Having Fibromyalgia means I have always struggled with my sleep and for two years straight I had a pretty bad case of insomnia. I tried everything but no matter how hard I tried my mind would race at a million miles an hour. It would force me to watch irrelevant documentaries about space travel or tribes on remote islands in the pacific and the next thing I knew the sun would be billowing through the curtains. Sleep is definitely something I took for granted before becoming a parent. Looking back to those LONG impromptu afternoon naps I wonder if I'll ever sleep the same ever again. My nights are now accompanied by ten toddler toes digging into my ribs and the constant fear that he's going to roll off the bed and sustain a serious head injury. We co sleep most nights but if I can get him to go down alone for a few hours I take full advantage of a king size bed all to myself and sink into my extra comfy mattress. And of course then sleep comes instantaneously, right? Wrong! I have a routine, a little ritual if you like of calming creature comforts to help me slowly drift off.
Prepare your body
This one isn't always so relaxing but still, if taking a bath with your one year old is the only way to get the cemented porridge out of his hair then believe me you'll be doing it too. After our evening meal I run the bath and add a handful of epsom salts and a couple of drops of lavender. Hedd loves bathtime - but only if Mummy's there too. He always wants a quick feed and we cuddle and slash and I play Mr Frog over and over to Hedd's amusement. (Mr Frog consists of Hedd thrusting his frog sponge into my face and me saying Yabba Dabba Doo - don't ask) Of course, if you don't have children then take your time, enjoy the warm water and soak in all that lovely lavender goodness. WARNING do not use lavender if you're in early stages of pregnancy.
Switch off and reconnect
Working from home and being online most of the day takes its toll and during the evening (work permitting) I love to rid my body and mind of anything electrical. My office is in my bedroom, which doesn't help but I have a little snuggly area in the corner where I spend my time reading, ilstening to music/radio or knitting. I try not to read in bed. That is the place for sleeping.
Prepare your space
Turn your bed down, spray some pillow spray, light a candle and pop your favourite pjs on. I have been obsessed with this one by This Works for over a year now and I'm already on my third bottle. That being said it last forever and you only need a couple of spritz and the gentle aroma sends me swiftly off to sleep. I really notice the difference when I don't use it.
Prepare your mind
This is my favourite part of the whole evening. I practice mindfulness a few times a day, once in the morning just before I do yoga, maybe mid afternoon when Hedd is napping and the just before I'm ready to sleep. I sometimes meditate with crystals (a new thing I'm getting in to) or I just take a few moment to let go of all the stresses of the day.
This one is a toughy for me. Fibromyalgia makes sure that you wake up most of the night tossing and turning but having the bed all to myself means I can fill it with pillows which helps support my hips and back. I LOVE this GIANT pillow by Pregnancy Pillows. It's super snuggly and is scented with lavender (can you see a running theme here?) I wish I'd found their website back when I was actually pregnant because I swear it would have made life so much more enjoyable, especially towards the end of my pregnancy.
What kind of things do you do to get comfy before drifting off? Any little hints and tips? Let me know in the comments below.