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My Bedtime Routine

There are many causes of my insomnia. The main one is pain. And believe me, it's a pain.

If you've read my other articles, you'll know that I have a chronic illness called ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Having this condition means that I live every day with chronic pain. This pain impacts my sleep a lot.

So, a month ago, I decided I needed to have a bedtime routine and a sleep routine. Unfortunately, in the past month, I have not been able to get my sleep into a routine.

But, I have a bedtime routine

Usually, I go to bed stiff and in pain. It takes me a while to get into a comfortable position. Lots of pillows and an electric blanket or hot water bottles help me get comfortable. But I'm getting ahead of myself here; my bedtime routine begins before I get into bed.

My bedtime routine begins in the evening time, obviously. I try not to eat after 7 PM. I read that sometimes digestion can keep you awake and affect your sleep. I have a hot bath with Epsom salts and a CBD bath bomb to help my mind and body relax.

After my bath, I do my skincare routine – clean my face, apply cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and lip balm. Then I brush my hair, get into my PJs, and brush my teeth.

Stretching my body

My AS causes me to have an extremely stiff body. Often when I fall asleep, I get woken up by my aching, stiff body. So, I always stretch before bed!

I begin by lying on my mat, doing some deep breathing exercises. Then I do a few stretching exercises, nothing too extravagant! I make sure to do slow, relaxing stretches such as the cat-cow, child's pose, and baby pose!

My in-bed routine

I have a no-screen policy after 9 PM. This means no phone, no laptop, and no TV. I hop into bed at 9 PM, often with a cup of herbal tea – usually chamomile tea. Sometimes I treat myself and have hot chocolate, hoping that the hot milk will help me sleep.

Once in bed, I will dim the lights and read some of my book while drinking my tea. Currently, I am reading Flea's autobiography. He is the bassist in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, my favorite band. Once I have finished my tea and read some of my book, I will stretch a little more in bed and do some deep breathing exercises again. Then, I get myself nice and comfy and I try to sleep.

Controlling what I can control

Often, I don't sleep, or it takes me hours to fall asleep. I don't know if this bedtime routine helps me sleep or affects my sleep at all. But, I am in control of my bedtime routine. I like being in control. I am not in control of my sleep, so I need to be in control of something.

Do you have a bedtime routine? And do you think it helps you?

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