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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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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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