Following on from the previous point, you can control your whole process of getting ready for sleep, regardless of how the day turned out and particularly if it didn’t go as well as you would have liked. The key thing is routine.
If you have figured out how much sleep you need from the earlier step and you know what time you want to be get up you can work out what time to get to sleep. As I need 7.5 hours each night and I aim to get up at 06:30 in the morning then it means I need to be asleep by 23:00 (11pm).
Let me repeat what I just said – I need to be asleep
by 23:00 (11pm).
The first thing is to have a routine that prepares your body and particularly your mind in knowing it is time to prepare for sleep. For me this starts around an hour (22:00) before I fall asleep – there are a few more tips in the next section that you may find useful to determine what works for you.
During the working week I do have a short alarm that goes off at 22:00 that tells me it’s time for sleep, just in case I am engrossed in some TV programme. At this point my routine looks like this:
- The TV gets turned off, or if I was doing some work (it happpens!), I finish and turn off my laptop/desk PC. I am sure you have read about the “blue light” from our TV, Laptop and phone screens.
- I take a look at my next day and spend about 5 minutes writing down any ideas, actions, thoughts that are rattling around in my mind. Helps to calm the the mind.
- I have a bit of a clear up – tidy my notebooks/diary ready for tomorrow.
- Get changed, brush teeth etc.
- Check the alarm
- I will read for about 20 minutes – nothing too heavy or mind jarring
Then it’s lights off and I usually fall asleep after within a few minutes.
Everyone is different and so the routine will be different. The key things are to have a time when you start to prepare for sleep and stick to it each day as well as the routine. Soon it will become a positive habit.