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How I get enough sleep

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

– Irish Proverb


If you’re reading this blog, I guess it caught your attention because you’re looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep.

I’ve been looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep, too. Here are a few things I’ve found which have worked for me. I hope that by sharing them here, at least one of them will help you as well.

I can’t remember having an issue with sleeping during my childhood or teenage years. However, I was in an extremely unhealthy relationship for over two decades, which significantly impacted my ability to get a good night’s sleep.

It’s been several years since I found a safe and calm place to live, but my ability to relax and get enough sleep continues to be a constant challenge.


What I have learnt, above all else, is that sleep is a priority. Without at least 7 hours a night of sleep, I cannot think constructively and rationally. I become more emotional and unable to handle challenges that arise.

When I have a good 8 hours’ sleep, I find myself refreshed, kinder, more understanding and better humoured around other people, especially my kids.

Through trial and error, I’ve found these habits help me to sleep:

  • A regular bedtime

  • A set time before bed to relax

  • A warm shower or bath

  • Stretching

  • Reading.

Regular bedtime

Body clocks are real. Even if you think you don’t have one, by creating a routine you can help your body get back into a pattern.

I find by turning my lights out at the same time every night, I now get up at the same time every morning.

A time before bed to relax

Like in MasterChef when the contestants have a countdown and have to step away from their bench, I make a time, usually one hour before my bedtime, when I stop working on things. This helps me start to relax.

A warm shower or bath

My body is usually quite tense at the end of the day, so the warm water is the ultimate treat to help me unwind and relax.






Stretches

These don’t always feel great, but my body needs stretches to keep healthy, injury-free and moving. When I stretch in the evening before bed, it feels like it helps my body relax and I feel more refreshed in the mornings.

Reading

Reading on my phone doesn’t work – in fact it seems to keep me

awake. I find holding a physical book and turning its pages slows down and calms my racing mind by redirecting my thoughts.


Do I always put these practices into place? No, I still get distracted.

But when I haven’t had enough sleep, it reminds me that I need to get back to basics and back to my routines.

Because that is how I get enough sleep.


 

Blogging STARS program


This Blog is a part of the Broken to Brilliant Blogging STARS self-care program, which supports domestic violence survivors to practise the self-care strategies of Sleep, Tapping, Activity, Regulation and Support, (STARS). As they practise the strategies, they blog about it. You can read their survivor STARS Blogs:


Sleep


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