One of the things I miss most about my pre-parent days is the freedom from a rigid routine. Of course I went to work, often went to the same gym classes and had a basic weekly routine, but if I felt like shaking it up a bit then I could. Pub on a Wednesday evening? No problem. These days my mum evening routine is pretty much the same Sunday to Thursday, but without it I wouldn’t get any work done and would exist on barely any sleep. It might be predictable and a tad monotonous at times, but these are the things that help me survive with two young children.
My mum evening routine
I know I should get out more but, for me, there’s little that beats the luxury of slipping into sparkling clean sheets after a long day. And if the sheets have been dried outside on a warm spring day then all the better. (Yeah, yeah, I get my kicks where I can these days.)
Most evenings I’m so exhausted by the time I get to bed I could probably fall asleep standing up, but there’s something about falling into a comfortable and clean bed which makes me feel like I’m looking after myself – even if one or other of the kids inevitably wakes me up a few hours later.
Because I’m so rock and roll I tend to put my pyjamas on when the girls are in the bath before bedtime. PJs on, bra off, hair up is basically my ideal evening wear. After we’ve gone through the rigmorale of a ten hour bedtime (toddler sleep regression and moving into a “big girl’s bed” has been zero fun), I do a quick tidy up downstairs before settling down to do some work.
I live on chamomile tea in the evening and drink about four cups of the stuff. For some reason (and I don’t have this issue with wine!) I’ve always steered clear of caffeinated drinks after around 7pm. I probably watched a programme about it when I was 17 and have stuck to that rule ever since. It helps that I can’t stand the taste of coffee, I guess. A real treat for me is an evening when I can shut the laptop by 9pm and settle on the sofa with a cup of chamomile and an hour or so of Netflix, but this doesn’t always happen.
As well as the caffeine thing, I’ve always been pretty strict about removing my make-up before going to bed. Again, I probably read a scary fact in Just Seventeen when I was 15, telling me my face would melt off if I didn’t do it.
And then – aaaaaaaaah the best bit – bed.
A game changing duvet
Although I’m pretty meticulous with the sheet washing, I’ve not always been great about washing my actual duvet in the past. It’s just a huge mission taking it to the launderette so becomes a job that always gets put off. But when I found out that I was probably sharing my unwashed duvet with at least 20,000 dust mites, my whole perspective shifted. Luckily I’d been sent a washable duvet to try out – the Spundown Duvet by The Fine Bedding Company – so could dodge a trip to the launderette.
The Spundown Duvet is a washable duvet that can go in a machine with a capacity of at least 7kg. It’s the first duvet I’ve ever come across that claims to be able to be put in the machine in the morning and then back on your bed by bedtime, so I was intrigued to see if this was actually the case.
Here’s how we got on (and a peak at what happens after I’ve shut my laptop on a weekday evening)…
After a spin in the washing machine the duvet came out really light and not dripping full of water, as I’d anticipated. It was pouring with rain on the day I washed it, so I had to hang it inside on the airer. Again, I’d expected it to take a good few days to dry (considering most of my jumpers take forever to dry indoors) but it was ready within 24 hours and back on our bed again, as fluffy and pristine as it had been before.
This duvet will be a game changer in the dustmite department. Just the thought of sharing my bed with 20,000 dust mites makes me feel a bit itchy – never mind the 200ml of sweat we secrete overnight too (vom).
Back to the bedtime routine then, once I actually make it to bed I’m pretty strict about leaving my phone downstairs. It’s just too tempting to have a “quick” check of Facebook or Instagram or emails otherwise, and that is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
I sometimes spray a little bit of lavender pillow spray on my pillow too, just to help with the extra sleepy feeling, and then I’ll read my book for a bit before collapsing fast asleep. In fact, I often fall asleep with my book literally on my face and the NLM has to take it off me and turn out the light. Ah, the romance!
Tell me, what’s your evening routine? Do you have any tried and tested sleep remedies?
Thanks to the Fine Bedding Company for working with me on this post and video. All opinions and content remain my own. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.