My sleep routine has been a huge mess this year and I've been really struggling to fall asleep. Some days I would sleep like 4 hours, the next I would sleep 12. One day I would get up at 7am and the next one at 12pm. As a result, I was always tired and could never fall asleep or wake up when I had to, so I figured I had to make some changes in my routine in order to build better sleep habits.
If you, like me, struggle with sleep issues, here are some tips that worked for me, and will hopefully help you too.
1. Avoid your bed during the day
A doctor once told a friend of mine that your bed should only be used for sleeping and sex. Anything other than that you should do it elsewhere. And it makes a lot of sense if you think about it. If you make your body used to staying in bed and being awake, when you try to go to bed at night I will just… stay awake. Instead, let your body know that going to bed means sleeping. Yes, beds are really cozy places, but I'm sure you can find another cozy place to study, read, use your laptop...
2. Try not to take naps
If you sleep during the day, you will most likely not be able to sleep at night. And if you don't sleep enough at night, you will probably be tired the next day and will want to take a nap too and so enter a vicious cycle. So instead, try not to take naps and stay awake until night time. You will feel a lot more energized the following day, and also fall asleep more easily.
3. Don't eat too much before bed
Going to bed feeling full will make you feel a bit too uncomfortable to fall asleep, and will also make you sleep worse. Try to have dinner a few hours before you go to sleep, and also try not to have too much food for dinner.
4. Read before bed
Pau from Blossom Ikebana actually gave me this advice, and it totally worked me for me! Instead of staying on my laptop until bedtime and then trying to suddenly fall asleep, I would turn it off one hour before my bedtime, and instead sneak into bed with a book. Not only did I find the time for reading that I thought I didn't have, but I also found falling sleep a lot easier.
5. Always go to bed at the same time
Well, almost always, of course. You can stay up until later on special occasions. But try to go to bed at the same time on regular days. Even when you don't have to get up early the next day. If you don't have anything special planned - and Netflix is not special - stick to a bedtime.
6. Use a sleep mask
My eyes are a lot more rested when I use a sleep mask at night. Protect them from the night and keep them from opening and looking around your room for distracting objects.
7. Get up at the same time (approximately)
Just like tip number 5, time to always get up at the same time. Approximately, of course. If you have to get up at 6 or 7 am to go to class or work, it doesn't mean you should do that too on the weekends! But if you get up at noon on a Sunday, you will find it quite hard to fall asleep early that night, and will be tired on Monday. Instead, try to set up an alarm for the days you don't necessarily need to get up early in order to avoid getting up too late. For example, I have to get up at 7am to go to class, and have an alarm set up at 9am (sometimes I change it to 9:30 or even 10am though) for the days I don't have to go to class.
Question of the Day
Do you have any problems falling asleep? Do you have any tips for building better sleep habits?