I love my bed, and I love putting on my jammies, shortly after the dogs have their after dinner walk. So yes, bedtime starts right after dinner!! Sleep is difficult when you’re in pain, but there are many things I’ve learned that help prepare me for sleep. Falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early are all problems. Trying to get comfortable is the hardest thing to do.
- Comfortable sleep wear that hits the just right temperature, not too hot or cold. Pjs that allow lots of twisting and turning! I like inexpensive tops and pants from Old Navy, they are made of thin fabric.
- Bed:I use a lambswool mattress topper that is supposed to help cushion the pressure points and relieve discomfort. It was pricey but really nice. I swear I sleep better on clean sheets, too. I have spent hundreds of dollars trying almost every pillow type there is to relieve neck pain, and I finally found one. In the winter, we have a down comforter that is like a big, puffy cloud. I really miss it when it’s time to pack it away for warmer weather! I haven’t found a summer cover that is as comfy.
- I like to shower at night, and wash away the day before bed. It’s a good idea for allergies, and muscle relaxation. A warm bath or shower can help you fall asleep faster, by raising your body temperature. When your body temperature drops after bathing, it signals sleep time because our temperatures already drop at night and the extra cooling adds to this effect.
- Once the pajamas are on, it’s a good time to do some stretches. There are many yoga routines and books available, but here is a link with a simple routine. I do some of the stretches I’ve been given my physiotherapists and I like the routine in the book Back RX by Dr. Vijay Vad M.D.
- For some people, including me, medication is helpful.
- Hygeine all the facial care, dental care, (and now eye care too!) There is an eye mask that you heat in the microwave and wear for 10 minutes, this helps with dry eyes. The optometrist ordered I use it or else have a scary procedure that involves poking things into my tear ducts. How barbaric! A warm compress on the eyes just before bed is really relaxing.
- I like to read before bed. It’s a good time to read something that you really want to retain, as this article explains.
- Finally, a 10 minute guided meditation while I use the eye mask. In bed with the lights off.
- Then, hopefully sleep.
This great website has a lot of information about sleeping better, and how sleep is impacted by with what we do all day long.
I’m always looking for ideas for how to sleep better, please share in the comments!