I always say that Good productivity comes from Good rest. And what better way to rest than get cozy under the covers, right? Studies say that humans sleep for 26 years of our lives. As much as that horrifies me, I am far from giving up that dear bed of mine and of course, my precious sleep.
But, don’t believe me if I say that my sleep is restful. I often wake up tired, drowsy and often with aches in my body. This weird occurrence is common to most students, millennial adults and nomophobics (yes, Google that) given the circumstance where we look at screens for 6 plus hours a day.
Now, if we happen to crawl into bed with our devices, there’s a good chance we’re screwed up. I mean, our sleep cycles are screwed up. And that, after a while, can bring a good deal of nastiness. Which, I’m sure you don’t want to sign up for.
If you’ve already screwed up though, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
Here are 9 mistakes I made, and you shouldn’t, if you’re trying to fix your sleep schedule.
(Bonus: The tips also help if you want to make your eye bags vanish)
1. Carrying your phone to bed:
I’ve committed this sin, and I’m guessing you have too. With nothing to do on your bed, a little voice probably told you, “go check your Instagram.” And if you did it once, you decided to do it every day.
As a matter of fact, when you’re continuously using your phone late into the night, your brain will stop producing melatonin- the hormone for sleep. So, you’re really telling your brain to stay awake.
What to do?
Stay put on your bed, even though you’re not sleepy one bit. Fight the temptation of carrying your phone, or any other device, into bed. You’ll actually sleep as thoughts enter and leave your head.
Cool tip: If you’re not feeling sleepy, maybe it is an Indication of the fact that God wants to have a talk with you. Talk to God if you don’t feel sleepy.
2. Not turning it down:
Like I said before, light tells your brain to stay awake. And predictably, darkness causes your brain to get sleepy. So, you might want to go out on a few candlelight dinners. Kidding!
Here are some things you can do:
• Shift to a dull room after or during dinner to slowly wind down.
• Use a night lamp or a less bright bulb to make the room darker. Turn off unnecessary lights.
• Turn off the TV and avoid using laptops, phones and other devices that give out light. If at all you have to work late at night, try keeping your screen brightness to a minimum.
Deal with your light, and you’ll be out like a light in no time. If you know what I mean.
3. Not sleeping early enough:
After scrolling through Pinterest for 2 hours, you decide, out of regret, that you’ll be up the next day at 5 a.m.
Sorry mate, but it don’t work like that.
“To wake up early, you need to sleep early”, says my dad.
And if you want to sleep late and wake up early, then you’re compromising on the hours of sleep you’re getting. So, don’t think of yourself as a stuntman. Go sleep at 10.
Sleeping early daily will slowly bring back the discipline in your sleep schedule.
a. Eat dinner earlier than usual.
b. Engage in something that will help you wind down
c. Go to bed earlier than your usual time. And lie there even if you’re not sleepy yet.
d. Do some physical activity, like exercising, maybe? This will make you more tired and you’re likely to doze off earlier than usual.
e. Play a sleep story, or silent instrumental sounds that will put you into a drowsy state. (if you’re playing music from your device, make sure it is not in bed with you. Take care to set a timer to your device so it goes off after you’re asleep.
4. Taking naps during the day:
Starve your desire to sleep any time of the day and go all in at night. In any case, no napping at random during the day.
5. Not cutting down on your cup of Joe:
I mean coffee!
An overdose of coffee will keep you up even if you don’t want it to. There was this one time I had seven cups in a day and stayed awake until 4 am that night. Don’t be like me. Don’t consume more than the morning fuel you need.
6. Not having a fixed sleep time and a fixed wake-up time:
As our lifestyle demands, we usually sleep at different times each day. Deciding on a fixed time that works with your schedule can definitely bring discipline into your routine. Try to sleep and wake up more or less, at the same time every day.
7. Not taking time to wind down:
Coming home from a loud, social environment and trying to sleep is not very right. Unless you’re dead tired, you won’t be able to sleep very well. Having something to calm you down before you sleep is a good thing because your brain is conditioned to fall asleep after you do that particular activity.
Say you’ve decided to take a hot water bath before sleeping. When you do it every day for a week or so, your brain will associate a hot water bath with sleeping. This really helps more than I can say.
Here are a few things I do to wind down after a long day:
a. Take off my makeup if I have any on.
b. Untie my hair and wear soft, loose clothes.
c. Have a bath
d. Read a short fun story
e. Listen to a short podcast
f. Journal my thoughts
8. Not having a night routine:
Having a night routine will set the mood for a good night’s sleep. Your brain, like I said before, will be conditioned to fall asleep as you go through your night routine. This will truly add quality to your lifestyle.
Figure out something that calms you down and practically works for you.
And let me say it: your night routine doesn’t have to be fancy.
My night routine consists of sweeping the floor, cleaning the countertop and washing dishes after dinner. Don’t shun your responsibilities at home because of your sleep routine. Help your mama! Plus, doing household work makes you more tired and that way, you can sleep better! Win win for everybody!
Also watch: “Evening Routine with Tim Ferriss”
I hope that was helpful. I’d appreciate it if you leave a comment.
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