Do you have any rituals before you fall asleep?
During a recent eye check-up, my new optometrist asked me how my eyes feel first thing in the morning. “Not great,” I said. “They kind of hurt until I put my contacts in.” He determined I have dry eyes. (They have been this way for YEARS. I thought it was just ‘my eyes’. Weird how we just accept some things.)
Along with using drops 4 times/day, he suggested I put a hot compress over my eyes for 10 minutes every night before bed. Easy, right? The problem is, that’s usually my prime reading time. And I’m supposed to do this for six weeks.
So I asked Joe if he would read aloud to me. Right now he’s 1/4 of the way through “Life” by Keith Richards, which I read a couple years ago and loved. I dampen a washcloth with super, super hot water, crawl under the covers, place it over my eyelids, and disappear into Joe’s/Keith Richard’s voice, talking about his early days in London with the Stones. It’s so relaxing, and my eyes feel amazing after. Even if you have normal/not dry eyes, I highly recommend, especially if you work on the computer much of the day, like me. The damp heat feels like it resets your eyes, and preps them for a great sleep.
On that note, there’s another pre-sleep ritual I want to share with you guys. I’m notoriously a night owl, and my brain often feels busy just as it’s time to wind down. I’ll suddenly want to discuss with Joe not just banal stuff like grocery items we need, but hypotheticals about the future, like, “We’re still going to live overseas again one day, right? That’s still the plan?” Fair topic, though maybe not the best for right before sleep on a work night.
So lately I’ve found myself asking this simple question instead: “What was your favourite part of the day?”
Often this draws out some moment he hadn’t mentioned yet, maybe that he hadn’t even really thought about until then. (Of course, I always like it when he says “eating popcorn on the couch with you.”) It’s a nice way to connect right before saying good night, and makes me reflect on what I enjoyed about my day too, instead of just letting the good stuff pass without truly taking notice. If you’re sleeping solo these days, it’s a great question to just ask yourself—and a lot more soothing/calming then running over tomorrow’s to-do list!
What about you guys? Anything that helps you wind down at night? Do you read? Light a candle? Collapse in an exhausted heap? Any habits you’d like to break?
I would love to hear about it! The comments are open, friends…
p.s. 3 simple sleep hygiene rules, based on the bad habits of Claire and Frank from House of Cards