Our culture doesn't exactly prioritise sleep. We tend to promote early risers as being more hardworking and productive and office culture often requires people working late into the night.
We tend to see sleep as a cost, keeping us away from doing staff and we all have a lot of staff to do especially in the evenings. Often evenings are filled with screens or booze, or both.
TV in the evening is my guilty pleasure. It is my way to unwind and relax and I find it hard to turn it off, but I have decided to do make some small changes to feel refreshed when my alarm clock buzzes at 5.45am🥱
Why? Because sleep is the simplest, free, most effective tool to reset your brain and body every day. To put it bluntly, the shorter your sleep the shorter your life. Sleep is the investment in your lifespan and health span.
To get 7h of sleep most people need to be in bed for 8h. That's our sleep opportunity window and depending on the sleep efficiency (where 85-95% is healthy), we will get 6.8-7.6h of sleep.
Try these to go to bed earlier and have better quality of sleep. Pick 1 or 2 max and see how you go for a few weeks.
- Set your alarm clock or calendar event for the time you want to be in bed
- Try to not consume caffeine after 12pm - some people metabolise it quicker and it may not affect their going to sleep, but it sure affects the quality (espresso at 12pm - quarter of the dose is still in your system, 10h later)
- Change into PJs and clean your make up/brush teeth at least 1h before you go to bed/aim to turn the light off
- If you can't fall asleep in 30 min, get out of bed and go to another room to read in dim light or perform another calm activity - once you feel sleepy go back to bed (counting sheep is the worst thing you can do when struggling to sleep, as it makes your brain associate your bed with not sleeping🤯🤯🤯)
- If sleep tracking makes you feel anxious - STOP IT - nothing worse than not sleeping because you are worrying about your nightly recharge🤦🏻♀️
- Have a few nights off booze. Having even a couple of glasses in the evening affects the quality of your sleep (I hear you! This one is tough😅)
- Ideally no mobiles in the bedroom, but if you find it too hard to put it away, make sure you only use it whilst standing and not in your bed.
- If your brain is too wired up when you hit the pillow, try 4:7:8 breath. Inhale for the count of 4, hold it for count of 7 and exhale for the count of 8. Repeat 4 times. (This works like a dream...also really good for calming down those anxious moments).
Good luck. Hope you find these helpful!
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, why don't you join my monthly newsletter? I hate being spammed with multiple weekly emails, so I make sure I only send it once a month and fill it with content that I hope, you find interesting and valuable.