5 Simple steps to ensure you get eight hours sleep each night
-Apr 18, Caroline Blight, Health -
We all know that getting a great night’s sleep is important. But one of the things that is often impossible is actually getting to bed on time. We take a look at five simple ways to make sure you’re in bed early and ready to get your all-important beauty sleep.
For some people actually going to sleep and staying asleep is tough.
But for many of us actually getting to bed in enough time to catch the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep is the biggest battle.
They know how beneficial a good night’s sleep is and that a consistent bedtime is good for our health. But a problem for many of us is that bedtime is getting consistently later. One thing leads to another and before you know it that early night is later than ever before.
Sleep is our body’s chance to regenerate at a cellular level. And, a sleep deficit means you feel exhausted and suffer from brain fog. Also, you don’t look your best either.
That is why this guide to actually making sure you hit your bedtime goal will help massively with how you look and feel.
Treat yourself earlier in the evening
In the busy world we live in it can be hard to find time for ourselves.
If you are working in the day it can be hard to take a breath until much later than you hoped. Often after sending final work emails ‘me-time’ is nearer to 9pm than 8pm.
By then you feel you have earned some chill out time. Of course that’s important to helping you sleep. Going to bed can feel like calling time on this me-time too early and depriving yourself.
If you are able to make space for something you enjoy earlier in the evening you will feel more fulfilled. And less like you are cutting short the only time you get.
You also need to change the way you look at sleep too. By going to bed you are not depriving yourself of time, you are investing in your energy levels for the next day.
That means you’ll be more effective in getting things done and will end up with more time for yourself anyway.
When we are tired we tend not to get things done as quickly or as well as when we are well-rested.
Trick yourself into thinking it’s later
Although you no doubt fall into bed exhausted, it can be helpful to speed up the feeling of it being late. Then you are more likely to stop procrastinating and head to bed earlier.
Dimming the lights is a great way of telling our brains it’s bedtime. If you have dimmable lights hooked up to a smart device like Lightwave then you can preset them to dim.
Or if you find time just disappears then set your lamps on a timer switch or smart switch so they simply turn off at say 11pm.
Also set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to start getting ready for bed – and stick to it.
It’s also worth reducing the blue light you are exposed to from your phone or computer.
While this might not be making it hard to sleep at night, it could be affecting your concept of what time it is. This makes you ‘feel’ like it’s earlier than it is. Install software on your devices that adjust the amount of blue light that your device emits based on the time of day.
That way, you’ll be exposed to less blue light at night.
Ban social media for at least an hour before bed
We’ve all done it – said we will watch just half of a TV episode and ended up sitting engrossed in two.
It’s so easy to answer a message on Instagram or Facebook only to suddenly find we are still scrolling an hour later and time has evaporated.
Look at apps which will prevent you accessing social media and games like Offline, which also shows how addicted you are to them.
This app allows you to choose tailored modes like Work, Family, or Me Time to ensure that you have access to the things you need, but aren’t distracted by what you don’t.
If you need to really take a tough stance on yourself then Flipd allows you to lock your phone for a set period of time, and once you do, there’s no going back. Even restarting your phone won’t disable the app, so it’s impossible for you to cheat!
It’s also worth making sure your phone doesn’t go into your bedroom – move your charger to the kitchen or living room if you have to so you don’t get ready for bed then start scrolling instead of shutting your eyes!
Set your alarm an hour earlier in the morning
This might seem a counterintuitive suggestion when the main reason you are reading this is to get more sleep! But so much of our procrastination at bedtime is because we feel we need to get things done which haven’t been sorted earlier in the day.
Many of the most successful CEO’s, novelists, political leaders and high-flying stockbrokers swear that getting up early means you get more done in your day. And you can relax in the evening.
Getting things sorted early has the duel effect of making us feel more positive right from the beginning of our day. And also means we are less likely to be playing catch up in the evening when we feel more pressured and against the clock.
The key to getting to bed on time could lie in when you get up…
Make a list for the morning
Quite often the struggle to get to bed at night is thanks to the amount we try and pack in our day.
There’s a temptation to do ‘one more thing’ and as a result bedtime keeps getting pushed to the back of the queue. Some days you won’t get everything done that you want to. And that’s ok!
Try to make a list in the morning and the evening.
In the morning prioritise what really needs to be achieved that day. Cross things off as you go (which gives you a sense of satisfaction anyway).
And at night write a new list with only those things you have still to get done.
It’s likely they will look a lot more achievable when you have had some sleep.
If you are following the waking up earlier step too you can see how they will still be done before you start your day. This can make it easier to release the pressure which is keeping you up at night.