Try reading before bed to transform your sleep
Mother & Daughter duo, Debbie & Catie are the founders of Both Sides Book Club. Every two weeks they read a chosen novel and discuss their thoughts online. You can subscribe to their podcast here and of course, follow them at @bothsides.bookclub. We sat down with these beautiful women to learn more about how they unwind and why reading is the perfect mindfulness technique for getting a great night's sleep.
What do your pre-bed wind-down rituals look like?
Debbie (D): I keep things very simple, and always have a bath or a shower to wash away the day and to relax me. A tidy home always sends me to bed with a calm mind, and so I make sure that the kitchen is clean so that I don't have to face dirty dishes in the morning! I drink a glass of water to top up my hydration levels for the day.
Catie (C): My pre-bed rituals are very similar to my mums; like mother like daughter! I pretty much do the same except I also like to do a little hamstring and backstretch before bed. I also take a large bottle of water to bed with me as my pregnancy has made me very thirsty in the middle of the night!
How do you practice self-care each day?
D: I try to ensure that I exercise every day; either walking, running or doing a pilates class. I like to sit quietly with a cup of tea when i wake up in the morning and again in the afternoon for a few minutes to check in with myself. I read most days (obviously!), as I find that reading about other people's lives enables me to find space in my own.
C: Self-care is so important yet we often don't make time for it. As I work for myself, my every day is different and I don't have set routines. The one thing that I do every day, however, which completely sets me up for the day is I wake up half an hour earlier than I need to, make a coffee, and just sit in silence grouping my thoughts and setting my intentions for the day. I am an early riser so I am usually spending this time watching the sunrise and being thankful for the beautiful world we live in.
Which book currently claims centre stage on your nightstand?
D: I always have numerous books on the go, but my most recent nightstand occupants have been Both Sides Book Club's April picks The Family Doctor by Debra Oswald and The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex. I have just started to read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.
C: The Last Thing to Burn by Kevin Wilson and What Could be Saved by Liese O'halloran Schwarz.
Any tips for making the switch from evening screen-time to reading?
D: Reading is so good for the mind, it completely focuses your attention somewhere else and seems to always relax me and set up me for a good sleep. After dinner, I turn my mobile on to silent and leave it in our charging station until the morning. I never take it to bed with me and prefer to have a book at my bedside.
C: I do find the no phones in the bedroom harder than mum, but my partner and I have a set rule of no phones between 6-8 pm. We will read in bed and not scroll on our phones. If we have to work late then we do it after our family time. I feel the same as mum, once I start reading my brain switches into a form of hypnosis. I often have a very busy brain (monkey brain) and reading helps me get out of my own thoughts and use my imagination. Sometimes I can’t finish the page but it has the desired effect of me literally drifting off to sleep and into a world of my imagination.