When you have a chronic illness you can be pretty worn out by the time evening comes around. Often you need to summon some energy and brain power to get dinner on the table and to enjoy the company of others who have been at work and school all day.
Here are some life hacks to choose from to make your evening more enjoyable and to prepare your body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
Make meal times a connecting time together turn off the TV and put devices away. A meal probably only takes 20 minutes. A short burst where you can be together even if you don’t have a memorable conversation.
Try a blue light blocking app like Twilight for android or the night shift setting on your apple devices.
Consider a screen free habit between the hours of 8pm to 8am? or 9pm till you wake in the morning? Or some other times.
No screens in the bedroom, or put your phone in flight mode, or turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data.
Use a Notebook instead of reaching for phone to google something. Write the idea down and search tomorrow.
Have clocks in useful places so you can easily keep track of the time and don’t need to reach for your phone each time you wonder what time it is.
Pick one screen so you aren’t scrolling on your phone whenever you are sitting in front of the TV. It helps you be more connected to those you are watching with and uses less mental energy. You may sometimes make a conscious choice to scroll when you are in front of the TV but try and be mindful about when you do it.
Save your favourite TV shows for when you feel like giving them undivided attention. There are probably plenty of shows you watch that you could take or leave but only a few that you look forward to so make it count when you do sit down to watch those ones and really watch.
Set an alarm on your phone for the time you want to start getting ready for bed. One night try timing how long it takes you to do all the before bed tasks, you might be surprised it takes longer than you think.
Be conscious about winding down for the night. It isn’t surprising to find it hard to fall asleep if you go straight from watching TV or scrolling the internet to trying to sleep. Work backwards and give yourself time to wind down early enough so you fall asleep in time to get the sleep you need.
I know sleep disturbance is common with many chronic illnesses but there are things that make it worse so be proactive and try habits that give you a better chance of sleeping well.
Please share any other tips you find helpful, I am sure others reading would appreciate hearing what you find works.