Twas two nights after Christmas,
when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse,
The stockings were rehung by the chimney with care,
emptied of the goodies St. Nicholas left there,
The children were all nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads,
And mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap
Just settled down for a long winter’s nap……..
At this point in the favorite Christmas poem, I am ready to cuddle up and drift off to sleep while the snow and wind whirl around outside. So cozy.
A good night’s sleep is essential for good health and well-being. And for those of us with arthritis and/or an autoimmune disease, it is particularly important.
Sleep is the time of restoration. It enables our body to repair from the work it did all day and recharge for the next day. It helps our immune system and allows for you to have better mental concentration, think more clearly, and process memories.
Here are Seven Tips For A Long Winter’s Nap:
- Establish a bedtime routine. This will help signal to your body it is time to wind down. Set a time as a goal to be in bed, lights off, ready to sleep and keep that bedtime even on the weekends. An hour or so before this time you can take a bath or do light reading.
- Make sure you are not hungry or too full. Do not eat a heavy meal before you go to bed. Personally, I like at least 3 to 4 hours between eating and bedtime as I have gastric reflux if I’m not careful. Do not consume nicotine or caffeine before bedtime as they are stimulants and can take hours to wear off. My cut off time is 2pm for caffeine. Alcohol can make you drowsy, but it disrupts the sleep cycle robbing your body of a good rest.
- Cool, dark, and quiet is the best environment. Room darkening shades, earplugs, and a fan for white background noise can be helpful.
- Limit daytime naps to less than 30 minutes maximum and not too late in the day.
- Relax. Meditation and deep breathing exercises can be helpful. I use a diffuser with lavender essential oil and it is very soothing.
- Physical activity early in the day, preferably outdoors, can promote better sleep.
- Consider a screen ban of television, computers, tablets, cell phones and other electronic devices in your bedroom. I try to wrap up my viewing a few hours prior to going to bed.
These tips have helped me to get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. By making it a habit to get to bed a the same time each night, my life seems more organized and my body responds well to the schedule. I do believe it helps keep the inflammation down.
Oh, the wind is blowing outside and it is bitter cold. It is time to turn off all the beautiful Christmas lights and go take a bath to wind down and go to bed. The hustle and bustle is over and I am ready for my long winter’s nap.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good night!