Sleeptember is drawing to an end! We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog posts and found our advice and information useful. We’ve got one more for you as we head into October!
Hopefully you now know why sleep is so important, and you’ve got the mattress and pillows for optimum comfort. But sometimes, even though you know it’s essential, and even though your bed is cosy and welcoming, you find it difficult to actually go to bed.
Many of us suffer from “sleep procrastination”, finding it hard to make ourselves go to bed despite being tired. We stay up working, chatting, and watching TV, and the next morning we promise ourselves we won’t make the same mistake that night, only to repeat the process all over again.
So how do you break the cycle? Here are some tips to better manage your time and your sleep environment so that you can get to bed on time!
1) Make sure you understand how sleeping will benefit you. It’s much easier to convince yourself to go to bed at a decent time if you know exactly why you should. Have a read about the benefits of sleep here.
2) Go through a bedtime routine every night to train your body to understand when it’s time to sleep. Get any TV or internet time out of the way early — the blue light from the screens will prevent the release of hormones that are important to your sleep cycle. It’s recommended that you don’t use screens for an hour before bedtime.
3) Try to remove temptation wherever possible. If the internet is your vice, you can get extensions for your browser that will limit the time you can spend on certain websites (great for regular procrastination too!) Most of these will also allow you to set a time after which you can’t access the internet or parts of it.
4) Move your TV, computer, and any work out of the bedroom if this is where you currently keep them, as many sleep experts advise that you keep your bedroom distraction-free. If you feel that you fall asleep better by watching something as you drift off, turn down the brightness and get an app to adjust the colour temperature if possible to limit the amount of blue light coming from the screen.
5) Plan your day backwards from the time you want to go to bed. For example, if you know you’re heading to bed at 10, you know to be done on the computer by 9. By planning your day backwards, you can figure out when to do what, and what may need trimming from your schedule.
6) If you’re really short of free time, there are lots of ways to save a few minutes here and there, which all add up to a chunk of time that you can spend in bed. If you’re making a meal, make extra portions so that you can freeze some for another night. If there’s a day when you have much more free time, pick out your outfits for the whole week, make a few days’ worth of lunches, and sort out anything else that can be done in advance.
7) Make a list of little jobs that you can do in five minutes or less. You can do these during the scraps of time you get in between bigger tasks.
8) Make sure the rest of your family is keeping to a sleep schedule as well. The weekend shouldn’t be used as a time to stay up later or as a way to catch up on lost sleep. Keep children’s bedtimes regular on both school nights and week days. This makes it easier to stick to other routines as well, which you have to help you stay organised and save time.
9) Keep a diary or calendar, and only one. If you have a big family it might be tempting to keep a calendar for each person; if you have both a busy work and busy social schedule, you may consider keeping a calendar for each — don’t. With one calendar you can see every task and deadline in one place and it’s easier to plan out your day.
10) Plan on doing something right before you go to sleep that you can look forward to. It could be meditation, reading, listening to gentle music or an audio book, writing in a diary, making a plan for the following day… something quiet but enjoyable that will help you appreciate bedtime as a little luxury that you earned after a busy day.