If you would have told me two years ago I would be getting up at 5:25 AM five days a week for nearly a year, I would have laughed right in your face and called you crazy. But here I am… How did this happen?
I am not really sure. My husband marvels at this occurrence, daily. When we first met, I made it very apparent to him that I love my sleep. I could have easily slept until 9 AM every day. And getting in bed before 11 PM? Not a chance. Night was the time when I got things done. Mornings I spent sleeping my day away. If you saw my face before 7 AM, I was cranky and nauseous.
Now when I look back on those days, I am not sure how I functioned. My mornings are now some of the most productive times of my day. But I still have trouble getting to sleep. My mind races when I get in bed and suddenly I am thinking about all sorts of things I never knew I needed to think about. My husband? The man could lay horizontal and within thirty seconds he is sleeping. I envy those people. That ain’t me.
Changing some of my nighttime habits have certainly helped me get to bed easier. We prepare for most everything else in our lives, why can’t we prepare to go to bed? Now, my weekdays now start at 5:25 AM and end at 9 PM.
How is that possible? Here are a few things I do that have helped me get to bed earlier and easier.
1. Set a Time and Get In Bed Earlier
Bed times aren’t just for kids. Honestly, set a goal for yourself. And once you set that goal, get into bed BEFORE your bed time. Typically a half hour to an hour before. My husband laughs at me because I get cranky when it is getting close to my “bed time”. He has even told some of his friends that we will need to leave social events because I have a bed time. But having a target time that I like to get in bed and settle down has helped so much. I cannot get into bed in a rush and expect to fall right asleep.
2. No Technology in Bed
This means nothing with a backlight. No phone, no iPad, no laptop, no television (actually we don’t even have a tv in our room, I HIGHLY recommend it)… For me that visual stimulation does not help quiet my mind down. I typically set my phone on the nightstand and do my best not to look at it or answer it when someone on the West Coast is messaging me. Oh the troubles of having friends and family in many times zones! 😉
My dad is one of those who needs the tv on to sleep. Growing up I can remember the minute you turned the tv off, he would wake up and say “hey, I was watching that.” Uh huh. Sure. I was curious how many actually require the tv to sleep, so I polled my Facebook page. I was amazed at how many people responded so THANK YOU! Here is the results:
3. Read a Book, Journal, or Make Lists
For me reading a book is the ONE THING that quiets my mind down. There is something very soothing about it. And that half hour or hour before I want to sleep that I am in bed, I am reading. Also another great thing to do for those of you whose minds race, journal. Write down your thoughts or your concerns on paper. Get them off your mind so you can sleep peacefully. If there is something you are stressed about the next day and can’t sleep, write a list. A list of anything and everything you don’t want to forget. It is so helpful to keep a pad of paper next to your bed. Write down whatever you need to get off your mind and you can sleep soundly knowing it’s down on paper waiting for you.
4. Bring in Reinforcements
If all else fails, turn to some aid to help you. This could come in the form of a natural sleep aid like melatonin or even something as simple as a Night Time Tea. I take a melatonin supplement on nights when I am feeling especially awake (I use a brand called MidNite). I take it usually a half hour before I want to go to bed. I will say that sometimes melatonin gives me crazy dreams, but I also have crazy dreams without it so it’s not a big deal for me. For tea, I personally like anything with chamomile in it. There are many different kinds of Sleepytime or Bedtime teas put out, they work great.
5. Stay Dedicated and Give It Some Time
You can’t expect an earlier bed time to just happen. Put in the work, stay dedicated, and give your body some time to adjust. Pretty sure you will find your eyes getting heavy and yawning at 9 PM. And like me, some days you won’t be able to make it past midnight. Unless you are having a really good time! 😉
Anyone else have any good suggestions for getting to bed earlier?