how to reset your sleep
Sleep is kind of one of those things – you either get it or you don’t. For the lucky ones that lay their heads on the pillow and wake only to the sound of their alarms, we envy you. For those of you who are light sleepers, or struggle with insomnia or anxiety interrupting your sleep, here are a few simple ways you can try and wind down and reset, encouraging the ultimate sleep sessions.
1 / consistency is key
Going to bed early can be tough for most, especially if you’re used to not hitting the hay until the wee hours of the morning. To push yourself to get to bed earlier, the best thing to do is to force yourself to wake up. For example, if you’re someone that goes to sleep around 1am and wakes up at 8am, you’re not going to be tired at 1am and ready for bed. If you go to sleep at 1am and force yourself to get up at 6am (ouch, we know) then by the time 10pm rolls around that night you’ll be winding down and feeling pretty ready for sleep.
The first few days of this will be super tough, no doubt, but if you stick with it you should start to notice changes within a week!
2 / have a routine
As simple as it sounds, having a regular nightly routine will help your mind and body register that it is slumber time, with ease. Putting down your phone for the night, 5 minutes of stretches, having a warm shower, applying eye cream and body cream, then hopping in to bed and thinking of three things you’re grateful for each day, are all super simple things that you can do regularly to help assist you in winding down. Follow a consistent bedtime routine that will prepare your body for the night and help release melatonin, your natural sleep hormone.
3 / switching off
Speaking of putting down your phone, let’s talk about screen time. Whether it’s your TV, phone, iPad or Kindle, we’re all guilty of too much screen time. Not only do we stare at screens all day when working/socializing/learning but then we take that stimulation into bed with us. Easier said than done, but screens should be off at least half an hour before bed time. So set your alarm, put your phone on night mode, and don’t touch it until the next morning when the birds are singin’ and that phone starts ringin’.
4 / put pen to paper
If you’re someone that starts stressing as soon as their head hits the pillow, then maybe it’s time to get journaling or write a list. Whether you’ve got tasks and chores running through your head each night for the next morning, or something deeper is on your mind, putting pen to paper can help you park those troubles for tomorrow’s you to worry about. Keep a notebook beside your bed, and jot your worries on there. They might still be there when you wake up but hopefully you’ll be rested enough to process them and get through it.
5 / save it for the bedroom
It’s important to establish your bed as your only place of sleep. This means removing all distractions like screens, speakers, bright lights and sometimes pets. Anything that might disturb you or tempt you to open your eyes. Aim for cosy sleepwear, toasty blankets, good curtains/blinds, and some kind of airflow so that it doesn’t get too stuffy. On the other side of this, is avoiding napping in weird places. If you nod off for 5 minutes sitting at the dining room table with a crooked neck and bad posture, you’re not going to have a good time. Try and make a point of getting into bed whenever you feel tired, rather than trying to grab sleep whenever and wherever you like.
Ultimately, setting up a healthy sleep routine can be tough, however once you get it right, you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t lived like this all along! Remember to aim for at least 8 hours a night, and don’t be too hard on yourself when making adjustments. It does take 21 days to make or break a habit after all...