When I first started my fitness journey I remember getting overwhelmed with the idea of having to fit yet another thing into my day: a workout. I thought to myself, really we're going to throw this one more thing in my already busy day and my never-ending to-do list? I quickly learned that in order to be more productive I needed the energy and food was only going to give me so much.
Did you guys know that sleep is the most underused medicine? I shared my 5 simple tips on how to get a better night's sleep a few years which I still incorporate now, especially tip #3. As a health coach, I work with my clients to help create a schedule that works with their lives. One of the areas I help guide them through is their sleep. Since the amount of hours of sleep is based on individual needs I rarely push a certain number of hours one needs to stay in REM. Instead, I encourage healthy sleep habits for a better quality of life.
Here's a few tips on how to get on a sleep schedule:
Make small gradual adjustments.
Changing your routine won't happen overnight. If your goal is to get into bed by 10PM, but you're currently sleeping at 1AM, try pushing up your bedtime by 15-30 minutes. Adjust every 3-4 days to give ease your body into this change especially if you've been a night owl for years.
Use your bed for sleep and sexy time, only.
Sorry not sorry for the TMI! Use your bed for only sleep and sex to help strengthen your sleep habits. When your bed is used for other things like work, eating, watching TV, all the things you open yourself up to anxiety about the other activities you do in bed. Try to use your bed for what it was intended for: sleep...and sexy time.
Like every other habit, you're trying to create for yourself, consistency is key! Pick a wake up time and bedtime you feel confident about and stick to it, even on the weekends. We all love sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays, but try not to sleep in for longer than 2 hours. This will help keep your internal clock on track and adjust to your new bedtime.
Create a wind-down routine.
A wind-down routine is basically the adult version of a bedtime routine. Spend the last hour of your night focusing on activities that are calming: meditation, reading, writing, or drawing. You can watch TV or scroll on the internet if you like, but for some people, this just creates stimulation in the brain that keeps your mind going. My nighttime routine typically includes making tea, my skincare routine, writing in my journal, and diffusing essential oils by Saje Wellness.
Skip the Snooze Button
If you're trying to create a new bedtime then this might be a challenge at first, but I believe its so important! In order to get your circadian clock on a healthy rhythm, you're going to want to get up once your alarm hits. The sleep you get after you hit snooze isn't high quality anyways. What I suggest is to create 3-4 different alarms spaced out by 5-10 minutes before the time you really want to wake up. For example, I like to be up by 5:30 AM. This means I'll set my first alarm at 5:00AM, 5:05AM, 5:10AM, 5:15AM, and then my final one at 5:30AM. To create even more of a barrier to hit that snooze button I've programmed my alarms on my Sonos in the bedroom which means I have to get up to shut it off.
There are other tips such as:
- Reduce your daily intake of caffeine.
- Turn off the computer or other electronics an hour before your bedtime.
- Don't go to bed on an empty stomach.
- Invest in comfortable bedding.
- Exercise regularly
The direct connection between sleep and healthy inevitably helps to improve your quality of life. If you're struggling with getting on a sleep routine, don't give up. Remember that change takes time. You've got this!
Let me know if you try any of these. Comment below or message me on Instagram! I'd love to hear from you.