Picture this: it’s the end of the day, you’ve had dinner, you’ve showered, and you’re ready for an early night. As you snuggle into your blankets, you think about watching the next episode of so-and-so on your laptop. Before you know it it’s well past midnight, you’re fallen down the rabbit hole of Netflix, and all thoughts of being well rested are well and truly gone. You wonder where you went wrong.
We all know that getting enough sleep is important. This has been ingrained in us since childhood. However, we can’t rely on our parents to send us to bed early anymore. We need to learn how to do this for ourselves.
So, how do we do it?
Go to Bed Fifteen Minutes Earlier
The biggest mistake I tend to make is trying to make myself go to bed too early. I always fail when I do this, because it’s not a realistic goal. If we want to establish a routine of early nights then we should start going to bed fifteen minutes earlier than normal, rather than several hours. Then the next night you should aim to go to sleep fifteen minutes earlier than that… and so on. Remember, it’s easier to stick to your goals if you perceive them as easy to achieve.
When you feel the urge to watch that episode on Netflix – ignore it. I always find myself more awake when I’ve been staring at a screen. Besides, if you’re anything like me you’ll have no control where TV episodes are concerned, anyway. One episode is never just one episode. Do yourself a favour and don’t even bother trying to watch it at all.
Find Something Relaxing to Do
Read a book, listen to a podcast or some music, write in a journal, meditate or try out some yoga – just find something you think is relaxing and do it.
And no – don’t choose Netflix or as your relaxing “thing” to do. We’ve already discussed why this is a bad idea.
Make Sure You’re Not Too Hot or Too Cold
If you’re cold get more blankets, if you’re hot turn the fan on. Simple.
If You’re Still Awake, Get Up
You can force yourself to go to bed, but you can’t force yourself to go to sleep. If you’ve been tossing and turning or staring at the clock wondering how long you’ve been lying down for then it’s time to get up. Find that relaxing thing you like doing and keep doing it until you actually feel tired. Then and only then should you hop back into bed.
Are you a night owl? What helps you get to sleep? What does an early night look like for you – and how early is early to you?
*Images sourced from Ivory Mix