There is absolutely nothing getting in your way of a good night’s sleep. In the article below, we will share you some secrets to not scrape by with little sleep, but actually reboot your sleep cycle to give you the sleep you rightfully deserve.
For your convenience, we will be breaking this into two sections: things you can short term and what things to do long-term.
Short Term Rebooting
The first thing to do is to prepare yourself for getting into a good sleep cycle on the short term. To do that, let’s first tackle some of the misconceptions out there. First of all there is no such thing as a “sleep bank”. We do not have magical tanks where if you get more sleep than usual you bank it. Furthermore you don’t need to sleep more in order to make up for lost time either.
The second is the amount of sleep we need. A lot of people like throwing numbers out there and yes there are certainly studies that show people who have less sleep have issues. At the end of the day though it all comes down to how your body works. This means you sleep for as long as you wake up alert and happy.
With these in mind here are a couple of other things to do.
- Have Good Sleep Hygiene – Sleep Hygiene is merely a term that covers the activities that you do that lead up to you sleeping or what hampers your sleep. In order to have good sleep hygiene consider your approach to sleep and bed time. Is it a time where you simply collapse after working hard or staying up late or is it a crucial block of time that is important to you?
- Avoid Caffeine – Depending on your age and gender the half-life of caffeine in the body can range between 5 to 10 hours. In other words if you have a cup of coffee at 7PM you will be up until midnight. So make sure to have this well before bedtime.
- Avoid Alcohol – On the note of caffeine, avoid booze as well. Although alcohol is a depressant and helps sleep, alcohol also depresses everything in our system.
- Less exposure to screens – When you are exposing yourself to screens, the bright light from the monitors is a signal to our brain to stay awake. The reason that is is that our body follows a clock where if there is light we stay up and when it gets darker we get sleepier. So dim the lights if you absolutely need to be on the computer or avoid any late night internet surfing.
Long Term Rebooting
With some short-term habits to pick up, let’s take a peek at some long-term things to consider doing.
- Analyze Sleep Needs – The first thing to figure out is how much sleep you actually need. To figure out how much sleep you actually need one strategy to consider is going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to and wake up at your own time. You want to keep doing this until you are able to consistently wake up before your alarm clock kicks off. If you can pull that off for a solid week at least then you found your ideal wake/sleep cycle.
- Follow The Routine – In order to keep this wake/sleep cycle you will need some rules in place. Things like dimming lights at 7pm, no coffee after 3pm and spend 20 minutes reading before going to sleep can be part of your ritual for getting to sleep. If that’s the case, you want to stay dedicated to those things no matter what. In the end, find a routine that works best for you and stick to it.
- Anticipate The Lack Of Sleep – Sometimes the lack of sleep is inevitable. It happens to the best of us and it can’t be taken back. But instead of panicking or making a big deal about it, find a way around it. In a lot of cases those wild weekends or days where something unexpected happens can be fixed by sticking to those short term rebooting activities.
Sleep is entirely in your own control. All that matters is the habits that you have picked up and continue to nurture and leverage.