I don’t know about you but for me and a lot of people I know, bedtime is often the best part of the day! I love my bed (my friends and family will testify to this!) and part of sleeping well at night for me is ensuring that I have less to worry about when my head finally hits the pillow. I have anxiety to the point where my mind likes throwing up old conversations, lists and “forgotten” topics as my body is winding down at bedtime. It’s frustrating to say the least. One of my main concerns is often the safety of my family as we sleep. Having worked for the fire service for a decade and then at a debt charity after that, safety and money are things that I know for a fact can keep even the sanest of folks awake at night.
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So, in order to combat at least that part of my mental health, I’ve developed a solid bedtime routine that most people could implement really easily into their lives. Everyone should have one and it could genuinely make a difference between life and death for your family.
Never mind chatting about it, they danced and sang about it in the 70’s! #Sorrynotsorry!
Remember this acronym and you can’t go far wrong
S is for Secure
Most people will ensure doors & windows are locked at night as part of their natural bedtime process but, do you ensure keys are available if you needed them in an emergency? Evacuating your home is as important as securing it. So, once you’ve locked up, ensure your keys are accessible and everyone knows where they are.
It’s also important to ensure they’re out of sight. Breaking into someone’s home is so much easier when you can grab the keys! Ensure your keys can’t be seen from the letterbox or an open window, and can’t be reached with extendable poles or makeshift magnets.
L is for Lit
Anything that has been lit during the day should be extinguished at least 20 minutes before bedtime. This includes cigarettes and candles. If you’re a smoker, don’t empty your ashtray into a bin until you’ve waited at least 2 hours after putting out your last cigarette. This is as important for internal bins as it is for external and wheelie bins. Cigarettes can smoulder for hours after you think they’ve gone out.
The best way, smoke outside (it’s better for everyone health wise too!) and put ciggie’s out in water; a drop in the bottom of an ashtray or a quick run under the tap is easily done and ensures super safety!
Similarly, candles should be put out (best with the back of a spoon like an old fashioned snuffer!) at least 20 minutes before retiring to bed. This ensures it’s completely out before you drift off. For more on candle safety, you might like this post.
E is for Electrics
In a modern age where everything needs to be done yesterday it’s easy to think you’re saving valuable time by putting your washers, dryers and dishwashers on cycle overnight. Please don’t! There are lots of reasons why, the main one is that according to Electricity Safety First, 22 deaths and 2,500 injuries were caused by appliance electrical fires in 2012 and that number has risen every year!
If you and your family are sleeping, then you’re less likely to be alerted to a problem until the smoke detector sounds. This could leave you with very little time to make a safe escape. Appliances like this are also more likely to fault at night; making the risk even greater!
You might also want to read this post on tumble dryers
E is also for Escape
Ensuring you have an escape plan in place is really important, especially when you have small humans in the house that might be confused by the sounding of a smoke detector or burglar alarm in the wee small hours.
If you know both routes (you should always have a first and secondary plan!) are clear of obstacles, like shoes, toys and other household build-up, you know you aren’t going to be at risk of really hurting yourself in the dark when making an escape.
Worried about the dark? Grab night lights. They’re cost effective and you can buy dusk/dawn sensor lights that ensure you will always see your route! These are especially good for older people who might be slightly less steady on their feet, or for people like me who need to pee whatever the hour! :/
Checking you route can also be ensure that you are confident that your external doors will open when you need them to. Putting the wet welly’s in front of door might seem like a sensible idea for the good of your carpets, but will they hinder you if you needed to get out of your house fast?
P is for Plug
You should always unplug non-essential electrical items overnight and never leave things like e-cigarettes, laptops, tablets and other devices to charge overnight. Turn them off before you go to bed and unplug them. Then simply switch them back on in the morning when you get up. Mobile phones charging at the side of the bed is sometimes a necessity, but do not charge them and put them under your pillow! The heat generated by a charging device is huge and can easily cause it to short or explode.
The same applies to charging or heating items like straighteners and hairdryers and placing them on soft surfaces. Very dangerous people!
Seriously! No devices left charging overnight!
S is for Shut
Did you know that a standard household internal door can give you up to 20 minutes protection from fire? If a fire were to break out in one room of your home, closing the doors will reduce the spread of fire and smoke, keeping you safer for longer and reducing the risk of damage spreading throughout your house should the worst happen.
It really is as simple as SLEEPS!
Not tough is it?
What’s your bedtime routine?