09 Dec Good sleep habits
Getting a good night’s sleep starts with good sleep habits:
First, create night-time routines. Take a bath, turn on soft music, put on comfy pjs, whatever your style, make it a habit. Do them in a regular order so your body becomes aware that you are now getting ready for sleep. Keep in mind that if you read in bed, you are training your body to fall asleep when you read. This may not be the best study habit as you will likely fall asleep when reading at other times.
Second, establish regular sleep and wake times (yes, even on weekends if possible) and stick to your schedule as best as you can. If you stray, only one night is best. Try not to stray more than one hour at night and two hours in the morning. On Sunday night, you’ll be happy you kept to your schedule.
Third, exercise each day for at least 30 minutes, preferably finishing about 3 hours before you plan on going to bed. When you work out too close to bedtime you will have trouble falling asleep.
Fourth, avoid chocolate, tea, coffee, candy, diet pills, decongestants, antidepressants, smoking, alcohol (of course!!) and any other stimulant-related beverage or food that will disturb your sleep. Playing video games, watching TV and computer-use close to bedtime keeps you awake because of the brain stimulation and the bright lights.
Many people begin to worry or think about negative topics as they go to bed. This will impede your ability to fall asleep. If this sounds like you, control your thoughts at bedtime through meditation, deep breathing, and/or mindfulness.
Fifth, Set a bed TIME. Sounds silly, right? Or maybe your parents set a time for you. But before you know it, you’ll be on your own, at college or just plain moved out into the world, and YOU will be the one in charge of when you go to bed. Therefore, start good habits now. As you can tell from this post, the sleep you get at night truly rules the rest of your day; from how productive you are to how happy you feel. So, set a time that feels good for you. Make sure it allows for you to get at least 8 hours of sleep if possible.
Finally, make it your own… Add something to your routine that is all about you. Love your dog? Get some cuddle time in. Want to improve your three point shot? Go over it in your mind for two minutes when you first close your eyes. Or simply choose to recite 3 things for which you are grateful each day (an exercise which has been shown to increase happiness). Whatever you want to focus on, make it a habit now. But make it about you. Remember, you have control over your thoughts before bed and now you know the power of your mind as you sleep. Take advantage of it!
What is your bedtime routine? What about your bedtime routine makes it unique to you?