Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Keep Calm and Dream On: Five Things I Do Before Bedtime

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Five Things I Do Before Bedtime | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Are you one of those people who falls asleep the minute your head hits the pillow?
Or, are you like me -- where bedtime means 

it's time for your brain to start doing mental aerobics?

I used to blame my inability to fall asleep on work stress,
but I don't have that excuse any more.
I just can't seem to turn off my brain,
and it can take hours before Mr. Sandman shows up.
 I've tried...

  Warm milk
Counting sheep
Redecorating my house in my head
Counting backwards from 100
Getting out of bed and walking around 
Reading a boring article
Well, okay, the Ambien worked,
but I didn't want us to become regular bed partners.

And then, by trial and error...
I finally found a combination of five things that seem to help me fall asleep faster. 

At the risk of jinxing myself, I'm going to share my pre-bedtime ritual with you,
on the chance that it may help in your quest for sweet dreams.

1. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.

Source: Somee Cards

I know, I know, I'm not the first to come up with this.
It is, however, the one thing I have resisted doing, until recently,
and you know what? 
I do think it makes a difference. 
It's a nightly battle, though. 
I'm so attached to my laptop that I actually have 
separation anxiety when turning it off at night:

I'll just answer one more email...
and edit a few pictures...
have one last check of Google Analytics...
take another peak at Facebook...
Ooh...what was that website for the cool business cards?
I'll give myself five minutes on Pinterest, and THAT'S IT.
Oh, and Instagram! Just three more little minutes. 

Let me just say this:
Shut. It. Down.
It works. 

2. Make a cup of "sleepy" tea. 

Five Things I Do Before Bedtime | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

After I shut down my laptop and phone,
I brew myself a cup of Sweet Dreams herbal tea.
You may remember that I included these tea bags in my Stress-Buster giveaway box.
I let it steep for four minutes, 
so the chamomile, hibiscus, mint and rose blossoms are nice and potent.
Ah, so soothing.  

3. Grab some pencils and color!

Five Things I Do Before Bedtime | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I could never find a time during the day to just color away, and de-stress.
Now that my laptop isn't burning the midnight oil,
I found a half hour at the end of the day to give my colored pencils a workout,
while I'm sipping that tea.
Gotta be careful not to spill it on my coloring book, though. 

4. Do a "gratitude" review.

Five Things I Do Before Bedtime | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I have, at times, kept a gratitude journal.
But now, truth be told, I try to review everything I'm grateful for
while I'm lying in bed.
I find it very relaxing to think about something positive
right after I get into bed.
I couldn't come up with a way to take a picture 
of what's going on inside my head;
hence, the photo of the written journal.

5. Use the 4-7-8 breathing method to inhale essential oils. 
Five Things I Do Before Bedtime | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

  I found an essential oil called Sleep Ease from Eden's Garden here.
I was skeptical, but ever since I've been putting a couple of drops 
on the soles of my feet
(don't ask me, I read about that online),
I seem to be sleeping much more soundly. 
After rubbing my feet together
(yes, I look a bit like a contortionist when I'm doing this),
I rub my hands over my feet.
Then, I inhale the scent of the oil on my hands,
  using the 4-7-8 breathing method that I learned in yoga
(Inhale 4 seconds, hold 7 seconds, exhale through mouth 8 seconds),

Before I can say "keep calm and dream on,"
I'm (usually) drifting off to slumberland.


So far, this bedtime ritual is working for me.
I'm sure I'll still have sleepless nights every now and then,
but hopefully, my little pre-bedtime ritual will make them less frequent.
What are your strategies 
for winding down at the end of the day?  

   Linking With:
Simple and Sweet Friday 
Let's Get Real 
Home Sweet Home 
Home and Garden Thursday 
Bouquet of Talent 


  1. Yes to all these things!! Mental aerobics for sure!!
    I put Sleepyize Oil on my son's temples and Stress Away oil on my wrists and both are great but I should also get some of that tea ASAP!

