Black Dog & Blue Skies

When I'm unwell mentally, the thing I need most is sleep.

Early nights, quality, uninterrupted sleep, and to rise at a regular time. But mostly when I'm unwell I'll stay up late. I have late night after late night. I'm exhausted all the time, yet I can't seem to get myself to bed.

In an attempt to break the cycle, last year I focused and made sleep a priority. I call it my magic sleep ritual.

I have gotten off course recently though, and over the past few weeks I have had to become re-committed to my magic sleep ritual. I've been waking naturally because I've had enough sleep. This morning I got up with little effort. I got to school without any anxiety, and I made it into the studio, instead of rushing home to hide from the world.

I feel good, so good! I'm a night owl; I always have been. However, I do believe years in hospitality only cemented it. It's been eight years since I did a brutal night shift. I've never once missed finishing work at 4am, not once.

When I get into bed, its instant bliss, I often think to myself, why didn't I get here hours ago? For this Mumma, there is something alluring about the quiet house.

I like to get 8 hours sleep a night. I have my Fitbit silent alarm go off at 9:45. That's my signal to switch off the MacBook, flick the tv off. You might like to set your phone alarm, or set your computer to shut down at a regular time each night. Have a quick tidy in the kitchen, pour a fresh glass of water and head to the bedroom.

In a bid to take better care of myself, I began this little bedtime ritual. Writing it out makes it real to me, and it is so lovely and with it I don't have that usual resistance to head to bed.

Why don't you try writing your ideal bedtime ritual?

Here is what my Magic Sleep Routine looks like:

I've set my Fitbit silent alarm to alert me at 9:45. This gives me time to finish off any research I'm doing online, finish off a blog post or do a quick tidy in the kitchen. I have another alarm that goes off at 10pm10pm is my jump in the shower time.

Tip : You might like to set your phone alarm, or even have your computer to shut down at your chosen time. My uncle once had his tv rigged up to a old style timer, it went off at 11pm, every night. Works perfectly for him. Just a little late I think!

The Turn Down
Not just reserved for fancy hotels. As a child, I spent the school holidays with Nanna and Pa on the farm in Western Victoria. Nan would turn down my bed and layout my pyjamas. I do this too, every night, it's a lovely childhood memory I enjoy each night.

Tomorrow’s Outfit
I started doing this last year when I was participating in Nikki from Styling You's #everydaystyle I haven't been snapping a pic lately, but I love laying out my clothes each evening. It helps to keep anxiety in check in the morning.

The Dark Shower
The evening shower is always a good idea. I'm never, not ever too tired for a shower. I don't think anyone is. The mindful action of physically washing the day off my body draws a line under the day and prepares me for a restful sleep.

The dark shower is the ultimate luxury. I read on Instagram one night (probably in bed, scrolling through my feed around midnight) a little banter between Katie180 and Veggiemama about the dark shower. I recalled doing this as a teen, and I don't know why I ever stopped. I have a salt lamp in the bathroom, especially for my dark shower, however leaving the bathroom door open and having the hall or bedside light might be ok for you.

The cloak of darkness is relaxing. Together with the heady scent of two drops of lavender oil on the shower floor is lovely. The shower is my thinking time. I get those thoughts out of my mind, when I switch the light off and jump into bed. I'm asleep before I realise it. So much better than my previous tossing and turning for hours.

Dishwasher: On
I set my dishwasher going once I'm out of the shower. I can hear the whooshing from my bedroom, and there is something hypnotic and relaxing about listening to that as I go off to sleep.

Hop Into Bed
I do love to read in bed, yet lately I've been pretty zonked. I've taken to switching off the bedside light just before I hop into bed. I find that this helps me to not delay sleep.

Thankful Journal
A few years ago I bought a gratitude journal, after hearing Hailey Bartholomew speak at Problogger Event about her 365 days of grateful project. #365grateful I like to write in my journal each evening, keeping mindful of the good in my life is a powerful step to having good mental health. I set my intention for the following day. 

Trouble drifting off?
Tip :
Arianna Huffington wrote in her book, Thrive {basically an entire book about sleep} speaks of a counting backwards from 300, in threes. Last night I got to 286....yeah numbers have never been my zone of genius!

Please Share, Tell Me & The LovelyG Tribe......

What's your sleep ritual?

What do you do when sleep evades you, how do you set yourself up for a great sleep?
Comment below, I would love to hear from you.

PS. I've joined the A.H. Beard Sleep Challenge. You can too and be in the running for one of two glorious A.H. Beard beds. If you have stayed at a QT or Art Series hotel, you'll know the magnificence of A.H. Beard Beds. They’re in the business of beds and this isn't a sponsored post in any way, just sharing because sleep is good for you and for me!