Wind down and get sleepy, in time for a full night of sleep!

Do you go to bed with the chickens? No! Me neither, even being a country girl at heart. But, that was a saying I often heard from my parents. They were referring to someone who would go to bed when the sun goes down (not someone sleeping in the chicken coop!). Going to sleep soon after the sun went down was more common in my parents’ and grandparents’ day than it is now.

Our bodies evolved to go sleep after the sun goes down. Yet, most of us are in the habit of artificially extending our daylight hours with electric lights, computer screens, and all sorts of screens. These wonderful devices can keep us energized for a very long time; with their especially blue and bright light. Many of us will feel awake when our bodies are really ready for sleep. Without clues of sleepiness, we often stay up too late. The next day can be a torturous plod, as a result.

Why not revise this pattern? Try an experiment for a week or two. Turn off all your electronics about an hour before your bedtime. Even turn off your TV at that hour, too. This is a great point in the evening to have some quiet relaxing time with yourself, your partner or with your family.

Turn the lights, in your home, down low. Nice for slow dancing. Yes. And for getting sleepy too. It’s really easy if you have dimmer switches. Or just use a few lamps for this last hour of your evening. Choose light bulbs in the warm spectrum for your evening lighting. Warm light lets your body prepare for night. Avoid bright white light. It includes the “wake up” part of the spectrum.

You may even want to light a candle or two. Of course, be conscious of having an open flame. Place your candles on something non-flammable. Make sure they are away from anything combustible before you light the wick. Perhaps, try eco-friendly battery powered candles. These beautiful pretend candles don’t add any soot or fragrance to your air. I’m usually all about the real thing, yet I love these, no mess, battery powered candles.

How about listening to some slow and gentle music? Take a soothing bath, knit, color, do some journaling, or do some art work. These are just a few of the things you can do to shift into nighttime mode. If you are good with just sitting and enjoying some quiet reflecting time in the soft warm light, that’s fabulous, too.

I know that changing your habits takes some “doing”. I’ll be delving into using your willpower in later posts. For now, do a little planing so you are ready with music and candles or your choice for a relaxing environment. Maybe even set a timer to notify you thirty minutes ahead of your wind-down time. So you can get prepare for this sweet time of clam. Once relaxed, you’ll be ready to rest and then drift on into sleep.

Resources for turning the lights down low:
(These are offered as places to start to learn more. I am not affiliated with these companies.)

Get some eco-friendly battery powered candles:

http://www.amazon.com/Flickering-LED-Flameless-Candles-Rechargeable/dp/B00JO4J4JQ

Some explanation about light bulbs with warm light:

http://www.topbulb.com/color-temperature

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