True confession: I was a life-long insomniac. Seriously, I can remember lying on my cot in kindergarten fraying the edges of the nylon because I wouldn’t/couldn’t go to sleep. Fortunately, I can say I was an insomniac, because through the years I’ve learned how to fall asleep easier and deeper.
One of the tricks I’ve learned was to develop a nightly ritual before bedtime. It helps signal to my brain and body that it’s time to start winding down. A few of the things I do:
- No TV an hour before bedtime and definitely no exciting or loud TV. My favorite team, the Yankees, have done their best to make that hard as of late!
- No checking email after 10. Seriously, at that point, there is no work emergency so big that it can’t wait until 7 or 8 a.m.
- Wash and brush. That’s what I call my habit of washing and brushing my teeth before bedtime. Brushing and flossing aren’t exactly relaxing, but there’s no way around them. Washing, however, can be a nightly treat if you do it right. I like to use Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash, which won’t irritate my sensitive skin, and has a nice foamy lather. I like to use the pads of my fingertips to add a light pressure. The benefits are two-fold: the facial wash removes all my makeup, and it increases my circulation. When you’re done, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a towel.
- Massage in your moisturizer. To make sure your moisturizer is fully absorbed and to boost circulation, apply it in an upward manner, starting at your neck, then going up to your jawline and your temples. I like Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream, which feels rich and decadent. Finish by lightly patting on an eye cream like Simple Soothing Eye Balm.
- Get cozy! Now comes the fun part. Start turning off lightsespecially the overhead onespull on your favorite pair of PJ’s, fluff up your pillows, then slide into bed. I usually like to read for a bit. Lately I’ve been on a historical fiction kick—it’s juicy enough to keep you interested, but not as suspenseful as a thriller like Gone Girl, which will keep you up all night.
- If it doesn’t work and you’re still tossing and turning, don’t stay in bed getting irritated. Make yourself a cup of chamomile tea, pick up that book again or turn on some white noise to make falling asleep easier.