We've all read the endless articles about a good bedtime routine, whether for your newborn or yourself the benefits of getting a good night's sleep are unquestionable. Having gone through a period of wearing a Fit Bit I had become more aware, not only of my lack of sleep but the lack of quality deep sleep I was getting. On average I was registering about one hour of light sleep, two hours of REM sleep and between 45mins and two hours of deep sleep. While we need both in our sleep cycle, deep sleep is powerfully restorative and there no surprise I was getting very little of this. The dark circles, foggy mind and irritability were telling me so. (and so were the kids!) So while I like to go out dancing once in a while I committed to some simple things that have made a big difference.
1. Going to bed at a consistent time - It is proven to help your nervous system if you keep to a regular bedtime and rising time. Your sleep cycle gets into a routine ensuring that your body is ready for the day, even before that alarm call. Investing in some high quality, crisp white organic bedding makes me look forward to going to bed early.
2. Seeing your bedroom as a retreat - De-cluttering, while I love having lots of photographs & pictures around the house, too many were keeping my mind busy thinking about all the people I need to get in touch with, whose birthdays were coming up. Keep the room clear of clutter with soft natural tones brings a sense of calm to the mind and body as soon as you walk through the door. My Star Gazer range in shoal is my favourite choice of organic bedding to fall into.
3. Treating yourself to some relaxing oils - My favourite mix is Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Orange. Once I have used these in a relaxing bath or sprayed them in my room I feel ready for some restful sleep.
4. A bedtime story - I love reading to my children before they go to sleep and can see the physical impact it has as they visibly relax with every turn of the page. I keep my Kindle close to my bed, I find it is a kinder screen on the eyes for bedtime reading and a great way of switching off from the pressures of my day. They have been wanting Lily & Mortimer organic bedding sets on their beds for months, they have definitely made a difference!
5. Be planned for the next day - Ensuring my kids are prepared for school, menu for the week written, goals for the next day clear, allows the 'organiser' part of my brain to completely switch off.
6. Spend time in the great outdoors everyday - I have come to realise I was being confided to air conditioned environments for the majority of my day, filled with dry air, artificial light and the glare of screens all around me. Getting a dog, whilst a huge commitment, has been brilliant for getting into the outdoors. At least two hours of walking absorbing the colours and sounds of nature leaves me with a more restful mind and body.