For the past few months I’ve been working really hard on my health and fitness goals. It’s not that I want to be a triathlete, but it would be nice to race my kids UP a hill without needing resuscitation after. So yes, it’s a work in progress, but it is progressing. I am feeling stronger, firmer and have more energy than I did years ago. I’ve made lifestyle changes that at first seemed daunting, but are now just part of my routine.
I drink WAY more water. Like, litres of the stuff every day! It can be flat or sparkling or sometimes with a hint of natural flavor. My skin looks better and I FEEL better.
I started our family on weekly hikes every Saturday morning, giving us time together and exercise at the same time. It was tough at first to get everyone on board, especially a teen who would rather sleep in than go tramping through the forest in the pouring rain, but she did it, and actually loved it.
It feels good to have made changes for the better, knowing my health can only benefit from them. There is one more change I want, NEED, to make that I have been struggling with thoughout is how to get more quality sleep. It eludes me, which is weird because I was always a “sleeper.”
My whole life I could fall asleep anywhere, for a short period or extended, to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. So what happened???
Life. Kids. Work. In a nutshell: STRESS. Life is messy and with that mess comes boatloads of stress, often disguised as activities or work. I go to bed at a reasonable time but have trouble falling asleep due to the dozens of ideas zipping around in my head, all vying for my immediate attention. I don’t get up insanely early; life on a farm does start early but I also have the opportunity to sleep in more. It’s not that I need more TIME to sleep, I just need to get more sleep out of the time I have.
So I’ve decided to change my evening routine and try to get myself into a more relaxed and “ready for sleep” state.
This includes turning off my brain an hour earlier each night by shutting off my laptop and phone. I purposely do NOT check my email before I turn out the light; they’ll still be there in the morning, right? Deciding to have a clear and definite end time to my work day was difficult, since I deal with clients in various time zones, but it’s working. Now I have time to truly focus on me, and putting animals and kids to bed before I snuggle down is a relaxing and calming chore I actually enjoy.
Our bedroom is the perfect temperature for sleeping, it’s cool and dark with a cozy duvet and mattress that makes me feel like I’m on a cloud. I keep our window open so I can fall asleep to the singing frogs, and the cool night air keeps the room fresh, while I am cozy under the blankets.
With these new changes my sleeping has improved. I may not sleep longer, but I am sleeping better. I no longer toss and turn trying to shake ideas out of my brain, and instead quickly fall into dreamland. I am waking before my alarm, and have time to enjoy those few peaceful moments on the farm before the family wakes up.
Making decisions to change parts of your life or routine can be hard, but when the end result is a happier, healthier you it makes it easier to take that first step.
Find some more tips on sleeping routines on Today’s Parent