Let’s face it; life can be pretty exhausting a lot of the time. Whether it’s work, chores, hobbies, family, or trying to hang on to some semblance of a social life, trying to keep up with life can be a lot to deal with. For a lot of people, this means trying to find a balance of priorities and sacrifices. Certain things will fall by the wayside while you deal with other parts of your life that seem more important. Sadly, because of this, there is one incredibly important thing that often ends up being sacrificed far more often that it should. That thing is sleep.
It can be incredibly tempting to think that you can squeeze everything in as long as you cut back on a couple of hours sleep, and even if you don’t want to, worrying about what you have to do can keep you up all night. However, going without sleep can be disastrous for your physical and mental wellbeing. With that in mind, here are some ways to make sure that you’re getting the sleep you need.
Collaborative Post, Written by Joe
Wake up early
Not everyone’s a morning person but getting up a little earlier in the day really can be incredibly useful for helping you to get a decent night’s sleep and keeping your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural internal clock that regulates when you should be awake or asleep) on track. Plus, you should end up getting a bit more done during the day! Get up with your alarm, ignore that tempting snooze button (even if you reeeaally don’t want to!), and wake up at a decent time and it’s more likely that you’ll be ready to drop off as soon as your head hits the pillow that evening. Try putting your alarm on the other side of the bedroom so that you have no choice in the matter.
Keep a routine
Even if you can’t manage to get up early, it’s really important to keep some consistency in your sleep cycle. This basically just means going to bed and getting up around the same time every day – even on weekends. To be honest, it can sometimes just be impossible to stick to this, but do yourself a favor by making the effort whenever you can. Again, this is important for your body’s natural internal clock.
Watch your diet (and your drinks)
Avoiding caffeine is of course important – and chances are you knew that already! But did you know that your mid-morning latte could actually still affect you at bedtime? A coffee or two first thing should be fine, but try sticking to decaff for the rest of the day.
Keep an eye on your diet too. Anything that your body finds difficult to digest can affect your sleep, so don’t eat a huge meal in the evening. Try to stop as soon as you’re comfortably full and your body will thank you.
And sorry to be a party pooper, but alcohol can really affect your sleep too. Even if you feel that it helps you to drop off, too much will affect the quality of your sleep, so you’re less likely to feel well rested in the morning, and will find getting out of bed more difficult.
Check your lifestyle
Being a stress-head can have a major impact on your sleep, not least because it’s so difficult to drop off with hundreds of thoughts whizzing through your mind. Try to find something that helps you to relax in general. Exercise can be a fantastic outlet – anything is better than nothing, but yoga is particularly good as a mind-body workout, and it’s easy to get started. On that note, meditation and journaling can also work wonders.
And if you’re still having trouble relaxing, take an honest look at your life and work out a plan to reduce your stress levels.
Unwind before bed
As well as reducing your stress levels in general, take care to relax and unwind before bed. That means no late night working at the computer and no late night Netflix thrillers! Try a warm bath and a book instead – even though it sounds obvious, do you actually do it??
Ditch the gadgets
We all love our gadgets, and there’s nothing wrong with that – to an extent! Smartphones and computers are a fantastic way to learn, socialise, play games, and generally keep yourself entertained. However, one thing they are terrible for is getting a decent night’s sleep. If you’ve got the glare of a screen staring at you right before you go to sleep, that blue light is going to trick your brain into thinking that it’s daytime. Instead, read a book for a little while – that way you can tire out your eyes and your body before you finally get off to sleep.
Get some daylight
On the other hand, your body needs some daylight earlier on in the day – again, it helps your brain to recognize that this is the time to be awake, not 2am! Just getting out for a short walk or sitting by a window while you work can be helpful.
It’s going to be difficult to get a decent night’s sleep if you can’t get comfortable. The first thing that you need to sort out is a mattress. There are some good mattress review sites (try betterbedsolutions.com) around to give you some handy information to help you find the best mattress for your needs so that you can get super-comfy. Not only that but you need to make sure that you’ve got a duvet that is perfect no matter what the temperature is like. There’s nothing worse than trying to get to sleep, but you’re either way too hot or way too cold! It can be a good idea to invest in two duvets – one for summer and one for the chillier months. And a fan in summer and a hot water bottle in winter won’t hurt either!
Of course, the funny thing about trying to get more sleep is that the more you worry about it, the harder it is to do! Make sure that you try and stay as relaxed as possible and don’t let the idea of getting stuff done stress you out too much! If you want to go a bit further than these tips, I recommend ‘Sleep Smarter‘ by Shawn Stevenson – why not try it as that book to read in the bath as you unwind! Sleep tight.
Some links on Slightly Sorted are affiliate links, please see the disclosure tab on the bottom menu for full details, thank you!