1. Going to bed early.
2. Not leaving the house.
3. Not going to a party.
My childhood punishments have become my adult goals…
I overheard my father once telling someone that I was the only child out of six that never gave him trouble when it was time to go to bed. You didn’t have to tell me twice!
I don’t understand why people have to “get ready” for bed.
I’m always ready for bed…
Now, sleep is sometimes elusive, even when I do go to bed in a timely manner. Part of my brain wants to go over (and over and over and…) tasks I need to complete, ideas that must be written down, things I wish I had done and things I wish I hadn’t done. I have been able to silence some of the grey matter chatter by organizing my evening routine. My routine doesn’t entirely eliminate the ruminations, but it does cut out some of it.
My evening routine:
Begin with a bite.
I have bedtime medications that I must take every day. A couple require that they be taken with food. I love my Bedtime Banana Blend. This smoothie recipe includes several foods that are proven to be sleep-enhancing, and it also just plain tastes good!
In a blender or food processor, combine one banana, 1/4 cup almonds, three dark chocolate candy kisses, 1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt, one “handful” of ice cubes, 1/2 cup chamomile tea (chilled), 1/2 cup almond milk, one tablespoon honey or agave, and one teaspoon vanilla. Process until smooth. Makes 2 cups.
Bedtime Banana Blend packets can be made ahead of time minus the milk, yogurt, and ice. Add the milk before blending. No need to add ice (unless you want it) since the bananas are already frozen. You may also make the almond milk and/or the chamomile tea into ice cubes for ease of assembly into packets. Again, eliminate the water ice cubes if you do use frozen milk or tea.
These Three Things
I am easily overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks I feel I must do and need to accomplish. I keep a to-do list, and I use it to create other lists to keep from being frustrated by my inability to do everything as fast, timely, and efficiently as I would desire. I choose three things from my to-do list or I add appointments/tasks with deadlines, whether or not these tasks are on the to-do list.
My bed is a magical place…
…where I suddenly remember everything I was supposed to do.
Rabbit Trail These Three Things
I tend to decide my These Three Things tasks for the next day either while I am in the kitchen making my Bedtime Banana Blend, or as I am… (ahem) on the throne. Hey, it’s time-efficient. Anyway, what else are you going to do while you’re there?
Get a head start on tomorrow
Do you have an appointment or meeting first thing in the morning? Choose your outfit before going to bed. You can make sure you have all of the necessary pieces, including jewelry and shoes, without searching in the dawning daylight hours. Why add stress to your morning?
Make breakfast or at least assemble the elements of breakfast. Milk, cereal and fruit are your morning choices? Set out the bowl, spoon, glass, cereal box, and fruit together so you only need to go after the milk. Overnight oats are a great on-the-go breakfast and a real time-saver too. If you are a coffee-drinker (and if you are not, you are wrong), invest in a coffee-maker with a timer, so you can wake to the wonderful wafting of liquid motivation…
Lastly, eliminate the electronics.
No, not forever, just for an hour before going to bed. Science has shown that the use of electronic devices (mobile phones, tablets, computers, televisions, and so son) impede our brain’s ability to shut down and rest properly. Brain growth and repair actually happens while we are sleeping. So put down the devices and pick up a book, a craft, a board game, whatever. Give your brain a break and a breather! It will love you back.