One day of research and I’m already having sleep Aha! moments: I’m not giving myself down time on a daily basis and I don’t have a nighttime ritual.
Down time? I see those words and I laugh, yet I see the connections in my daily life. The most obvious is I haven’t been reading much lately. Why? No down time. I’d like to say I simply don’t have time for down time, but the reality is, I’ve gotten into the habit of using what down time I do have to do screen-related activities like scrolling through Facebook or playing Sudoku on my iPad. There’s a double whammy there: not allowing for down time and too much screen time (which is bad for good sleep).
Likewise, I don’t take the time for a nighttime ritual. I go to bed fairly early by most standards (between 9:00 and 10:00), but I’m usually so tired by then I don’t add any pleasant activities into my basic brush my teeth and wash my face ritual. A bath seems like a lovely idea, but that’s not going to happen on a nightly basis. However, a cup of herbal tea while sitting in the comfy chair in my bedroom and reading or writing not only sounds serene, but is actually doable.
Breaking old habits and creating new ones is hard and I’m sure these habits aren’t the complete remedy for getting a good night’s sleep, but this month is about experimenting and I’m ready to try.