Are you sleeping enough? Want to get your sleep schedule set-up? Here is a very simple 7-day sleep challenge to get your sleep back on track.
Journal your experience and see if you feel better during the day. Are you more productive or alert?
Now of course if you can do this for 14 (or better yet 30) days you might build a better routine, but with anything new, let’s try to build a better sleep routine with baby steps. Just 7 days and see if you can feel a difference.
Two Methods for Better Sleep
(pick the one that works in your life).
- PICK A BED TIME
- SET ALARM
It’s that simple.
For Method 1 – PICK A BED TIME you select a consistent time to be ready for sleep. To reset your body and figure out how much sleep your body requires, don’t set an alarm to wake up. Every night for 7 days, start your bedtime routine and be in bed by your designated bed time. See tips below on how to optimize the conditions to help you fall asleep quicker.
Your mornings need to allow for a flexible wake-up time (at first). Therefore once your body has had enough sleep you will naturally start to wake up at the same time. At first you could sleep for longer cycles because your body is trying to make-up for your previous lack of sleep. But over time, this should level out and your body will start to consistently wake at the same time (when the body has had enough rest).
For Method 2 – SET ALARM you set an alarm for whatever wake-up time you need. Every night you have to listen to your body and actually go to sleep once you’re tired. Every night for 7 days, pay attention to when your body starts to tell you you’re tired. Once this happens, See the tips below on how to optimize your sleep conditions and try to get ready for bed. Be sure to set your alarm for the same time every morning and when the alarm goes off, you HAVE TO GET UP. No snooze, no delays, wake up.
If you initially pick a time earlier than that you’re used to, you might feel tired during the adjustment period in the first few days. But ideally this would make you more tired at night and possibly shift your natural bed time earlier. Try this and see how it works for you.
Have Trouble Falling Asleep or Waking up?
Just like bedtime routines we try to establish when sleep training our kids, we need to develop this for ourselves as well. Ideally you want to be consistent throughout the weekend. Also, find ways to help you wind down before bed to ease the transition into rest and sleep.
Here are some tips to help fall asleep:
- create a consistent bedtime routine (change, brush, read/meditate… whatever it might be)
- avoid screen time 30 minutes before bed
- avoid intense exercise 60 minutes before bed
- keep the room dark (i.e. no night lights/falling asleep with tv on)
- use white noise/guided meditation before bed to relax
- keep your body at a comfortable temperature (pick the appropriate blanket and clothing for the season)
- turn the thermostat down – ~18 degrees Celsius for adults (according to National Sleep Foundation)
Here are some tips to help wake up:
- allow natural sunlight to come through in the morning to wake the body naturally (Method 1)
- or use an alarm clock with a light (instead of music/buzzer) to help awaken the body in the morning (Method 2) Upcoming review on my wake-up light alarm clock coming soon!