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Full disclosure: For the first few days or weeks after returning to work following several years as a stay-at-home, I lay sleepless in bed for hours.

That was September 2010.

And my insomnia recurred for a couple of years, until I decided not to fight it. I was being coached about work-life balance at the time and my coach, Eliza, suggested I accept my sleeplessness and see what it’s all about.

So I started exploring, did some acceptance and learned that my insomnia was teaching me something. Perhaps how not to be a perfect mother, wife and workingwoman? Perhaps how to know when to slow down? Perhaps how to be less anxious about my life in general?

On top of exploring, I introduced a better bedtime and sleep routine.

Yes, you heard me right. A bedtime routine is not only for babies. Adults need it too.

So, to ensure a deep and restful sleep, I did these five things:

1. No caffeine (tea in my case) 5-6 hours before bedtime.

2. Reserving the bedroom for rest and intimacy. No watching, not electronics, no discussing kids going through puberty or where we’re moving next.

3. A great book. And sometimes another, not-so-interesting or even boring one to make me sleepier. Always in paper and not an e-book.

4. A freshly aired out room (my husband grumbles about that in winter)

5. Sleep-inducing lavender massage oil for my tired legs and coconut cream for my feet. The smell is divine.

These days, insomnia isn’t haunting me any more. I fall asleep quite soon after turning off my lamp. The problem is I’m a night owl and I go to sleep too late to have my 8-hours of beauty sleep.

But that’s a subject for another post, isn’t it?

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