So Ed’s been away for almost 6 weeks now, and with a funky sleep pattern anyway, trying to get off to sleep every night is still a struggle for me (it just feels weird and I can’t settle). Which is just plain annoying. Different things work for different people, but whatever your reason is for being unable to drift off, here are some techniques that I’ve tried – maybe they could help you too.
Take a Break (App)
This is my first go to, and actually something that happens a lot even when Ed IS here. A meditation app. You have lots of options for what you want to listen to and for how long, but this is a screen shot of the options I choose. The 7 minute meditation (a calming voice directing your thoughts), the sound of rain in the background, and I set it on a loop so that when she shuts up, the rain continues. Sometimes I opt out of listening to the meditation lady and stick with the rain – I have it on a loop so it’ll keep playing away to itself for a couple of hours (I think)…I’m always fast asleep by the time it goes off so I don’t know for certain! I’ve always struggled to sleep without white noise, but especially more so now that I’m sleeping in a big empty house. So, if you’re struggling, give it a try.
This is another go to to calm down and unwind – which is particularly handy when I’ve been working or rehearsing late, it’s gone midnight and I’m still wired!
I’ve spent many occasions googling tips on how to get off to sleep faster, and an idea that’s always there is reading. Personally, it has the opposite effect as it’s waking up my brain and stimulating my imagination, but I know it works for others.
If the heat isn’t helping (like in quite a few instances over this warm summer we just had!), invest in a spray bottle and keep it next to your bed. Give yourself a spritz if you’re feeling overheated, paying particular attention to the backs of the knees, wrists and neck (these are the best places for cooling you down quickly). If you happen to have a fan, this is a bonus, as the two coupled together can feel like an icy breeze from the arctic!
Keep Your Curtains Shut
Linked to the above point if your bedroom is too hot – keep your curtains closed during the day to stop the sun coming in and heating it up.
Jasmine green tea has the most incredible aroma, which really helps calm you down and alleviate stress. I’ve found it particularly useful on those evenings when I’ve got in extra late and I’m struggling to wind down.
Keep a Notebook by Your Bed
One of my girls suggested this yearsss ago, because it’s a good idea to have one there for any late night thoughts about work or to do lists. We’ve been told so many times that staring at a screen late on a night isn’t good for our sleep, so clear your head by jotting your thoughts down in a notebook instead.
A warm shower
(One for the cooler months)…Get nice and toasty whilst you wash the cares of the day away, then bundle down in a duvet cocoon. You’ll soon feel yourself drifting off when you’re all snuggly and warm.
One thing my over-active brain loves to do, is just think about ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING when I switch off the light. Whether it’s work or personal, it’s like pressing⏪▶️⏩ on my mind/memory – whether it’s reliving something that’s happened, or cooking up potential scenarios in my head – it does it FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON and it’s bloomin’ annoying. To catch myself and stop my brain running away with itself, I focus on my breathing. Long, slow breaths to help me unwind, AND to give me an excuse to focus on something that isn’t going to wake me up more (like what should come after the circular spring, pas de bouree in PA4’s travelling routine, for example)… 🙃
We’re all different, we all have our own ways of drifting off when we’re not ready to sleep…what are some of yours? If you haven’t tried some of mine and are struggling, give them a go! Happy sleeping… 😴