After reading my rant yesterday, I’m feeling a little embarassed. I know I don’t have anything to complain about. Fortunately, today was better, and there was one major difference: sleep! I got enough of it last night. I’m not talking hours and hours more than other nights – just a half hour, and what a diffference it made! I had the energy to do laundry, clean the house, help my sister spray paint a bed, and finish planning my photo shoot, all while bonding with my Eva. We all know that sleep is important, but few of us get enough of it. There are plenty of experts writing plenty of good advice about sleeping elsewhere on the internet, but here are my own personal strategies for getting more sleep:
1. Decompress: I try not to bring anything with stressful associations into the bedroom, and I try to look at something soothing before going to bed. I watch E, or the Christian channel, or a cooking show, read my Bible and flip through cooking mags. Comfort food for the soul.
2. Skip the Caffeine: Much as I hate to admit it, I need to enforce a cutoff for the caffeine. I don’t think it prevents me from sleeping, at least not most nights, but I think it makes it harder to fall back asleep after I wake up. So rather than bringing my last big cup of tea up to bed with me, I drink peppermint tea in bed.
3. Be really, really tired, but not too tired: I know this is an odd one, but there have been times when I have been so exhausted that I couldn’t fall asleep. My husband never understood the concept of overtired – not in a newborn and certainly not in his wife, but that’s exactly what it is. Go to sleep before you cross that threshold where falling asleep become almost impossible.
4. Don’t toss and turn: If, after 15-20 minutes, you are still awake, get out of bed and do something. Watch TV, get on Facebook, send that email… whatever it takes, for a little while, until you are ready. Nothing is more stressful than being unable to sleep. Once you’ve burned off that extra energy, you’ll be ready to sleep.
5. Keep a notebook by your bed: Use it to write down anything you need to remember the next day, so that your to-do list doesn’t keep you up at night.