When I was in high school, I had the worst sleep schedule ever. School started at 7:30 and I had to be up at 5:30 to catch the 6:30 bus, so I knew that I should have been more vigilant about my sleep schedule. I went to bed after midnight or later. I was just never good at managing my time. Now that I’m older, I realize that I can’t keep the same schedule as I used to. Not only is it unhealthy, but a lack of a good night’s sleep could have some serious effects on my everyday life. Here are some steps I have started taking that have made sleeping much better. Not only do I wake up earlier, I am also able to accomplish more in the day without being exhausted.
Restrict the Use of Electronics Before Bed
This is a very important one. Being on your computer or cellphone before bed gets in the way of having a good night’s sleep. When you take your phone to bed with you, your brain gets confused and stops recognizing that it is time to sleep, resulting in having a difficult time falling asleep, which cuts into the 8 hours we are supposed to be getting. A good habit to pick up would be to set aside your phone an hour two before you go to bed. It can be hard at first, not being able to check Facebook or Instagram before bed, but over time, you will find it more relaxing and you will find falling asleep a little easier.
Sleeping with your Phone
I have a bad habit of sleeping with my phone either next to me or under my pillow (this just goes to show my unhealthy attachment to my device!). This is a bad habit because trying to get a good night’s sleep becomes harder when your phone is constantly going off with notifications. Doctors have warned people from sleeping with phones because of the radiation that can be emitted from the cellphones when you’re sleeping, especially if they are on for the whole night. I recently started placing my phone on my desk, which is across the room from my bed. I also turn on the Do Not Disturb setting, so I won’t be awakened by notifications all night long. You can schedule the Do Not Disturb setting from anytime at night to whatever time in the morning.
Use A Sleeping App
There are so many good sleep apps (both free and paid) that will keep track of your sleep habits. Using a sleeping app is beneficial because you will get a better understanding of your sleep habits. The apps track how much you sleep and how long it takes you to fall asleep or stay asleep. Some apps let you input activities for the day, foods you eat, and even exercise. It helps to have a daily analysis of your sleep so you know what you need to change in order to start sleeping better. Sleep Better, Sleep Cycle, and Sleep Time are some good sleeping analysis apps to look into.
This is good for any new thing you try. Like the first time you start going to the gym or trying to quit smoking, it’s always a good idea to start slow. It’s never a good idea to just jump in head first. When I first wanted to set a bedtime for myself, I knew that setting an 8:00 bedtime would not be easy. I set my bedtime for 9:30. Knowing how long it takes me to fall asleep, I tell myself that I have to be in bed by 9:00, ( and since I now set my phone aside by 8:00, I put away whatever I’m doing and the lights are off by 9:30) and I’m hopefully asleep by 10:30. It’s sometimes hard for me to follow my bedtime, so I’m glad I set it for later and have time to get used to it and hopefully get to a point where I can be in bed by 8:00.
Rewiring my clock was the best decision I have ever made. Although my sleep habits are not the best yet, I have seen an improvement in my sleep habits. I have also noticed that waking up in the morning is a little easier and I am more productive during the day. While starting out may be a little difficult at first, the end results are definitely worth it. I hope these few steps will help you as much as they have helped me!