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Chocolate and caffeine. Ah, my two most treasured vices, who’ve seen me through so many tired days, never failing to give me the much needed middle of the day pep I so often require to function after my ridiculously early morn starts… So when I was greeted with the news that week 2 of my Sealy Australia “sleep challenges”, (as suggested by the Sleep Wellness Panel) involved weaning myself cold turkey from these little sweet treats that I live for, all in the name of possibly acquiring a great night’s sleep, a sense of nervous anticipation coursed through me.
This was going to be a challenge in every sense of the word!
We were off to a rocky start, me wide awake at 4.30am, my brain buzzing with all I needed to achieve that day. I decided an early morning gym workout had to help my cause; translating those endorphins into energy was likely my only hope of surviving what might be the busiest day I’d have all year!
At times I felt empowered, and instead of fuelling my tired body with its familiar caffeine flavoured diet soda and chocolate treats, I drove it by imagining the sense of achievement I’d feel by beating it.
Sadly, 48 hours, 3 headaches, 2 18 hour days and 2 restless nights later I caved. Turns out I have quite an addiction that needs conquering… Hopefully the fact I am not a coffee lover, and that its just caffeine related soft drinks that give me my boost, will make it a little easier to end the habit. However its likely to be a snowstorm in summer before I break up with chocolate for good. We’ve partners in crime for far too long to be parted now!
Second out from the sleep starting blocks came the child centred sleep challenge. As per the wise words of child behavioural expert, Sonja Walker, I was to maintain the method of “consistency, consistency, consistency” when dealing with my son’s penchant for nocturnal visits to our bed.
Its no secret we’ve been dealing with a myriad of sleep issues where Master Harrison is concerned. So I was eager to take on board this expert advice and see how I could perform. I was well aware sustaining a status quo with my son’s nightly antics was something I’d failed at. As all parents know, some nights when you limbs feel loaded with lead, and delirium fills your head you automatically revert to the “whatever is easiest” option.
As fate would have it, for the first time in months, my son managed to string together consecutive nights of uninterrupted sleep! Whether or not he secretly knew he was in for some tough lovin’ we managed to avoid the night time tantrums that always ensue when he’s unceremoniously returned to his rightful bed. But I do vow to use this technique if when this behaviour makes a comeback.
To round out week two I was issued with a slightly more unorthodox routine to road test from Mark Stephens – perform a “mind dump” and repeat a mantra “think about nothing, worry about nothing”, coupled with some deep breathing exercises, all with the aim of promoting a stress-free slumber.
Considering my passion for prose, downloading the swirling eddy of thoughts from my brain before bedtime was a familiar undertaking. I’d performed this ritual many times before when sleep seemed to elude me – it’s definitely a great way to alleviate the mind gymnastics!
Repeating the mantra and instating the deep breathing techniques were effective at the start of the night but sadly not so successful during my night’s when I’d wake at 4.30am and be unable to return to the land of the long white sleeping cloud. But still, I would rate this as an effective tool in helping you feel ready for rest when it’s time to lay your head in bed. Even having a notebook handy to jot down a to-do list for the next day by your bedside can do wonders to clear the mental cobwebs!
All sleep challenges aside, even the most restless night sleep is made bearable when you consider you are being swathed in such luxurious sleep surroundings as a divine king size Diamond Jubilee ensemble! Thanks to the fine folk at Sealy Australia I can safely say no matter the issue that may arise, I am already on the right path to improved sleep.