Sleep is something I have a bit of a freaky relationship with; I absolutely adore it and usually complain most of the day at how I am ‘so tired’. Yet when the night draws in and most drift off to sleep at a reasonable hour, I fight sleep.
As I work full time and do all this on the side, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to just chill the hell out. So on average during the week; I finally go to sleep after procrastinating 94% of the evening about midnight and wake up at 7am.
Don’t get me wrong, 7 hours sleep is not bad at all and a hell of a lot more than I know some get/their children allow them. But for someone who’s brain is as useful as a chocolate teapot without at least 9/10 hours sleep, I have been depriving myself for plural years. And my appearance has started to pay the price.
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, but it goes beyond that into a more medical standpoint. If you are suffering from some kind of ailment, the chances are the evidence will be in or around your eyes. Whether it’s discolouration, eye bags, puffiness, bloodshot it usually relates to something that’s going slightly wrong.
However, a lack of sleep and the sleep you do get not being restful is the most common reason for premature aging around the eyes, as well as ‘black’ under eyes. And this is my issue.
It’s only really been highlighted to me since I started taking more up-close-and-personal snaps for the gram, as well as starting to do chatting insta stories. There are not enough filters, or airbrushing software in the world to mask these babies. And it was like a slap round the face screaming ‘you look old now, time will not be kind to you’.
So I decided to change 2 major things, for my health but mainly for my vanity.
I found that as soon as I sat down when I got home from work the scrolling would begin, and it wouldn’t stop until ‘oops it’s 11:47 and I still have my coat on’. So I set up the ‘screen time’ feature that’s come about with the latest update of the iPhone. I set myself the hours in which I can have full reign of all of my apps, and then what apps would be off limits within certain hours.
So between 6am-8:30pm I can do as I please, however outside of those hours everything is locked minus the skeleton settings (iMessage, calling, calculator, camera etc etc). You can turn off the limit on individual apps for either 15 minutes or all together for the day, but life is different now.
I’m actually starting to get things done in my evenings. My productivity is coming back slowly but surely, and I’m finding myself less and less inclined to mindlessly scroll. Plus I actually start to wind down earlier in the evening and get sleepy before midnight – praise the lord. Which leads onto the next point.
Set bed time
When I left school and packed up my mum’s car to go to university, for the first time I had a real taste of independence. There was no one telling me what to do, what to eat and when to go to sleep. And guess what happened? I got drunk a lot, I ate junk a lot, and I stayed up stupidly late a lot.
In the September I left for university a fresh faced 18 year old, and returned to my family for Christmas a haggard looking tramp. I had put on the best part of 3 stone, I was sleeping from the early am until the following afternoon and had aged about 5 years. And the thus, the bad relationship with sleep began.
4 and a half years post university the weight may be gone (ish) but I’m still struggling to get back into that routine and mend my strained relationship with a set bedtime.
So when 9:30pm rolls around, that’s my queue to start faffing about before bed. Have a shower, take my makeup off, reorganise the chest of draws, fill a recycling bag full of clothes, y’know the usual pre bedtime stuff. With the goal to be in bed and lights out by 10:45 at the latest.
A week and a bit in, and I’m starting to feel the benefits. Waking up in the morning is turning from a soft sob whilst whispering ‘what have I done to deserve this?’, to a more ‘eurgh do I really need this job’. Which in my book is a hell of a lot of progress for only a weeks’ worth of more restful sleep.
What are your bedtime routines?