ZZZZZZ’ing the Night Away
At first glance, most of the tips for a good night’s sleep may be familiar to you. They’re straightforward, simple ways to get better sleep. It’s okay if you’ve seen them before. The question is, have you actually put them into practice since the last time you saw them? Learn your sleep position Your “sleep position” is the position you always move into right before falling asleep. If I’m not very tired I’ll spend some time on my back, stomach, or other scenario until I feel like sleeping. Then, as soon as I feel like sleeping, I move onto my side and get down to sleeping business. Once you know your sleep position you can move into it immediately once you get into bed. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and your body will assume that it’s time to sleep and you’ll be drooling on your pillow in no time.
Create a sleep ritual Not unlike your morning ritual, a sleep ritual is a few things you always do before going to sleep. Figure out what helps you relax and make a habit of doing those things every time before you plan to sleep. You’ll soon find it’s easier to rest, even in circumstances that otherwise might have kept you awake, because the rhythm of your sleep ritual has lulled you into a relaxed state. Build a sleep cocoon What you should try is creating a “cocoon” of silence and cool darkness that makes it easier for you to sleep. Experiment a bit with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to counteract the loud neighbors, air conditioning or a fan, and a blackout curtain to keep the street lights from keeping you awake at night.
Experiment with naps I’d recommend something more along the lines of a quick cat nap in the afternoon when you’re feeling tired. Napping doesn’t work for everybody. In fact, it might make it harder for you to sleep at night! The easiest way to find out if an afternoon nap will work to help you get the best rest is to try napping over a weekend and see how you feel afterward. Keep it under 30 minutes long and you should be able to avoid the bewildering effects of longer naps. Maintain a sleep schedule “Get up at the same time every morning and go to sleep at the same time every night” says the Mayo Clinic. If you’re not one of the few who can arrange their schedule around sleep, do your best by keeping your sleep and wake times within an hour at each end.
For example, if you can get to bed between 11 pm-midnight and wake up between 7 am 8 am, a few minutes given or taken each day shouldn’t be a problem in the long run. Go to directly to bed when you’re tired If you’re within an hour of your normal bed time and you’re feeling tired, go to bed and try to sleep. Anything else is a waste of your time and future productivity. Exercise early, don’t eat late Consider exercising when you get up in the morning as a healthy way to get your day off to a running start. Exercise, amazingly enough, can also work well to fight off the fatigue you feel after sitting in an office chair all day. Turn away from the coffee and get moving! You might associate eating with feeling sleepy because of the “carb coma” you get after a big meal. Take a break from the late-night stuffing and focus on relaxing instead.