I am going to bed
A couple of months ago I did a morning routine. I love that post, it's fun and different. Since then I have wanted to do an evening routine, but my nights not relaxed or happy because going to sleep is not an easy thing for me. Night time, as you'll read, is a procedure of things that hopefully mean a few hours of sleep. If one thing is out-of-place, the consequences are dire. I think though, it's important to share this aspect and not show just the happy parts of routines. Please be kind and welcome to my nightly mental game.
Insomnia, I've had it for as long as I can remember. It got so bad that one day many years ago I went to the doctor and got help, in the form of little blue pills. I hated how they made me feel but it was worth it for the occasional good night sleep. Now that I am not working, pills seem excessive and it's a good time to figure out ways of handling my sleep without them. So I've created a procedure of things, all set perfectly in place, one thing out of line and no sleep will be had.
It starts with trying to get us off the computers and headed to the bedroom just after 9pm. Any later than nine ten and the count down to less sleep is ticking. Every ten minutes is 5% less sleep I will get, not just because the amount of hours are counting down, but because the later it gets the harder it is for me to fall asleep. Once we've entered the bedroom, we go about creating a cozy space and chatting about those last things on our minds. Cleaning up the room, putting everything in its proper place while having a discussion is important; It sets the tone. From there it's time to get physically ready; pee, wash hands, wash face, brush hair, brush teeth, strip off clothes, walk to closet, throw clothes into hamper, put on pajamas, turn on speaker, fold blanket, snuggle in, select audio to listen to. Basic, easy steps, good for physical health, however my physical health isn't the problem most nights. My mental health is. Mentally preparing for sleep is the hardest, turning off the brain, slowly down the racing thoughts and better understanding myself is not easy. I do an evaluation of everything every night to help counter this.
Do I have a migraine? Are my allergies bothering me? What's my current pain level. Is any part of my body to try to sleep without being lotion first. It it too cold or hot in the room? Am I hungry at all? Is there anything on my mind that I need to write down?
Depending on the answers to these questions, a good result will happen or a restless one. I don't know if this process is something other people go through or think about. I just know it's a huge part of my life. It doesn't matter what's happened during the day or how much I work out. If my answers to those questions are not good, then it's harder to sleep. But if everything is good, then it's snuggle into our blankets and chat until I am ready for the light to be turned off. If that light is off one second before I am ready, I go into full freak out mode. There's no planning it or stopping it, but it's something we are so aware of that, it's just become a habit to wait until I am ready.
With the light off I usually change the audio we are listening to, to a mediation app. I use two; Insight Timer and YouTube. I love Insight Timer for those moments when I just need some peaceful noise and I can watch the clock and count down the bells. I've built a preset on a one hour timer with 5 minute bells. I usually never make it to bell 4. But if I am too restless for that I switch to YouTube and seek out talking mediation or sleep stories, preferably a soft voice with no hum to lull me away.
And if I am lucky, blissful sleep.
If I am not, well that's a story for another time.