Cleaning up my sleep

Hand on heart, prior to this, I couldn’t tell you the last time I slept through the night. Like fully slept from head down to sunrise. Maybe when I was about 13?

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With the advent of the iPhone, since my notoriously awful-sleeping young babies progressed into a full night’s rest, it’s just got worse over time rather than better.

I’d go to sleep holding the damn thing having had to check Facebook, Instagram and Mumsnet before bed. The when I’d wake up a few hours later, it would be the first thing I’d do; log back into social media. The blue light is a killer for me and keeps me wide awake for hours but I was in a cycle of sleep-check-sleep-check and couldn’t break the habit.

My dark circles were ever-increasing and no amount of Floridix, water, eye corrector or industrial strength concealer were attempting to eradicate them.

I’ve known for ages what I needed to do, re-focus my efforts from the multiple band aids to the actual problem in hand. So after a fairly long period of gearing up to it, I did. And this is what I changed…

  • Made 15,000 steps my daily goal so that, along with the daily grind, I’m exhausted come 10pm
  • Stopped using my laptop just an hour or so before bed
  • Started taking evening hot baths with lavender oil and Epsom salt to relax me
  • Cut out tea and any type of caffeine after dinner time
  • Swapped the bedtime browse on the phone for a few pages of a book. I’m on my third in a month; more than I’ve read in such quick succession in over a decade
  • Put the phone in the corner of my bedroom so that it’s not to hand in the night. I still need the alarm until I go old school and find my one from 2006
  • Added white noise to our bedroom. The fan, as much as it used to be a major irritant, is now a gentle whirl in the background that handily serves to drown out the barking of the farm dogs at 4am

Honestly, just getting rid of the phone from my fingertips has helped so much. It’s lethal and totally addictive.

The mental stimulation (if that’s what you can call social media) and blue light together are just no good for me at all. I truly realised that when we were in the U.S. this summer and I’d wake at 2am on the dot every morning.  I was unable to go back to sleep until at least 4am because I’d be kept awake by the prolonged and lengthy perusing of the Daily Mail app.

It’s absolutely a work in progress but I’m sleeping better now than I have done in years.

I love my iPhone, but it really doesn’t love me all that much!

Lucy

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