Going to bed at a reasonable time is important for our health. But if we’re honest, there are some evenings (or nights) when the clock ticks later and later…until finally, we’ve procrastinated so long, we fall into bed exhausted. The next morning, we wake up groggy, lethargic and feeling depressed.

We delay our bed time for all sorts of reasons – a lack of ‘us’ time, a need to recharge and decompress, or a fear of not being able to sleep due to anxiety, insomnia or night mares.

But what if you could reframe your bedtime routine, so instead of it being something that ‘takes away’ from ‘you’ time, it becomes a routine that you actually enjoy? Instead of your bed time being a walk of shame, it could be a safe space for you to rest, listen to your body, and feel in control.

Creating a good sleep routine doesn’t have to be a checklist (unless you thrive using lists!).

It is something you can develop based on your needs. By doing this, you can develop great sleep hygiene (yes, that’s actually a concept). So if you tend to put off going to bed at a reasonable hour, then take a look at these steps and ask yourself: what do I need to feel safe, secure and rested at the end of my day?

Do a check in, or audit ,of your current sleep routine.

It doesn’t matter how late you get to bed, where you sleep, or how much or little sleep you get, just make a note of what is ‘normal’ for you. Does it include food, substances, a screen or sound? Then, consider what you would like to improve. Maybe you want to get to bed earlier, so you can wake up in time for work or to catch up with a friend? Maybe you want a better quality of sleep, so you wake up refreshed?

Speak to your doctor and naturopath

In some cases, the challenges you face going to sleep may be connected to something medical. Don’t be afraid to chat to your doctor about your options. It may be as simple as your doctor altering your medication, adjusting your diet, or a naturopath recommending a supplement like melatonin.

Start early

Your sleep routine doesn’t have to start five minutes before bed. Think of your entire evening as part of it.  That way, you consider when the kids get to bed, how much time you need to decompress, and what time you turn your screens off. As you get closer to bed, you want your body and mind to relax. So cut out caffeine, and make sure you have stopped working for at least a few hours.

Replace comfort food or substances

If you tend to eat in the evening as a way of coping with anxiety and stress, then this one is for you. There is a good chance your body is asking for something – and substances or food is how you try to fill that gap. But if what you’re using isn’t working, or is actually harming you, then it’s time to change it up. Replace food and substances with a herbal tea – we recommend lavender, a bed time blend, or peppermint. Just choose something with low caffeine! If you get the munchies at night, then have a small, savory snack, or dessert, and pair it with a super food like nuts or fruit. You know your body best, so give yourself enough time to digest and process any extra sugar or dairy before you head to bed.

Make your room a safe cocoon

Make your bed, and your bedroom, somewhere you actually WANT to be. Put on a calming scent (we recommend lavender), and get yourself comfy in pyjamas, clean sheets and a comfy blanket. You may need to do a quick tidy of your room so you feel settled – just pick up your dirty clothes off the floor and throw them into the hamper, or put some things in a pile. The goal is that you feel settled, in control, and safe. Regularly cleaning your room and sheets helps with this, but if this feels like too much just start small. Pick up a piece of clothing, or change your pillow slip. One thing at a time.

Customise your bedtime

Going to bed doesn’t have to be a drag, and it’s not one size fits all. Some people need absolute dark and silence. Others need sound. Some do deep breathing, stretches or yoga before bed. Others will read a book or do mindful colouring.

Want to imporove your mental wellbeing (and get a good night’s sleep?)

Call Colleen on 0434 337 245, Duncan on 0434 331 243 or Rachel on 0442177193  to see how we can best help you, or press book now and make an appointment.

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