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Weekly Thought Stirring: Soothing Bedtime Routines (public) 
5th-Dec-2006 06:56 pm
Cat nap peace
Nightmares are a common symptom amongst survivors. Also, many survivors feel anxiety or depression around bedtime, or may experience insomnia as well. Whether it's because of our nightmares, or because of your abuse, going to sleep and getting restful sleep is something that so many of us struggle with on a daily or weekly basis.

One of the great ways to combat nightmares and bedtime anxieties is to have a soothing bedtime routine. Devoting 15-20 minutes to relaxation before bedtime is a great nightly routine to have. Putting ourselves into a calmer state of mind around bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep, and to have more restful and nightmare-free nights of sleeping. Having a consistent routine can reduce the number of nightmares you have over time, and going to bed more relaxed makes it easier for us to fall asleep.

But for many of us, finding something that can soothe us around bedtime is very difficult. It can be hard to find something that can relax you and help you get a better night's sleep. So this week we'll open the discussion up about soothing bedtime routines. Many of us have little tricks that help us relax, and discussing our methods of relaxation can often bring insight to us when we're stuck.

The most effective soothing methods tend to reach us on more than one of our senses: for example, having a soft blanket to wrap up in and having soothing music - which affects touch and hearing. Soothing things reaching us on two or more senses at the same time can have a much greater effect than just soothing one sense at a time.

Also, don't forget about your sense of smell! Scent is the sense most connected to our emotions (think about the smell of freshly baked bread, and immediately most people will have a pleasant feeling arise in them), and aromatherapy on any level can be a great addition to any soothing routine. Sometimes something as simple as a shirt that smells like someone we know, or an air freshener can make a big difference

So this week's questions are:
- Do you have a soothing routine for bedtime?
- If so, what do you do? What works best for you?
- If not, what soothing things could you do in the 15-20 minutes before sleep?
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