  2. You are really into it, I see! :-)

    I am lazy. I turn everything off and then I read poetry. Billy Collins, Margaret Atwood or Naomi Shibab Nye are among favorites that I like to read at bedtime. Lately I have also enjoyed reading about dinner parties at James Salter's home ("Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days"). I usually fall asleep before I turn the page.

    Good night, sweet dreams from Vienna,

  3. Oh Amy, I could have written this post verbatim!

    I sometimes read before turning in, but it only works if I am IN bed while doing so, or else all bets are off.


  4. Oh Amy, I could have written this post verbatim!

    I sometimes read before turning in, but it only works if I am IN bed while doing so, or else all bets are off.


  5. I need to get those essential oils and the diffuser back out. I try to get offline and read a book. That relaxes me. I got off Ambien and now take Melatonin, at the suggestion of my doctor.

  6. I agree, these things do help! Well I've never tried the tea but yes to the others. I use many of the Young Living oils--no, I don't sell them!--and a diffuser with certain oils in them helps so much. And I have 3 different rollers of essential oils I keep on my bed table.

    But absolutely the best advice is getting off my laptop and cellphone an hour or two before bed. Does that sound like I follow this every night? What do you think?

    4-7-8 breathing method? I must google that!

    1. Oh yes, I don't color either! Should I really try that?

  7. Amy funny I'm doing a sleep post this week too. But mine is a whole different take and share. Hey maybe great minds do think alike. Love all your helpful advice.

  8. I love your bedtime rituals! I do the turning off of the computer and the tea. The coloring is a great idea. I have four of those books and never find (or allow) myself the time to color during the day. I mostly just read for about a half hour. I fill my head with God's word through devotionals and other books and then drift off, sometimes thinking of what I will wear the next day. Redecorating the house is a good one too!

  9. I have been having trouble falling asleep too of late! Used to be able to sleep without any trouble. I find that lowering the lights and definitely turning off the electronics well before bedtime helps too. Watching the late news is a bad habit we have which doesn't help the situation. Thanks for your suggestions!

  10. Good strategies all! I find that if I am doing needlework or knitting I will have a better sleep. Odd as it sounds, I put a bar of Trader Joe's Lavender soap under my pillow - the lavender scent is more intense than the spray mist. As I heat up (anyone else heat up?) during the night, I turn the pillow over and have a fresh drift of the lavender. Now if I could only find a way to sleep past 0500 I'd be happy.

  11. I ask my cat to come sleep next to me... It relaxes me!

  12. Oh...I have the exact same sleep problems as you. Events, conversations and plans going over and over in my head. I know it's probable, I'm on my laptop AND watching TV right before bed. I feel SO sleepy but once all comfy in bed, a huge voice says, "Ha! Fooled you again!"

    I now close things up and read, even for 15 minutes and that helps keep me focused on simple words instead of all the distraction from media. I will definitely try the tea and oils, that's really wild but so am I!

    Thank you!


  13. I'm usually a good sleeper but every once in a while I go through a phase where I can't sleep. I'm going to remember your tips for those times.

  14. I tend to fall asleep right away. But I use lavender essential oil on my pillow. This is a sleep aid. Our ancestors used the flowers tucked into their linens. I agree on the electronics! No phone or computer before bed time it just leads to the brain going off in a tangent!

  15. I think the first tip is excellent, we are all too guilty of staying 'wired' when we really should turn off!

    All the best Jan

  16. All excellent tips, Amy, especially turning off the laptop and the breathing technique, for me. Just tried holding my breath for 7 seconds, and barely made it - yikes! Hope you are having sweet dreams as I type! Get thee to bed, pronto!

  17. Love these ideas. I definitely need to be better about turning off my iPad. That is my downfall! ;)

  18. Hi Amy, I find that reading for a little bit at bedtime helps to turn my brain off from the day (i.e. reading fiction/a novel and not reading anything related to work or current events, self improvement, etc.). Also, when I can't sleep I find that counting my breaths and focusing my mind on the numbers (1-2, 1-2..) often helps to put me to sleep.

  19. Good tips! I have always liked to color! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!


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