Confession time: I’ve not slept well recently. Okay okay when I say recently, I mean for the last 13 years.
It took me a bit of fathoming out why this was the case. I mean I’ve written articles on how to get a good night’s sleep on my blog! I KNOW THE THEORY of how to get to sleep. I could stand up and give you a half hour long talk on how to get to sleep and how to stay asleep but could I do it myself? No!
It wasn’t until having a recent reflexology treatment that it dawned on me how long the problem had been going on for.
‘So how long have you not been sleeping for?’ My therapist asked. I pondered this for a minute or two then realised that I’d not really had a good night’s sleep since 2009.
Where the problems started
It all started when I moved house and for a week I hadn’t got a landline telephone. Being the only adult in my household I knew I needed the ability to get help (should I need it quickly) so I’d started taking my mobile phone up to my room with me. Back in those days phones were a bit like 1970s tv in that they had limited capability and people were not overly fond of messaging people in the middle of the night in case they got woken up.
However as time went on I kept on taking my phone upstairs with me. It charged up by my bedside. My new phone helpfully has a little red light so you can find it in the middle of the night and will happily flash if you get a notification. Really conducive for a good nights sleep (not!)
Tea really didn’t help much either
Now as some of you know I’m also a great fan of coffee and tea . So curling up in bed last thing with a book (on my iPad, yes more technology!) and a nice cup of the finest tea the chimps will drink also wasn’t helping me get a good night’s sleep either. The caffeine was leaving me jittery and needing the loo in the night!
Shut the door!
To cap it all I’d got into the habit of leaving my bedroom door open. My bedroom is fairly small and I am a bit of a free spirit so having the door open felt freeing. It made me feel connected with my children who may need me in the night.
When I figured out that I’d been taking my phone to bed with me for 13 years longer than I actually needed to, it also made me realise that I’d been leaving the door open so I could hear my children if they needed me.
By the way, when I say children, I mean ADULT children. They’re all in their early twenties and have more than enough capability of opening my door if they need me.
It felt like by shutting the door I’d be shutting them out. I realise now this is just downright silly. Plus after reading an article from the local Fire and Rescue service leaving my bedroom door open was downright dangerous according to them.
When I was changing my bedsheets last I looked down at my pillows. They’d seen better days I have to say. Then I realised that they were so old I’m surprised the local museum hadn’t been to collect them. They’d moved house with us 3 times! So I’ve bought new pillows and a pretty pillow spray in the hope that that would help.
My phone now charges itself up downstairs in my office. I’m no longer distracted with videos of people squeezing spots on Tiktok at 3am. Now I have no flashing phone light keeping me awake. I’ve now got time on a morning to start the day in a more positive way. I can look at my phone when I’m ready rather than it emitting it’s shining light across the room at me shouting ‘pick me pick me!’ at all hours.
- My new pillows and spray have made all the difference to my comfort levels.
- I’ve brought my last cup of tea forward by an hour or two so I’m not needing the loo at 3am
- My bedroom door is now more or less shut but still able to be opened, even by the cat
- If people leave a light on on the landing/bathroom/all the lights on in the entire house (you know what young people are like!) I now don’t get woken up by this either.
- I have two heavy blankets on my bed which gives me a sense of being weighed down and safe.
- I’ve set an alarm on my Alexa so I don’t need to rely on having 47 different alarms on my phone to wake me up.
And do you know what?! It is working. I am now sleeping better. I am starting to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
The tweaks I made to my bedtime routine were small, and the pillows and pillow spray weren’t hugely expensive but made a massive difference.
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Over to you!
What area of your life do you struggle with most? Are there any similarly small tweaks you could do today to make a huge difference? Please leave a message in the comments box below.