Getting More Sleep

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I’ve long bemoaned the fact that I don’t get enough sleep. It’s only within the last 4 months that both my children have started sleeping through the night (it’s horrifying this has taken so long) and they are early risers, too: Elfie was up at 5.45am this morning. Heavy sigh.

Generally the only times I regret getting divorced are when I miss having another parent in the house to shoulder 50% of the night wake-ups and early mornings.

If you ask me one thing that I would give my right arm for it would to be a morning person. I’d give ANYTHING to happily leap out of bed in the morning like a sprightly Cinderella, happy enough to be singing at dawn while bluebirds tied ribbons in my hair. Instead I prise my eyes open at 6.30ish (on a good day!) while the kids pad about entertaining themselves in the ten minutes until I wake up, and today their version of entertaining themselves involved incessant caterwauling (they were either playing babies or cats, couldn’t work it out).

Basically, for me mornings suck. I’ve tried everything; my bedroom is immaculate, my mattress is comfy, I have plenty of fresh air, I go to sleep to the sound of waves on a beach. Yet I still wake up each and every morning feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. In the face. Twice.

Am I the only one who feels like this every single day?

I’ve read so many articles about why it’s impossible to get out of bed in the morning and have deduced my circadian rhythm is just out of whack with my life. If my body had its way it’d happily sleep from 12.30am to 8.30am, but instead I’m trying to force it two hours earlier, square peg round hole style. Though generally what happens is I’m in bed for 10.30pm and never fall asleep until after midnight.

I have noticed a SLIGHT improvement recently: once last week I was that sprightly morning imp I am always wanting to be! I have put this down to the introduction of vitamin supplements in my diet as iron can often be a problem for me, and the sleep-assisting supplement 5HTP. But then I discovered Master of None on Netflix (OMG SO GOOD) and ended up spending my late evenings watching that instead of putting myself in a relaxed state before bed. For me, Netflix and work are the biggest distractions when it comes to relaxing before bed but I just can’t resist a good box set (or email)and have since moved on to Grey’s Anatomy S10 (also OMG so good).

So what’s next? I guess I need to work harder at switching off. I have a library full of books (well, almost) that I bought to read and relax before bed and this would be a much healthier way of spending my evenings rather than watching a screen. I should take more baths, practice my meditation and just be, rather than worrying I need to spend my downtime productively staring at Netflix and Twitter.

How do you switch off before bed?

In collaboration with Mattressman

13 Comments
  1. Honestly I feel your pain, going to bed early is not soething I seem to master and I always have the lovely dark panda eye looks going on! But I’m really trying to stop looking at my phone n bed in the hopes that will help! and it does let me drift off quicker i must say. x

  2. Ah, a light novel, the Unlikely Pilgrimage Harold Fry at the moment, lovely read….hot milk and vanilla extract, cup of welsh moonlight (CHARMING NAME) herbal tea by Chantler teas….and no i am not an employee of this company!…warm bath, or, being a single parent, nab y teenage daughter to give me a lovely kind of reflexology foot massage…need i go on…oddly enough watching snooker, if there is a game on does the trick too…zzzzzzzzp.s. switch the phone and computer off!

  3. Good sleep is the holy grail isn’t it? We are bad at getting into sleep mode but I also love my Netflix sessions – thanks for the new recommendations by the way. We can sleep when we’re old! xx

  4. oh sleep! My timehop reminded me that 7 years ago I was exhausted thanks to small children… somthings never change!! I’m guessing I need to wait till I don’t have little kids….. might be a while then! I’m a night owl, and thankfully, none of my kids like getting up early – Beastie is the earliest at around 8am… but he still wakes me up somewhere from 2- 7 times a night :O

  5. I kind of have the opposite problem, I wake up at about 5.30 each morning so I can work for a few hours which suits me really well as I’m a morning person but the downside is it means I am falling asleep by about 8.30 and am in bed by 9pm most nights which is a real pain as it means watching films is out, I just fall asleep! I wish I could stay up later and be productive, or just awake ;). Not getting enough sleep is the worst though, it’s the bit I block out when I think about having more babies! xx

  6. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Baby Girl still wakes up around 4am every night and often at 11pmish too, so I think I half stay awake until midnight-ish waiting for her to wake before I can properly drift off. For me, my evenings are prime work time so even when I try to switch off at 9pm I then spend the next couple of hours wanting some downtime – often with NetFlix. I’m my own worst enemy. I love a good book, but then I get stuck into that too, so still end up staying up later than I should. I don’t know the answer. A nanny between the hours of 5am and 8am?!

  7. I think I have the opposite problem. If I’m still awake at 10:30pm I start panicking about not getting enough sleep, and I’m up at 6am (I hate the fact lie ins at weekends are a distant memory of my teenage years, purely because if I sleep any later than 7am I end up with a migraine). Though on work days getting up is ALWAYS hard, especially when it’s still dark. I got a sunrise alarm clock that gradually wakes me up before my proper alarm goes off at 5:50am, and it’s made winter mornings a lot easier.

  8. Quality sleep has been non-existent for us for the past 5 years with our little three (and one on the way…..eeeeek) I do feel that I could help myself some nights though when its got a bit late after a long day and i’m scrolling my phone, checking i have my to-do list ready – no way to relax before bed.
    I do this though as I feel I dont fit that time in anywhere else where its so hectic. Another thing thats contributed is the fact our bedroom is still not decorated since moving in, so its not somewhere i can relax. my least favourite room in the house! Gradual steps I guess, I do want to try deep breathing more, gentle exercises and reading a book more often (if the kids bedtime goes okay that day ;) )

    xxx

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