still be sleeping in it now! It’s is too small for us and really very uncomfortable. We disturb each other in the night shuffling about, fighting for duvet cover and so on. We both often wake up suffering from back ache and I must moan to Dave at least once a week that I need a new bed. So yes top of the list for getting a better night’s sleep? Get a decent bed!!
2. Reduce the caffeine
I’m not a coffee drinker however I do enjoy the odd Diet Coke. I drink a lot less now than I used to with maybe just a couple of cans a week rather than a couple of cans a day!! I try not to drink it at all in the evenings as I notice a marked difference in how easy (or difficult) I find it to fall asleep. Of course caffeine isn’t just in coffee or Diet Coke, chocolate is also a major culprit!
3. No tech allowed!
This is one of those do as I say not as I do moments – my excuse is that I use my phone as my alarm so I can’t leave it downstairs. Unfortunately this means it is all too tempting to pick it up check the time and start messing about on social media or reading a book on my Kindle app when I should be sleeping. Before I know it another hour has slipped by and I’m still awake. I’ve recently been sent a Lumie Bodyclock which I’m looking forward to using in the Autumn (it’s already light when I get up at the moment so not all that useful). My intention is that once I’ve got a substitute alarm in place I will be leaving my phone downstairs.
4. Kick out your snoring husband
Ok so this isn’t really all that practical but I’m sure Dave snores just to rub my nose in the fact that he’s asleep and I’m not! I can have been in bed for an hour and still be wide awake, he comes upstairs, falls into bed and is snoring before his head has hit the pillow. How do people switch off so quickly? It makes me want to smother him with his own pillow!
5. Stop thinking
I find it really hard to switch off. I often find that I’m writing blog posts in my head when I’m trying to go to sleep – I know from experience that I then need to write them down so I don’t lose them! I think part of the problem here is that my own bedtime routine has become so squashed and diluted that there is little routine or relaxation left. I must make more of an effort to switch my laptop off earlier in the evening and actually relax.
6. Blackout blinds!
One of the best night’s sleep I ever had was in a service station in Leicester . . . seriously. We were staying over before attending a wedding and I remember waking up in pitch darkness and wondering what time it was – it was about 9am and we’d just slept for ages. I was so well rested and I’ve wanted decent blackout blinds ever since! At the moment I actually use sleep mask to help me to fall asleep and stay asleep.
I’d love to know what problems you have around sleep and how you address them!
*Disclaimer – I was sent a bundle of sleep goodies as a thank you for writing this post*