create a bedtime for yourself
The Way of the Happy Woman is always on my bedside table
Something to consider:
For most of you (I’m presuming) a bedtime routine for your children is a necessary part of your evening. Whilst the order of events may differ from house to house and from season to season, I’m guessing it goes something like: dinner – bath – pyjamas (singlet tucked in firmly!) – story time – milk/water – lights off – cuddles – sleep. This, of course, is the ideal and whilst it doesn’t go smoothly every night it is something we all like to create for our children; the best start to a good nights sleep (fingers crossed) and the makings of some special and tender childhood memories.
So why don’t you do it for yourself? Why is it so hard to nurture yourself like you do your children?
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the hours before midnight are the best for your sleep rhythms and so I aim to have lights out before 10pm. I have also created my own bedtime ritual that ensures I’m nourishing and nurturing my self – it’s my time to switch off and tune out, to enjoy a bath and read a book, if only a few pages. If I don’t make a point of practicing this ritual I get distracted by tv and my laptop, I find work that needs to be done and emails that need to be sent. None of it is necessarily urgent but I so easily slip into the habit of staying in front of the screen and before long I’ve lost track of time and it’s late into the night.
Sleep heals all ails; it boosts the immune system, soothes the nervous system and improves your mood. It makes everything better. Decent shut-eye is what all parents miss most about their life pre-kids; we all share high hopes for a full night of undisturbed sleep (just once, please!). The beauty of a bedtime ritual is that even if sleep is disturbed and broken, I still feel like I’ve had some time alone and space to be. It also relaxes me enough so that when sleep comes, I’m more likely to slip into a deep, relaxed rest rather than a light, agitated one.The benefits of a bedtime are plentiful but most pleasing is the way I feel the next day – I’m energised and happy, I work more productively and respond to situations instead of reacting to them. Creating a bedtime for myself is one of the best things I’ve done for my wellbeing.
I’d love to hear about the bedtime rituals in your home – for you and your children. And what books are you reading right now? I want to collate a holiday reading list for Bali!