I don't know about you but I hate rules and guidelines, I find them very restrictive even if they are trying to help me. When it comes to getting a good night's sleep there seem to be loads of them and they can seem quite strict and very forbidding! Take these for example
– stop drinking caffeine in the afternoons
– set up a bedtime routine
-switch off technology an hour before bed time
One of the tricks that I learnt about sleeping well was to change these round in my head, so that they seemed as if I was pampering myself. And I was, because a good night's sleep is an affordable luxury in this fast paced world!
Mentally rephrasing the above statements I came to these conclusions
Why not try drinking herbal teas instead of tea or coffee? When my doctor told me to come off caffeine I found it really hard and felt deprived, and still allowed myself a morning cup of tea. I explored the world of ‘decaffeinated' but just felt as if I was being let down as it didn't taste quite right. After a while I came to realize that as herbal teas tasted nothing like real tea it was just a different taste and not a substitute, this helped me a lot. I then discovered that herbal teas did actually have a lot of health benefits and help my body in more ways than just caffeine elimination. Check this page for more information. Now when people start to make sympathetic faces when I say ‘I don't do caffeine', I have to stop them as I genuinely do not feel deprived but feel as if I am making healthy choices for my body.
How about having a bath before you go to bed? This is a lovely bit of pampering, I add some bath salts or oils, dim the lights/use
candles, play soothing music to really help me relax and unwind. Then using lovely creams and oils to moisturise my skin and body afterwards and slipping into clean, fresh smelling pj's all adds to the luxurious, pampering feeling. It also means that I have an easily enforced no screen time before bed too! I have a bath whenever I have to get up really early the next morning and see it as a treat not part of a strict routine.
If you are a couple or family why not start having ‘Family Time' together each evening? Yes, this means turning off computers, ipads etc so that you interact together in the the last couple of hours before bedtime. Play games, read books aloud, watch a film together (the TV screen is less stimulating for your eyes and brain than a computer/phone screen.) Quality time with your family or partner is always a great feel good session and this way has so many added health benefits as well.
I hope these ideas have given you food for thought on how to pamper yourself a little each day to enable yourself to relax and unwind before bedtime!
Charlotte Welply is a life coach specializing in insomnia and other sleep related problems. You can find her at www.charlottewelply.com and follow her on www.facebook.com/charlottewelply and twitter @CharlotteWelply for more information and help around sleep.