"A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down." E.B. WHITE
I recently read the above quote while thinking about what to write. Seeing that every evening I have problems falling asleep, I thought to myself – perhaps I should prepare an article on ways to fall asleep.
Let’s face it – due to the busy pace many of us keep even though we are retired, sleep does require some assistance if we are to (1) fall asleep early in the process and (2) have a good night’s sleep.
Let us look at the subject of sleep. Being a person of routine (daily and weekly routines are my forte), I am constantly on the look-out for ways to fall asleep promptly as well as stay asleep. To do so though one should consider having a consistent bedtime-routine. By routine, I mean things like having a light snack, taking a bath/shower or perhaps even reading something light before turning out the lights, to name but a few. Things that can be done within the last 30 to 60 minutes of the evening that will assist us to fall asleep fast and aid our sleep as well.
As to the type of reading I am referring to – well let’s just say we are not talking about mysteries or horror stories. Magazines such as Readers Digest and AARP Bulletin would work well as the short articles can be put aside when we feel the sandman coming around while reading them. How does one know they are getting sleepy – well when you start reading the same sentence over and over and over or startle yourself awake reaching for the book or magazine as it falls out of your hand – well – it is time to close those peepers.
One of the things I have not yet started is meditating in the evening. It works well in the morning after I have done some stretching exercises but I truthfully can say that I haven’t tried it at night yet. Who knows engaging in a meditative mantra such as “You are getting sleepy” might be just what the doctor ordered to calm my over-active mind.
Another thing that might assist in falling off into LaLa land would be music although I can truthfully say that I haven’t tried it. What I have done though is listen to “nature sounds” on my telephone, setting the time for approximately twenty minutes or so. That has a calming effect and has worked when I used it. I must admit though, I do not practice what I preach but I may just give it a go one more time.
Watching something light on TV or in the evening or watch the dramas early and switch to one or two half-hour comedies right before heading to the bedroom would work as well. That way we have funny things running around in our head versus the mystery and mayhem we watch earlier in the evening. Another thought about watching TV before going to bed would be to watch a favorite movie we seen before but enjoyed considerably. Its familiarity would make it easier to fall off to sleep without much thought to what the movie was about since we had seen it before.
Taking a warm shower before bed can aid sleep as body temperature has an important impact on sleep and the warmness of the shower may assist with our falling asleep rather quickly.
Another of my morning routines is stretching however, seeing that the stretches I do are not overly aerobic, stretching before retiring for the evening may assist in the transition to the sleep mode as well.
I am sure there are many other ways to relax before drifting off to sleep once we go to the bedroom. Being a person that has always – or at least it seems it has been always – having problems falling asleep at bedtime – you can be sure that I am going to give some of these more thought and do my best to implement them so that I begin sleeping much better than I have been.
Until next time!