8 Ways You Can Get More Sleep
I use to be a night owl, but it often led to missing out on much needed sleep come morning.
Not only does it feel crappy to wake up to a loud alarm clock when you’re still tired, but missing out on sleep will sabotage your weight loss efforts.
It lowers willpower, increases your cravings for sweets, releases cortisol–which burns muscle, and it slows down your metabolism.
Here is the formula that I used to get into the habit of going to bed earlier.
1. Have dinner already prepared
Coming home and having to cook dinner can eat into your time pretty quickly.
So prepare dinner in advance.
Crock Pot recipes are a great way to prepare dinner with very little work.
Start the Crock Pot when you leave for work, and when you get home you’ll have a meal fit for a king.
2. Don’t drink caffeine after noon
If you feel like you’re never tired when you should be going to bed, make sure you’re avoiding coffee and energy drinks once the clock strikes noon.
3. No electronic devices 1 hour before bed
Stay off your computer, your phone, and anything else with back lighting.
Back lighting suppresses melatonin, the chemical your brain releases that makes you sleepy.
Leads to ignoring your bedtime
It’s also distracting and leads to that horrible syndrome I like to call “Just One More Youtube Video”.
4. Nightly Ritual
Creating a Nightly Ritual is your ticket to getting to bed early.
The rest of this article will center around what to do in your nightly ritual, but it’s important that you view bedtime as a process that begins before you hit the mattress.
It’s so easy to get distracted at the end of your day that it’s important to create a nightly ritual that you actually enjoy.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself giving in and giving up.
Set an alarm (or 2)
I begin my ritual an hour before I’m lying in bed with the lights out.
I set 2 alarms.
One alarm to let me know that I’ve got 15 mins to wrap up whatever I’m doing, and one alarm to tell me it’s time to start getting ready for bed.
5. Warm nighttime tea
I’m not really a tea drinker.
But adding nighttime tea is one of the ways that I signal my brain that it’s time to wind down.
I enjoy it because it’s relaxing and it gives me a posh feeling, like I’m treating myself special, as weird as that may sound ? .
6. 30 mins of reading in bed
By the time I’ve brushed my teeth, made my tea, and gotten ready for bed, I usually have about a half hour left before it’s time to turn out the lights.
This is where I treat myself with a good book while sipping my tea.
Use a dim lamp as you read.
The lower light will allow your brain to start releasing melatonin, as well as letting your eyes get tired.
Also, there’s nothing more rewarding than finishing your day with a good book.
7. Write your thoughts on paper
When it’s finally time to turn out the light, you might still find your mind racing with thoughts.
This happens to me a lot.
In fact, some of my best thoughts have come while I’m lying in bed looking up at the ceiling.
I found one of the most effective tricks to calming your mind down, though, and when I first heard about it I was skeptical.
Keep a notebook nearby and, when you find your mind racing, grab your notebook and start writing down–in 1 or 2 word answers–everything that’s on your mind.
Lay back down and, when the thoughts pop up, remind yourself that you wrote them all down and that you can deal with them tomorrow.
After about 2 times of this you’ll find those thoughts often just disappear.
8. Reward yourself with a relaxing morning
One of the things that keeps me from wanting to go to bed is when I know that I have to wake up to another frantic day.
Instead, I want to hold onto every bit of the relaxing night while I still can.
So, make waking up pleasurable.
Get up an hour earlier and use that time to play around on facebook, read some more, or go for a nice, relaxing stroll.