Making sleep happen at the right time is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Many of us intend to be in bed by a certain time each night, but have trouble actually following through with this commitment. Even though research has proven that getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night is beneficial to our health, it can still be difficult not be distracted with technology, work, and our personal lives. Try these tips from The Huffington Post to get to bed at a reasonable hour:
1. Give yourself a curfew for electronics: Turn off all electronic devices an hour before your bedtime, and don’t keep your phone in bed with you. Blue light has also been proven to make falling asleep more difficult, as it halts the production of our hormone melatonin, which helps us doze off.
2. Keep a worry journal: Writing down your stresses of the day, and to-do lists is a great way to clear your mind before bed, hopefully making it easier for you to fall asleep.
3. Set a bedtime alarm: It can be easy to lose track of time, so setting a nighttime alarm 15 minutes ahead of your bedtime is a helpful reminder. Decide on a regular bedtime and stay consistent, even on weekends.
4. Don’t bring your work home: Set a time to stop checking your emails and unplug from technology. More sleep can increase your work productivity.
5. Exercise earlier: Studies show that people who exercise earlier in the day rather at night get a better quality of sleep. If you can’t move your workouts to the mornings or afternoons, try to work out 4 hours before your bedtime, it’ll help you feel naturally tired so you’ll fall asleep faster.
6. Create a bedtime routine: Setting a pattern will train your body to anticipate sleep at a consistent time. Include restful activities such as a stretching, taking a warm bath, drinking tea, or writing in a journal.
7. When you are tired, sleep: Don’t push yourself to stay up later when your body is telling you otherwise. If you push through the sleepiness, you could possibly be up an additional 3 hours, throwing off your circadian rhythm quite a bit.
Improving your sleep won’t happen overnight, so remember to stay patient. Sticking to your routine will increase your chance of success and believe us it’s definitely worth it!