One of my January goals as part of my Life Balance Project is to create an evening routine. The issue with this is my work schedule is different every week, some nights I’m at home and others I’m sleeping at work. I need to create a routine that can work no matter where I am. Which definitely complicates things! In the end though, I’ve come up with something that seems to be working for me. The routine I follow if I’m sleeping at work is shorter than if I’m at home. It uses the parts of the routine that I can follow no matter where I am. This helps me keep a sense of normality even though I’m not at home in my own bed. When I am at home there are other activities that I add in.
Evening routine when not at home
Get into pajamas and brush teeth: This hopefully signals to my brain that its time to wind down and get ready for bed.
Use lavender spray: I have a bottle of lavender spray which smells amazing and helps me relax. I spray it on my wrists and neck as well as my pajamas. I also think the fact that its a familiar smell helps me relax when I’m not at home.
Set alarm and put phone down: I try to avoid screens for half an hour before bed so once I’ve set my alarm, I put my phone to one side.
Read in bed: The last thing I do is lie in bed reading my book. This helps me switch off and sometimes helps me fall asleep faster.
Evening routine when I am at home
I still do the steps above but at home I can add in some extras. Sometimes I start off my routine by having a soak in the bath. Other times I’ll put on a face mask or apply different creams and moisturizers. The main thing I do differently when I’m at home is I use my acupressure mat. I find it really relaxes my muscles. I normally read while I’m on my mat, two birds and one stone. In the future though, I might experiment with using it for meditation time. You can read my honest review of acupressure mats here.
My evening routine might not seem like much but it gets me in the right frame of mind and helps me doze off. Since I started the routine about a week ago, I’ve definitely been falling asleep faster.
Do you have an evening routine? What do you include in yours? Let me know in the comments below =)
As part of my quest to unwind and get a better nights sleep, I stumbled across the idea of an acupressure mat. I was intrigued by the rave reviews and 80% 5 star rating so I decided to try it for myself.
I chose the orange Base Acupressure mat. I understood the idea behind it, rounded plastic spikes that apply gentle pressure and relax the muscles but I was a bit skeptical. I had 3 main concerns;
Would it hurt?
Would it really help me sleep better?
Would it live up to the hype of the Amazon reviews I had read?
The mat I purchased is linked below. Please note this is an affiliate link so any purchases made through that link will give me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Educating Hayley.
I was keen to try out my mat as soon as it arrived, so I took it upstairs, lay it on my bed and read the instructions. I put a thin pajama top on for my first attempt as it is suggested to build up to bare skin contact. Different people have varying levels of tolerance for sensation on the skin so its best to go slow and see what works for you. Apparently I must have a pretty high level of tolerance, as when I lay on it with the pajama top on, I couldn’t feel anything! So the top came off and I lay down again.
Its hard to describe the sensation of hundreds of rounded plastic tips pressing against your back. I wriggled and adjusted for a moment then set an alarm for 20 minutes and tried to relax into the mat. It is suggested to lie on the mat for 20-40 minutes several times a week for maximum benefit. I took a few deep breaths and could feel my muscles start to relax. The main thing going through my head was “Hey this doesn’t hurt!” I lay for the 20 minutes and then got up and carried on with my day. I didn’t get the warm tingly feeling that a lot of the reviews described but I still felt refreshed and happy with the result.
One month later
My mat arrived on the 11th of September, at time of writing I have been using it for just over a month. I have used the mat most days for at least 30 minutes. On day 3 I felt the warm tingly sensation and now I feel it almost every time. I would say that using it before bed does help me fall asleep faster as I’m more relaxed but I can’t definitively say that it has improved my sleep. Either way I enjoy my “mat time” and it is something that I will continue using. It has fit effortlessly into my before bed routine and I feel better for it. I now understand the rave reviews but ultimately its something that is hard to grasp until you have tried it for yourself.
Have you got an acupressure mat? Would you recommend it to others? Let me know in the comments below.