About MeSelf-care

7 Steps to Reclaim a Positive Sleep Experience

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I love sleep.  I love the warmth and softness of my bed and the promise that sleep holds as you approach it knowing you will get a good night's sleep.  It promises rest, rejuvenation, a fresh start.  It is such a simple and natural part of life that it is so easy to take it for granted … until your sleep experience is disrupted.  This is my experience at the moment.

I am a light sleeper so I am used to my sleep being disrupted during the night.  The rain falling, the wind blowing, my husband turning, my daughter getting up in the night and the late-night/early-morning singing of Saffron (my cat) … each night one or more of these things sneak into my sleep and result in bringing me back to the waking world.

For the past few months these disruptions have really impacted on my quality of sleep and I can’t remember a night now when I didn’t wake up at least once.

I need a good night’s sleep.  I feel heavy, sluggish. My head hurts.  My thoughts are slow. My body aches. My mood is low (and getting lower each morning that I wake up without that glorious feeling of renewal after a good sleep.)

So what am I going to do about it?

There are seven steps I have decided to take on my journey to reclaim a positive sleep experience:

  1. I am going to embrace exactly how I feel right now.  Wishing I felt differently, dwelling on how I do feel in a critical way will only result in feelings of anxiety and the expectation that I must ‘fix’ something in myself.
  2. I am going to listen to my body. I need sleep. I get sleep – just not enough - so I am planning to head to bed earlier. No distractions.  No screen time.  No harsh lighting. Me, my bed, and the invitation to rest.
  3. I am going to share how I feel with my family. There will be no blaming – it is no one’s fault that their movements wake me. I often hear of others in my situation passing the responsibility on to people they live with: “You woke me up when you went to the bathroom.” My family move respectfully, quietly, at night.  I need them to be aware that I am not sleeping well, that it is impacting on me, so I’ll just be heading to sleep a little earlier for a while.  They can support me by treading quietly a little earlier than normal.
  4. I am going to swop my bedding. My pillow needs replacing.  I have purchased a lovely natural, silk pillowcase.  We all deserve a comfortable place to lay our heads at night.
  5. I am going to look at my eating and drinking habits. I will make sure that I cut out sugary foods, and alcohol ( I have already switched to de-caffeinated drinks.)#
  6. I am going to relax more before I head to bed. I will subdue the lighting, treat myself to a warm bath, listen to lovely relaxing music – rather than rushing around finishing tasks or planning the next day.
  7. I will regard sleep as the precious experience it is. Moving towards it deliberately, with intention and with respect.  I understand now just how impactful a lack of sleep can be, which means I can now truly value the gift that a good night’s sleep will bring.

I am hopeful that these seven steps will lead me to feel more rested, more balanced, and altogether more myself.

Do you have any good tips for a good sleep? Are there any bedtime rituals you have adopted that have helped you to sleep well for longer? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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