I was nominated to do “the bedtime tag” by Kerry at One Hull of a Mum. You can find out how bedtime happens at her house too, if you like!
My own bedtime routine is a bit all over the place at the moment, thanks to my metabolism having a kick up the bum from a lot of thyroxine. So this is just a kind of average approximation of what bedtime might be like:
1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.
Placate various howling small children, encourage them to get in the bath. Get them out of the bath, cover them in something appropriate to sleep in, then snuggle up in the ‘big bed’ to listen to the two older ones read to all of us, before reading a story to the youngest. Superworm is the current favourite, but we also often get Where’s Wally (no story, just finding Wally) and Are You My Mother? Then I have to make up a story whilst the youngest has a milk feed before bed. It’s called ‘Super Scampi and Puffin Power’ and it’s usually loosely based on events that have happened recently, or are about to happen. Actually I’ve found it works quite well to prepare them for things, a bit like a weird badly made up version of Peppa Pig.
Then we try and get them all to bed. This involves a kiss and a hug, a tucking in, an ‘I love you’, and the singing of ‘the Moon song’* before re-enacting the hand stroking thingy from In The Night Garden, and then – if we are lucky – they will go to sleep.
Sometimes I fall asleep with them, and wake up in the early hours wondering why I’m curled up in a shorty bunk bed.
If I don’t fall asleep, then generally the Other Half and I watch a film together, or some TV, or I read and he plays computer games.
Then, at some point between 10 and 12, we go to bed. I try and go first because if I don’t get to sleep before he does, I get kept awake by snoring…
2. What are your favourite pyjamas?
I love my pyjama sets I got from Primark, that have a jacket that goes over a short sleeve top, and comfy trousers. I get cold easily at night with various small children climbing into bed with us and kicking off the covers so its great to have a second top I can keep on to stay warm. It also worked really well when I was breastfeeding in the night.
3. What is your current bedtime reading?
This has been revolutionised by the advent of kindles. Before I would have to hide under the duvet with a reading light, or read not-in-bed. I can see why couples in fancy houses had their own rooms in the old days, it makes it much easier to read until you’re ready to sleep without being kicked or groaned at. Anyway, these days I use a kindle on low if I’m awake enough to read something, and it’s usually either a dystopian novel, something about zombies, or a thriller of some kind.
4. What would I find on your bedside table?
I don’t have a dressing table as we have fitted wardrobes which surround the top of the bed. I have wedged a box into the gap between the bed and the wardrobe, which was originally to stop small children rolling down the side but now is more of a dumping ground for stuff – usually my glasses, perhaps a glass of water and whatever random stuff the kids put on there. Often a shopkin or two, a hairband, and unidentifiable bits of paper.
5. What scent makes you sleepy?
The smell of a proper wood fire. We don’t have those in our house though.
6. What is your usual bedtime and wake-up time?
When I’m not signed off work, I usually have to be up between 7-7.30 depending on who is doing the school run, and whether I’m driving or tubing to work. Bedtime is between 7pm and midnight, according to how tired I am.
At the moment it’s all over the place. Yesterday I went to bed at 6.30pm, got woken at 8pm, couldn’t sleep again til 1.30am and woke at 10.48. And that’s an early wake up compared to most days. Then I usually have an afternoon nap as well!
7. What are your top three bedtime products
Pyjamas. A snuggly duvet – we have a really lovely one from the Wool Room. And a friendly cat curled up at my feet.
8. What is your most common sleeping position?
I use a Theraline pillow leftover from my pregnancy days to align myself in the foetal position on my left side, with the pillow between my legs and supporting my front. I have to put my arms around the top of the pillow and make sure my head is aligned with my spine, otherwise I wake up in all kinds of pain.
9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
Yes, my pillow as described above, my bear, and a blanket – affectionately known as blanky – that I put under my head to position it right.
10. What is your worst bedtime habit?
Staying up too late reading when I’ve found a really good book.
* THE MOON SONG
‘I see the moon and the moon sees me
Shining through the leaves of the old oak tree
The light of the moon shines down on me
And says ‘goodnight’ to [insert name of child]’