Can't sleep? Reading and a warm drink might help.
AS FIRST WORLD problems go, getting enough sleep probably comes very low down the scale. Especially if you have a house and a comfortable bed.
And until recently, sleeping the whole night was never an issue.
Even when the offspring were babies, I could do all those middle-of-the-night feeds, and slide straight back to sleep. Which is why nobody I'm a bit surprised - annoyed even - that I'm fighting insomnia these days. Or, well...nights.
In a bid for better sleep, I've asked around. It turns out, everyone has an opinion, a tried-and-tested formula. So, in the best tradition of sharing, here's the Beat The Insomnia check-list.
1. Get up early in the morning. Hard to do, when you've spent half the night awake, but force yourself. As it happens, I already do this. Not by choice, you understand, but because I have to. I'm definitely not a morning person.
2. Avoid coffee. OK, for coffee lovers (and I am one) that sounds like a special sort of torture. Instead, don't drink coffee after 12 noon. Fair warning: never try to engage me in sensible conversation until I've had that first cup.
3. Exercise every day. I do this a bit: usually walking. I've tried running. Really, I have. I don't want to expand on that topic in a family-friendly blog.
4. Don't eat late at night. Fair enough, although dinner is a moveable feast in our house. Totally dependent on when people are home/when they're going out/when I remember to start making it.
5. Avoid screens before bed. I'll be honest, I try to avoid looking at a computer or phone after dinner, but I make an exception for TV. My argument is I've been watching the telly for years before bed, and it never made a whit of difference.
6. Have a warm bath. Can I just say that I'd rather run a mile than sit in a tub of rapidly-cooling bath water? Showers were invented for a good reason.
7. Have a warm, milky drink. A bit of a problem if you can only stomach the taste of milk in your Cappucino, but whatever shakes your float.
8. Read before you sleep. Bit of a Catch 22, this one. If you love a book, it's very difficult to put it down. If you hate it, why would you read it? Still, I'll have to start reading the livestock reports.
9. Take up a relaxing hobby. Slow cooking and yoga have been mentioned. Maybe I could do both at the one time for maximum impact?
10. Don't go to bed until you're tired. Seriously? I could have written this list myself.*
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*And I did. ;)