Hey guys. Today I am going to post the topic of sleep hygiene and sleep patterns. Those of you that know me will know I have never been a great sleeper. I have struggled with night-terrors as long as I can remember, having still to this day a tremendous fear of the dark with insomnia being a current theme appearing down the line of generations in my family. As a kid the glow in the dark stars that you stuck on your ceiling brought me security and comfort. Unfortunately, Dylan wasn’t too eager on putting glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of our bedroom, so I had to try find different ways to manage my night-time anxiety.
The first thing I decided to implement was a night-time routine. Life was pretty hectic, and my sleep cycle was interfering with my work life. I had been recently reminded of the importance of mindfulness in my therapy group and I tried to define a night-time routine that included all five senses.
The first thing I decided to work on was taste. On an adventure to find something I could taste that wouldn’t play havoc with my diet but also was low on caffeine. Evergreen was my first stop. Pukka herbal teas seemed like the right idea, but I wasn’t particularly fond of the ingredients, so I went off into Dunnes Stores to see if they had a better selection. Low and behold a shelf full of herbal teas. Oh god this was going to be a tough decision but then I spotted the word *night*. Picking up the blue box I studied the labels knowing I had already made my decision. My first sense covered. Buying the blue night pukka herbal tea, I was excited for night to come. When the sky darkened, I made my cup of night-time tea in my princess mug and I waddled off to bed. I sat by the window drinking my tea and having my last cigarette for the night hopeful of the relaxation it would uncover. I still woke at the crack of dawn the following morning, but I had gone to sleep relaxed and that had made all the difference.
My next sense to work on was incense. I love incense, I had recently bought three more incense. *tranquillity* *relaxation* and *lavender*. I had known lavender to be used for sleep as far back as the 1800s. When in hospital I had received a beautiful little pocket pillow with lavender inside it to put under my pillow and help me sleep. Dylan has a slight bias to lavender, so I decided to light the relaxation incense. Second sense covered. Smell.
My third sense to work on was touch. Me and Dylan decided that night we would each give each other a facial. The facial collection that I use it BOTONICA NATURAL HEALING and oh my god do I love this stuff. In 2019 when I had my suicide attempt, I was recommended to try this by a member of the equine community.
She swore by its natural healing powers and I had to try something. I was due to have plastic surgery on my face and my lip a year after my suicide attempt and I never ended up needing it. That’s how magical this stuff is. We started with the cleansing wash. Dylan could nearly drink the stuff. It smells of relaxation and goodness. Every time either of it smells it, we just get brought back to the times of calm in our crazy life. Dylan giving me a facial with cleansing wash, toner, and moisturiser I had accomplished my third sense. When it was my turn to give Dylan a facial, I turned on YouTube on my laptop and I typed in mediation music for night.
Fourth sense covered of sound. Listening to the relaxing music letting the worries of the day wash away feeling calm, feeling present.
I was missing one more thing so I decided to light a candle just so I could tick of the last sense but as I was getting into bed I found the most beautiful night time relaxation clip on YouTube and I fell asleep watching the waves on the beach flow in and out hopeful to get a good night’s rest.
Me and Dylan did this routine most nights until I ran out of my herbal teas and we ran out of Botanica.
Did it help? Most definitely. No, it didn’t fully stop my nightmares, but I definitely got a better quality of sleep. I have since stocked up on pukka tea and I also purchased a small pocket size ball roller that you put on your temples, wrist and back of your ears. Does it work? I am unsure but believing it does work is enough for me.
Since moving to a new house my sleep has gone to crap and so has Dylan’s but to be fair moving to a new house is stressful for anyone. We haven’t done our night-time routine in some time as we have switched roles a little regarding sleep. I am now the one tired and going to bed early and Dylan is the one awake watching movies. I had spoken to Dylan about Himalayan salt lamps and he surprised me on our anniversary by bringing one home. That is left on at night and I truly believe they work having experienced a change in my sleep paralysis when I moved my salt lamp into my bedroom.
Salt lamps are believed to clear negative energy promoting a better sleep quality.
Last and not least I want to talk about using meditation for sleep. I have started going to sleep listening to guided meditation on either the law of attraction or positive affirmations. Honestly within five minutes I am fast asleep when listening to these at night. I plug in my earphones, kiss Dylan good night and then pull down my eye mask and I’m conked for the night.
Again, I cannot promise you it will rid your night-terrors, but I have found by tracking my sleep that the nights I go to sleep listening to sleep hypnosis I sleep longer than the nights I don’t.
I can say it definitely has started improving my quality of sleep and instead of waking up at the crack of dawn I am finding myself sleeping an extra two hours waking at 7 am instead.
It is definitely worth giving some of these tips a shot. It might be also helpful to start tracking you sleep patterns. Even for a month. Each morning when you wake open a notebook and jot down what time roughly you fell asleep, and what time you woke. You can always write down any dreams you remember and how you feel overall. Taking track of this you will be able to join the dots with what helps your quality of sleep and what doesn’t.
Guys I hope this helps even a little and I wish you all a fabulous day.
Lots of love katie xxx
A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.
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