Sleep is super important – I’m sure you already know the main reasons why, at the very least you know you feel crap when you haven’t had a good nights rest. I have always been a rubbish sleeper – a slight sound wakes me up, any kind of stress used to have me wide awake, staring at the ceiling for hours. Over the past year I’ve gotten a lot better with it, and I sleep like a bear now. I would say baby but they like wake up, cry and can’t use a toilet and bears hibernate. Bear wins.
Switch off electronics half hour before bed
Heard this before right? Well the light in electronics suppresses the release of melatonin (sleep inducing hormone). It isn’t emphasised enough that doing this will also give you some down time from work, friends and social media which will help your brain calm down . Give it an honest week. Just seven days of shutting off all electronics at least half hour before bed. You might be surprised.
Download Flux software for your computer, especially if you work late
The software takes the blue out and dulls the brightness of your screen resolution depending on when the sun goes down in your area. GENIUS. You can actually work late (only on a computer) without the above effects. Easily switches off for colour sensitive work too! Its free and you can get it here: https://justgetflux.com/
Get a sweet bedtime routine
Follow it all the time, even when you’re not at home, even when you’re drunk as hell. For example, wash face, pjs on, read a book, tea etc. When I do mine it’s like my body thinks “hey it’s bed time get tired you’re going to sleep soon yay!”
Sleep in a dark room
Thanks captain, thinking you must be. But seriously, use a sheet or black curtain for crap blinds or buy an eye mask, whatever floats your boat just make it dark.
Focus on your breath if you worry in bed
Probably the main reason you struggle to sleep anyway. Just listen to yourself breath (I know it sounds lame). Big breath in through the nose, into the belly then out through the mouth. Deep, slower breaths cause the heart rate to slow down and allows the parasympathetic system (responsible for your ability to relax) to override your sympathetic system (controls your automatic stress response) which equals sleepiness, huzzah!
If you’re still feeling stressy repeat: “I’ll deal with it tomorrow”
That is actually ALL you can do when you’re lying in bed at 12am so there is no point stressing about it now. If it helps, write a list of tomorrows To Do’s so you don’t have to make mental ones. Write not type.
If sleep isn’t happening within half hour – get out of bed
Get your lunch, work clothes, make up – anything that you normally do in the morning organised the night before and then sleep in a bit. Go back to bed and try again.
Read a damn book before bed
So much sleepy feels.
No clocks by the bed
Set that phone to do not disturb and don’t look at it again. Figuring out that you will get exactly 6 hours, 43 minutes and 31 seconds sleep if you fall asleep RIGHT NOW does nothing except make you stress more.
Caffeine is only so good
I love you coffee, you’re the best – shout out to you for keeping me alert and tasting delicious and helping the odd workout. But not after lunch though, then you impact my sleep quality and ability to go to the land of nod. That goes for you too friends, no coffee after 3ish.
Stop stressing about how much sleep you’ll get
Quit counting the hours, worrying that you will be tired the next day. The day will go on whether you’re tired or not and you’ll probably get everything done that you need to – it will just be more of an effort. Have you gone to work in a worse state before? After a few too many wines? Did things get done, did the day go on? YES IT DID. Drink some coffee, you’ll be sweet. As soon as this point clicked in my head, I slept better because I no longer felt stressed about the fact I may be tired the next day.
This takes practice, it won’t happen in a week. Keep at it and a few months down the track your sleep will hopefully be improved! If it’s terrible and you think it’s a stress thing, no amount of tips will help until you try to shift your mindset, learn more about stress or change why/what you are stressing over. Talk to someone about it, read some more, make some changes and you’ll be having perf shut eye soon enough.