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Note that the title of this post is not Strategies for Getting More Sleep. Oh, no, that’s an entirely different issue (and one I will address in another post.) But in order to get more sleep, you need to get to bed. Period. And that’s been a weakness of mine, given that I’m a major night owl. Lately, though, my usual 6 hours a night is not cutting it – I struggle to get up in the morning and I doze off mid day. Also, the Faster Way to Fat Loss program I’ve been using, regularly reminds us that sleep is essential for muscle growth and body changes. So, I’ve been working really hard to get to bed at 11 every night. Here are the steps I’ve taken…
- Make a priority list of what MUST get done before bed and get that done as early as possible. I juggle a lot of balls, with a few different jobs, two kids, a husband, a gecko, and a cat. Certain things HAVE to happen before I go to bed. I have started trying to do those things right after dinner now, so that the undone things are not crucial for our morning (and no pets are starving.)
- Enlist your kids. I confess that I let my kids slack. Kind of a lot. I’ve started handing responsibility back to them. If they don’t want to fold their socks and underwear? Fine. They can put it in their drawers and deal with finding what they need after their baths. Not my problem anymore.
- Get ready for bed early. Some nights I go up right after dinner and brush my teeth and put on my pajamas. Some nights I do it later, but I now try to be ready for bed at least an hour before I need to go to bed.
- Set an alarm. No, really. I have an alarm that goes off at 10:45. I turn off my computer, scramble to get whatever last minute stuff I can done and hit the sheets as close to 11 as I can. Next week I plan to move that earlier. I have a goal of eventually getting off my computer by 10:30 and reading for 15-20 minutes and being in bed with lights out before 11.
- Just do it. I was whining to Beer Geek about not getting enough sleep and how I should go to bed earlier. His response was to just pick a time and go to bed at that time. I was like “Whaaat? How do you do that???” But honestly, the man has gone to bed at 9:30 probably 90% of the nights since we got married 23 years ago. Obviously he knows what he’s talking about. So yeah, sometimes I leave things undone and just go to bed.
Some other suggestions:
- simplify Facebook – I can’t leave it because of work and the blog and ambassadorships, but I’ve been leaving groups and unliking pages like it’s my job. I only have so much time, I can’t let that take so much.
- turn your phone on DND at least a half hour before you go to bed – people will still be there tomorrow
- create margins in your life – I have very little in the way of margins right now. I’m working to make them bigger and in the meantime I’m practicing saying no.
Got any suggestions for me? I’m currently getting about 7 hours a night and I’m aiming to get closer to 8.