I found it great to read the comments of people’s experiences, observations and experiments around the practice of getting an early night in response to the article The Science of Early To Bed – so much wisdom readily available in us.
A few of the comments relating to what we do before we go to bed have activated my keyboard this morning. To me, ‘before’ bed is not just the last few minutes before I peel back the sheets and get in.
I agree with what has been shared that it’s how I do everything for the whole of the day that governs the ease of getting to sleep and the quality of my sleep.
But for me it goes back even further than the day’s activities, to how I make my bed in the morning. This may sound funny to some, and some may accuse me of being ‘obsessive’, however, in the morning as soon as I get up (early) I have a little ritual – fully present and loving with myself – when I make my bed. I devote up to 5 minutes to it.
I take off the pillows, top sheet, doona and blankets, whatever… then I smooth out all the wrinkles in the mattress protector and bottom sheet and tuck it back in tight so it’s neat, then shake and smooth out the pillows and put them in place, nicely centred. I then feel how much warmth I may need for the night and choose the coverings accordingly. After that the top sheet goes on, with the same length hanging down both sides of the bed, no wrinkles, and enough length up the pillow end for a comfortable fold-back. Then on goes the doona and/or blankets, also applied symmetrically and smoothed out. I finish by topping off with a couple of colour-matched velvet cushions, shaken out, smoothed and placed at harmonious angles.
Can you imagine the love and care pouring out of my bed, sitting there innocently awaiting me for later?
I can feel it myself, and so can others (“It feels so amazing, am I allowed to sit here?” kind of thing.) When it’s time for me to go to bed and I begin to peel back the covers, my face erupts in a smile ‘all by itself’ – my body is feeling the love I have put into my bed to support and cradle me all night. It feels so delicious and inviting, the smile is inevitable! I can go to sleep within seconds of my head meeting the pillow . . . provided of course I have quietened myself down from the day instead of leaping into bed at 10,000 rpm. Even then, the quality of love in my bed is so strong and supportive that it can help me wind down . . .
It might seem like there’s not enough time in the day to put this level of care into things like making one’s bed, preparing one’s food, clothes, bathroom, kitchen, work spaces, etc., but when you factor in the time lost to feeling tense, tired and disconnected, making complications, messes and mistakes that we have to go back and clean up or correct, being moody and creating issues in relationships that have to be resolved, running out of energy before the day’s over, etc., I reckon the small amount of time given to making my bed and putting loving self-care into one’s physical environment is a great return on investment!
Dedicated to everyone’s loving choices that bring the best quality sleep!
By Dianne Trussell BSc, science researcher, educator & writer, Goonellabah, NSW, Australia