How I am managing to sleep like a log now.

Sleep is so important. 

Everyone tells you that, and they are correct.

Good sleep is fantastic.

I have struggled to get a decent sleep for the last few months.

With a niggling foot injury, some life challenges, the pandemic, and reading and keeping active right up to the last minute of the day led to a crap sleep.

I have cracked this problem in the last month by dealing very specifically with a few clear problem areas.

Problem area number one, I had started drinking coffee again, which I am cool with, but I had previously made a point of having my last cup before 1 pm. I was breaking that rule frequently. Not any more.

Problem area number two, I was not eating correctly. I would skip lunch, and then in desperation, I would eat a more substantial meal than I needed for dinner. I sometimes would snack after dinner because my food had not got down to my stomach to please my body. I have fixed that by having a couple of pieces of fruit for lunch and eating less for dinner. I also give my food time to land before making any hasty decisions. 

Problem area number three, the phone. Yep, I was using the phone too much and right up to the last minute before going to sleep. I was checking things such as email and text constantly. I live in a different time zone from the family, so that was a thing. I have implemented a rule. Phone on the charger in the living room (in its bed) by 9 pm, no touching again until the morning.

Problem area number four, I was listening to audiobooks to get to sleep. I thought I was doing good by using that time to learn. Nope, that is not good practice. Now I don’t listen to anything, and I give my brain time to think, reflect and prepare itself to write the stuff from the day into its long term memory. I feel that I fall asleep quicker and get into deeper sleep now. This has helped my concentration through the day, and I also wake to feel noticeably rested.

Problem area number five. I have fixed the damn pillows. I had one pillow, the thick one that would creak my neck if I used it, that would always be there or thereabouts. I would subconsciously fight with that pillow through the night and was too lazy to change it. It is celebration time. I have dumped that f*cking pillow.

Problem area number six and seven. I have chilled out for an hour before going to sleep, and I take time to sort out the bedroom environment. What does that mean… I draw the curtains, tidy up the room and make sure things are in their place, and I pull back the duvet, ready to get into bed. But I don’t yet. I go back and chill for an hour. Read a little, write, listen to some appropriate music or potter for a bit. I make a point of chilling myself out before going to sleep.

I am also exercising more during the day, and now that Beijing is getting warmer, I am walking everywhere again. That always helps.

Got to say, I love walking around the city.

And finally, but not least, problem area number eight. I would drink a glass of water before going to bed. I thought this was a good thing. I don’t think so now, because it means I need to get up to go before I am due to get up to go, if you know what I mean.

Now, I let myself get a little dehydrated, and I make it through the night without waking up. The first thing that I do when I awake is to get a drink of water. Sorted.

Oh, last thing. I also breathe before I go to sleep. By that, I mean I go through a series of deep breaths and wide exhales so that I can oxygenate my blood. 

This breathing stunt usually ends up with me yawning funnily enough.

I am not sure if that is tricking my brain into understanding that I want to sleep now, I am not sure if that what he gets from that, but it helps.

Thank you, and it is goodnight from me and goodnight from him.

Beijing Park Life.

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