How To Quickly Improve Your Sleeping Schedule
What does your sleeping routine look like?
Sleeping in until the last possible minute?
Mindlessly checking social media and not being productive?
Always wishing you could sleep forever and do nothing else?
I will talk about proven methods I have researched combined with my own personal tips that can help you in your journey in getting a truly blissful sleep.
We are going to understand:
Why we find it hard to sleep and how to stop these negative habits
And what you can do to improve it so you have an easier time sleeping
Things You Should Stop Doing Before Bed
Here is a list of things you should cut out of your nightly routine in order to sleep better.
Ok, not entirely! But you should definitely try to limit yourself to having no more coffee after lunch. This is because the stimulant actually stays in your system for up to 12 hours! A quick and easy way to deal with this is just having decaf after your lunch.
Cut Down On Smoking And Alcohol
Having a cigarette may seem relaxing and put you in a better mood but it greatly harms your ability to sleep. Nicotine (like caffeine) is a stimulant and therefore would keep your body awake if ingested. But, if you can't stop yourself try to aim to avoid smoking an hour before bed*. Also, alcohol seems like the best antidote for people who can't sleep, but it can cause nightmares and can also awaken you for a quick trip to the toilet.
Stop Checking Your Phone! (It's not going anywhere!)
Now I admit, I am guilty of this but I am quickly using my phone less and less now that I follow a positive night routine. In this age of social media, we are so glued to our phones. From when we wake up, right until the minute we fall asleep. We prioritise something that isn't that important in our lives. I understand that during the lockdown period we want to talk to our loved ones as much as possible but using your phone right before bed inhibits you from having a good sleep. I am not telling you to stop posting on Instagram or Snapchat altogether, but you should learn to restrict yourself.
Have a look at your screen time data on your phone. Are you surprised, annoyed, or motivated to fix this?
Ways to stop using your phone before bed is to use a screen time app that locks certain apps after a certain time or if you spent too long on it. I use the iPhone's Screen Limit setting all the time to make sure I am not mindlessly scrolling through my feed.
Another way of reducing the amount of time you spend on your phone is by deleting the apps and then downloading them again when you really need it. This has worked wonders for me as my brain works with the famous motto- Out of sight, out of mind.
Things You Should Be Doing Before Bed
Now that you know ways of cutting down the harmful habits that stop you from sleeping, try to adopt new positive habits to greatly improve your sleep.
Sitting silently, breathing slowly and deeply, and having nothing on your mind except thinking about the way you breathe is the best way to put you in the mood for sleep. Many of us want to get that 8 hours of sleep in before school or work but we are too energetic to actually fall asleep! That is why meditating is the perfect habit to have for your positive night routine. Apps like Headspace and Calm are great if you are a beginner.
TIP!- I use an incense burner and a yoga mat with a pillow as equipment for meditating. This makes the whole experience more spiritual as well as comfortable. The last thing you should be doing when meditating is thinking about how uncomfortable you are, so if you prefer to meditate on your bed, then do so!
Wash Your Face
Having a good face wash routine is paramount in feeling great before you fall asleep. You could have a bath or a shower in order to relax, but I prefer just to wash my face with warm water and use an energetic cleanser. Also, using a moisturiser is great for making your skin feel nice and smooth, so your face does not become oily when you wake up.
Reading is perfect in becoming relaxed. All you have to do is choose your favourite book or audiobook and sit back. When reading you are not using too much of your brain since it is just a subconscious task, therefore, you will not feel as energetic as you would if you were doing last-minute homework which requires more brainpower.
Some great books I have started reading! (Reading list coming out soon!)
Imagine The Best Day Tomorrow
Perhaps the most important step in this whole process is your- IMAGINATION!
You are probably thinking, what are you on about? But hear me out! Just thinking about what you are going to do tomorrow will make sure that your brain knows that it needs to fall asleep A.S.A.P. If you are still lost, think back to a time when you were so excited that you woke up early and still felt excited and not tired. Was it your first day of college? Or Christmas? Or even getting something from Amazon? Well, those frantic butterflies in your stomach that kept you awake actually help you sleep better.
This is because you know what you are doing tomorrow!
Having the knowledge of what your plan is the next day is literally the best thing you could do. Planning in your diary that you are going to go for a run or call an old friend will make you fall asleep easier because you are doing something new, but most of all, you are doing something.
I hope these tips will help you establish a more positive nightly routine so you have the energy to tackle the big tasks for the day.
Cut caffeine, alcohol and smoking before bed
Reduce screen time before you fall asleep
Do something that relaxes like you meditating or reading
Have a face cleansing routine for feeling fresh
Most importantly imagine what you are going to do tomorrow because that is what is going to get you out of bed!
- If you have any tips that you believe might help other people then feel free to write them down in the comments below!
Now have the best sleep and be productive!
Thank you so much for reading,
The Productive Pilgrim
Thank you again Lucy for editing and doing all the photography, you are the best!