For adults, it can be easy to let chores and recreational activities creep into the evening. Before you know it, you’re staying up past midnight every night watching TV, cleaning the house, or playing computer games, even when you have to be at work the next morning. These reduced sleeping hours leave you lethargic, grumpy, and unable to function at your best.
If you don’t think you’re getting the right amount of sleep for your age, then you may need to start going to bed earlier. However, if you try this a couple of times and find it takes you ages to fall asleep, you might need to go the extra mile to retrain your body for your new bedtime.
Here are some ideas to train your mind and body to go to bed earlier.
Set an alarm. You use an alarm to get up in the morning, yes? Why not try it as a way to tell yourself to get ready for bed. Setting an alarm for the same time every night will help you get into good habits.
Start slow. If you’re trying to go to bed an hour earlier, start in 15-minute increments each week until you reach your goal. Your body will find the adjustment easier than if you jumped straight to this earlier bedtime.
Wind down. When your alarm goes off, turn off all electronic devices – TV, computer, mobile phone (these can trick your circadian rhythms and make it more difficult to fall asleep). Do something quiet and relaxing for half an hour. Take a bath. Read a book. Listen to soothing music. Talk with your spouse. Do some stretches or gentle yoga. Give your body time to relax and unwind.
Exercise earlier in the day. If you’re exercising late in the evening, your body may be too invigorated to sleep. Try to move your workout back to at least four hours before your new bedtime.
Cut the stimulants. Avoid eating or drinking anything that could impact your sleep. This means no caffeine (and this includes soft drinks and energy drinks), chocolate or sugary foods, cigarettes and nicotine products, and no alcohol. If you find certain foods unsettle your stomach (eg. cheese) try to avoid these, too.
Create a comfortable sleep zone. Your bedroom should be an oasis of calm – a place where you enjoy slipping between the covers. As much as possible, try to clear away clutter and remove anything from the room that isn’t related to sleep or dressing – including TVs and computers. Make sure the room is dark, cool, and your bed is comfortable.
Try a sleep aid. Sleepezi offer a range of products that use natural ingredients to help re-establish a healthy sleep cycle. Try sleep mists, sprays, and tonics to help you get the good night’s sleep you dream about.
It will take a few weeks for your body to completely adjust to a new bedtime. By staying committed and sticking to your healthy sleep rituals, you’ll quickly discover all the benefits of a full night’s sleep.