Like many, sleep was a luxury I didn’t fully appreciate until I had children. From the birth of my first daughter to the time we were back in a consistent sleep routine with our second, eight years had gone by. Eight full years of interrupted sleeps from children and dogs. Eight years of complete and total exhaustion.
Then, once I got back to the point where my girls were sleeping through the night and dogs were banished to their own sleeping area, I had other distractors. Stress didn’t help for one, and some nights I would stare at the ceiling for hours. Plus working from home is great, but it also meant my computer could call me anytime of day.
It finally got to the point that I started to get sleepy driving and that’s when I knew I had to get serious about sleep before it cost me or someone else their life.
To get my sleep patterns back under control I now do the following:
- I go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time everyday. Yes, even on weekends.
- If I feel tired during the day, I lie down but set my alarm for 25 minutes so that I don’t overdo it and can’t get to sleep that night.
- I cut out all caffeine after 5pm.
- If I’m lying in bed staring at the ceiling for longer than 20 minutes I get up and go sit with the dog for a while or flip through a magazine to help calm my mind. Lying in bed stressing that I’m not going to get any sleep only makes matters worse.
- I shut down work at least an hour before bedtime and write a to-do list every night so I’m not thinking about what needs to be done in bed.
- A light sleeper, I invested in some heavy duty earplugs. Amazing how they can block the sound of my husband coming to bed, the dog pacing down the hall, someone getting up to go to the washroom in the middle of the night. You get the idea.
- I ditched the alarm clock. There were quite a few rushed mornings in the beginning but now I wake up naturally at the right time every day.
So when Tylenol Nightime asked me if I wanted to help share their new Sleep Centre website with my readers, I was more than happy to share. Mostly because I think too many of us have a “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality and that’s not only silly, it’s dangerous. Also because I have friends who live with chronic pain and if you think sleep is hard for most of us, try sleeping when your whole body is aching. Not fun.
The Sleep Centre site is full of great information to take control of your sleep again and I’ve got it bookmarked for future reference. I’ve even picked up some valuable new tips for making the most of my sleep. For instance, did you know you can buy a pillow that has speakers in it that plays soothing sounds to help you fall asleep?
Mostly though, I love this little video because it perfectly sums up how I felt just over a year ago. I don’t ever want to end up back in the land of the sleep-deprived.
This post was generously sponsored by Tylenol Nighttime, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit http://sleep-sleepcentre.ca