Recently I was asked ‘what’s the best way to get to sleep at night ?’ and here are a few things that came to mind;
1 – Get up at five am. After a few mornings of getting up out of bed at five am you will have no problem getting to sleep at eleven or even ten thirty pm. There will be more time to get the day ahead organised and the level of stress should be lowered which helps too. This time of day is when there are the fewest distractions and interruptions. Sometimes more can be done between 5 and 7 am than will be done for the rest of the day.
2 – Don’t watch Vincent Browne, Primetime, Frontline or even the news. These types of TV programmes get people wound up at a time when they should be winding down. Trying to get to sleep after a few hours of watching people, many of whom are on very large salaries, telling us we are all f*****d, is not a relaxing way to end the day. A comedy or some light entertainment is better or turn off the tv and listen to some music or read a book.
3 – Get out on the bike. A 2 hour training spin after work will help to tire you out. A short spin on the bike with the kids is enjoyable for everyone. Cycling to and from work is less stressful than taking the car, avoids traffic jams and gives people a chance to unwind after a busy day. If cycling is your ‘thing’ get out and do your thing .
4 – Don’t drink tea or coffee after seven pm. The caffeine keeps you awake and alert when you should be unwinding.
5 – Get a routine. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. If it’s getting up at 5am you may not even need to set your alarm after 21 days. If it’s turning off the tv at 9 pm you won’t even miss it after 21 days. When you have a routine or habit, the body almost works on autopilot. Advertising and marketing agencies know all about this and it affects many aspects of our daily lives without us even realising it so why not take control and set up a few good routines and habits of your own. Going to bed at the same time each night, even on weekends, sets up a routine and your body learns that.
6 – Turn off the laptop. This also applies to the smartphone, ipad, itouch, galaxy or whatever device gets you online. There is an infinite amount of information online nowadays (like this for instance) but be discerning about just how much you actually need, and how much of your time it is worth. Speak to the person next to you rather than direct messaging them.
7 – Get a pen and paper and sit down for five minutes an hour before bedtime, but keep it on your locker too. Did you ever lie in bed thinking about something that you must do the following day. By writing it down your mind is able to relax. You do not have to worry about forgetting to do the thing because it’s written down on a piece of paper or notebook that you will be reading over in the morning as part of your routine.
Enjoy the rest 🙂