I posted about how I got a full night of sleep at the start of this week, but for probably the past year I've been thinking a lot about how sleep affects me.  Mostly about how I think I not only need a longer quantity of sleep than what is "normal" but also a better quality of sleep. 
 I've been trying different pillows, but then earlier this fall I read about how deep breathing - like counting to 6 while you breathe in deeply and then counting to 6 as you exhale - can help you fall asleep more quickly.
So I tried it.

 And it worked.
Like, really well.

 Usually it only takes me doing that for a minute or so and my body totally relaxes and I fall asleep easily.

But then I was reading Amanda's blog last week, and she linked to this article and it really got me thinking not just about quality of sleep but about -
How do successful people end their day?
How do I end my day?
And am I doing it in a manner that is the best way possible?

Because who doesn't want to be successful?
Calving season probably isn't the best time to tackle this subject because we usually get into the house late at night and then I rush to figure out dinner and usually go to bed wishing I'd had more time to pick up around the house.   That leaves me feeling tense, and like I can't do it all which is frustrating.
 But then again, maybe calving time is a great time to be thinking about this because I'd be able to make a concious effort to see what affects me.
So after reading Amanda's blog - I thought, maybe there's more I can do?
Maybe it's not just about falling asleep quickly, but about UNWINDING. 
 I'm pretty good about being able to "shut it off" when I leave work, but I'm not as good about "shutting it off" with personal & home life stuff.   Something small can bother me and keep me tense at night, when really I need to either

a) forget it
b) fix it and move on
c) tackle it later.
While the article mostly focuses on being productive in a business sense, I think it totally relates to a general overall feeling of happiness.
Tonight I mentally listed things that I already know help me unwind or relax in the evenings -
So - here's my list.
I feel better when I go to bed:
1. When my house is tidy, the dishes are clean & the washing machine is running.
2. When I've had a chance to drink a cup of hot tea and relax for a few minutes in my recliner.
3. When I have 15-30 minutes to veg out - whether that's watching something on TV (like DVR'ed episodes of American Idol or Fixer Upper) or playing a few lives of Candy Crush. 
4. When I have a blog post ready to go for the am.  I mostly write at night, and then set it to autopost the next morning.  Writing a post and knowing it's done really has a calming effect on me.
5. When Clint is home, and I know he's had a chance to unwind too.
6. And I probably feel my best when I go to bed knowing that I'm going to get a full 9 hours of sleep.  That doesn't happen very often, but I mentally recognize when it does happen (because my phone tells me how many hours/minutes away my alarm is from the time I just set it) and I can tell you that the feeling of giddiness at that point is pretty high.
So yes - all of the above are awesome and I should probably be trying to do them every night but they all require one of my most valuable commodities;
And the battle I fight right now during calving is I either
a) Do some of the above and get less sleep or
 b) Don't do any of the above and get an extra 30-45 minutes of sleep at night.
So tell me - if you don't mind me being nosey....
What do you do to end your day successfully?

What tips or tricks do you use to shut it down, relax and unwind?
Inquiring minds want to know. 


  1. Agree..hot tea is a big one. I double check my work schedule for the next day to avoid panic in the morning. I lay in bed and watch tv w a nice warm heating pad on my shoulders/pillow to relax.

    Oh..you're makin' me sleepy.

  2. Miss Darcy,
    I too require a good nights sleep. I'm an early riser, and sometimes find myself fighting to stay awake at night. I'm almost 34 why do I fight going to bed? When I can, I take advantate of a 15-20 minute nap after dinner. It can do wonders to recharge for a busy afternoon.

    J's Sister put us onto water pillows. She got the reccomendation rom her chiropractor. They are pillows with a bladder on the back side that you filll with water. You adjust it to your specific preference. I have a water pillow and don't put any water in it. The pillows are expensive, but we love them.

    Unwinding is imortant. I also like to have things in order before relaxing for the evening, dishes put away, messes cleaned up, coffee ready to go for morning. When I am good to sit down I love to get lost in a book. If I'm too tired to read I flip through a magazine or newspaper or watch the nightly news.


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