Are you ready to get a good night of sleep, naturally?
You can get a good night of sleep, naturally and without doing more than making a few changes in your lifestyle. What would you give to get a solid, restful 8 hours of sleep?
My Wife and I did Foster Care for a while. We tried to keep to the younger age children, usually between the ages of 6 and 10. One of the first things we did was to begin a night-time routine and to stick with it even though some of our kids struggled with it.
A night-time or bed-time routine is the key to being able to get a good night of sleep, naturally.
Decide when the work day ends. Set that time and follow it every day! We all need that reminder, with mobile devices taking more and more of our time. For some, the work day extends into late evening and we find ourselves rushing to get in just one last task or just one more post on social media. Put away the electronics (and I am including television) with the possible exception of an MP3 player. No MP3? Turn off the screen to the desk-top or put the mobile where you can’t see it when listening to some relaxing music.
Have a healthy dinner. Enjoy a meal without all the distractions. Make it Family time or just your time, without electronics. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and the sugary drinks. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 6 hours! No need to have the jitters when trying to fall asleep!
Take time to tidy. Clean up and put away the dishes, put things in their place and prepare for tomorrow! Stage tomorrow’s clothing and essentials where they will be easy at hand. Plot out tomorrow’s schedule. Straighten up the clutter and rest easy knowing that you have accomplished a major task!
Take time for yourself. Reflect on your day; focus on the positives and allow the negatives to move along into the past. Plan for tomorrow’s schedule. Try to remain positive and on track with your personal goals. Read that extra chapter in a book, allow yourself the feeling of turning the pages and being caught up in a different world and time. Take care of hygiene rituals.
Go to bed at the same time every night. For most, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to fall asleep. That’s once you are in bed. First, take a few minutes for some simple meditation and relaxation techniques’ such as breathing, releasing tension, body scan and ending with the breathing technique while allowing the mind to just clear. Here are some Guided Meditations, with a little practice they can become a habit also! And then go to bed, at the same time each night.
Lock and Key
Let me guess, you’re thinking “He said a few simple changes? This sounds like a major revision!” We both are right. As I said, a night-time or bed-time routine is the key to being able to get a good night of sleep, naturally. And if we need a key, then it stands to reason that there is a lock. The lock is our understanding of our current (or lack of) our night-time routine.
The 5 tips are good. It is the details that get in the way. Have a clear plan, think about what you want to include in your night routine, and then write it down. Start small, make it as clear and simple as possible, you’ll have the best chance of following it. Once you’ve followed your night routine long enough, you’ll no longer need your plan, it will become habit.
Our Kid’s Routine
Foster children came and went in our lives. Some stayed for extended periods, others for only a short time with our Family. Having a night-time routine often could mean the difference in having a good night’s rest or having Little One’s running amuck and creating mayhem at will. Our plan (at least, my Wife’s and mine) were to have the kids in bed, lights out and quiet by 8 PM on school nights. Later on weekends, holidays and school breaks.
We let each new Family member know about our night-time ritual in advance and we kept it as simple as possible. Having some kids around that were already in the habit often did more to ease the transition than anything Mom and I could do. Simple and easy to follow is the key.
At 7:30, televisions or electronics were shut off. Put away games, books toys and begin brushing teeth and getting changed into pajamas or suitable night clothes. While waiting for others to clear out of the bathrooms, pick out clean clothes for the next day.
At about 7:45, I would begin making rounds, always in the same room order (routine) and spend about 5 minutes with making small talk, putting the kid’s at ease as much as possible. We would hold hands, repeat a simple night prayer (always the same words and cadence) and then a kiss on cheek or forehead (or not), kid choice. I would stand in the doorway facing the hallway and wait for the word they were in bed and then say “Good Night”, turn out the light and move on.
The hard rule was that once the light went out, no getting up, no games and to be quiet so others (namely, me) could rest. Children being children, that rule was often pushed to the limit. But once it became the norm, the habit set in and we all got a good night’s sleep. A simple routine allowing all of us to get a good night of sleep naturally.
- Decide when the work day ends.
- Have a healthy dinner.
- Take time to tidy.
- Take time for yourself.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
Now see, it does look simple this way! And best of all, some portions can be combined with others, saving time and energy.
Developing the plan and making changes to your lifestyle are only the beginning on being able to get a good night of sleep. Staying with the plan until it becomes a habit, becomes a natural part of your day is where things become a little sticky. Don’t let little slip-ups take you off your path to being able to get a good night of sleep naturally.
Did you have a bed-time routine when you were young? Was it effective? How about bringing back that great night’s sleep and getting up each morning ready to conquer the world? Are you ready?
Walking the Path of Peace, Sanders