As I've grown up, my Dad always tucked me in every night. My mom would tuck me in when he was on deployment, too. But, now I'm old, and I don't get tucked in anymore. We all give hugs and kisses and say goodnight, but I put myself in bed and turn off my own light, now, naturally. We haven't done the tucking in thing for a few years now, which makes complete sense. I usually go to sleep later than my parents now, anyway.
I've noticed that without a nightly routine like being tucked in, I become restless. I don't have that Pavlovian process that tells my brain it's time to shut off for a while.
So I had a theory.
"Uh-oh," you say. "She's thinking again."
I know, fair readers. I know. But trust me, this will help you. It has certainly helped me!
For the past three-ish weeks, I do the same thing every night. And it's a miracle. My mind gets the fact that it's bedtime; no more deep thought is allowed. I'm going to explain to you my routine, but keep in mind that it sounds a lot more involved than it is. It really only takes about ten to fifteen minutes, and I've come to really look forward to it. This is all after I've finished my homework and read my Bible. This is specifically to quiet my head. Which takes some doing.
First, I put my hair up in a messy bun and pin my bangs and stray hairs back. I turn the faucet in the bathroom to hot, and it takes a while to heat up. While the temperature of the water rises, I drop my upper and lower retainer into a Loony Toons cup (it's cute) and put Vaseline on my eyelids. (I'll explain that one in a moment. By this time, the water's hot! I fill the cup just over my retainers, and drop in my Polident. I promise they're not dentures; Polident (or Efferdent) just works great for sanitizing retainers.
Now, I lightly take my ring finger and rub the Vaseline around over my eyes. I tell you, this is better than any makeup remover ever. Also, it's gentle on the skin, and moisturizes. People forget that you need to moisturize your eyelids and lashes, too! I use a washcloth or toilet paper (don't shoot me) to wipe the rest off. Next, I turn the water to lukewarm, and wet my face.
After wetting my face, I cleanse with my Go 360 Clean face wash with a little scrubber that comes with it, rinse, and pat dry. I rub toner over my face to get rid of excess sebum, dirt, and makeup, and then I put moisturizer all over. I brush my teeth, and then rinse off and put on my retainers.
Lastly, I put Vaseline in a VERY thin coat on my eyelids and put it on my lashes like mascara, and a bit on my lips. This nightly treatment has thickened my lashes visibly, and it's also made my lips more soft and less like the Mojave. I highly recommend (for the ladies, obviously) putting Vaseline on your lashes every night. In about a month or so, you will thank me.
I take down my hair, but I leave my bangs pinned back. I refuse to allow my bangs to touch my face at night, because my forehead breaks out if I do. Plus, I'm growing out my bangs and they're in the ugly phase, anyway.
I hop in bed and grab my Kindle. While I read, I take my vitamin and my allergy meds. After that, I rub lotion with cocoa butter on my legs, all whilst reading. I have very dry skin, and it's worst on my legs for some reason. I use cocoa butter because it helps prevent and reduce the visibility of scars from scratching in the middle of the night. If I'm having REALLY dry skin, twice a week I put on some special prescription cream with steroids in it. This has quite literally saved me. It heals my itchiness swiftly, and my skin has never looked better.
I put some Mary Kay Warm Amber lotion on my hands, and then I read for a bit. I set my alarm, put the Kindle down, hop up, and turn the light off. I promptly curl up into a tiny ball on my right side (this is my favorite side on which to start sleeping, for some reason) and I pray for my family and my friends, and then lastly I tell God what I'm grateful for at the moment. That last little prayer? Usually includes my pillow somewhere in there.
After this, I drift off very easily. Granted, if there's something bothering me, I'll usually wake up around 2:06 (not kidding, this is the usual time I wake in the night) and then it takes me a good twenty-five minutes to sleep again. Most days, luckily, I just sleep through the night. I like to sleep; it's my favorite. I'd have two naps a day plus nine hours at night, if I could. But that would be rather inefficient, I think.
If you have a nightly Pavlovian routine, tell me about it in the comments below! :)