Mar 15, 2009
Give yourself reasons for getting to bed earlier. One good incentive is recalling a time (or several) when your lateness in getting to bed had disastrous results: you overslept, didn't get enough sleep, became sick, etc. Also, if you're a habitual late-night (e.g. college student), this will give you a chance to see that rarest of natural phenomena: a sunrise! Determine what time you need to wake. "Well, most of the time I wake-up at 7:00, but sometimes I wake-up at 6:00 to do homework" isn't a good answer. If you planned on waking up at 6 then you would think that going to bed an hour earlier would make up for it, but you wouldn't be tired at said bedtime, so you would lay in bed for an hour and only get 7 hours of sleep. Your wake-up time needs to be the same every day except for rare occasions. Weekends are not rare.
Subtract 8 hours from the time you wake up. Determine how long it actually takes you to fall asleep. Don't glance at the alarm clock constantly to test this, just think whether you lay in bed for what seems for hours, or does your head barely hit the pillow? If the first one is the case you should subtract on hour from the time you have. If your head barely hits the pillow you only need about five minutes in bed before your -8 hour time. If you're somewhere in between 30 minutes should be a safe amount of time to be in bed before you need to fall asleep.
Do something calming before bedtime. The computer may be calming but your brain naturally makes you sleepy when it is dark, so by staring at a screen you are keeping yourself alert and wide-awake for longer than you should. A shower is an excellent thing to do before bed. Make your activity a sort of ritual. This helps. Be strict about your bed time. Force yourself to turn off the computer and TV before bed. By turning off the computer (not the monitor) you would have to wait for it to reboot and normally that is enough to persuade you to get off the computer. Throw the remote for your TV across the room or onto the floor (gently). Getting up to turn on the TV hardly seems worth it, huh?
After you have been following a bed time for a week or so, if you are still tired or very unwilling to get up in the morning you may still owe yourself a few hours. Let yourself sleep way in on the weekend. Do this a few times and you will probably no longer feel the need to sleep in on the weekends. That's good. That means that you get enough sleep every night. If you keep wanting to get up earlier than your wake-up time then go to bed a little later. Some people need less sleep than others and you may no longer have to go to bed an hour early anymore because of your routine. Reward yourself for your discipline. Treat yourself to a movie for every two weeks you successful get to bed early. Notice how much better you feel in your day-to-day life, in school, or at your job. If you're getting somewhere around 8 hours of sleep per night, and at the right time, you'll probably notice a dramatic increase in your physical and mental health!
Ensure that you are setting reasonable goals; some people cannot get 8 hours of sleep. Get a friend or spouse to see to it that you go to bed on time. They can hide the remote to the TV, or turn off the computer, or turn off the light where you are reading. Don't do this if you are irritable.Make sure you don't use the snooze button. Force yourself to literally jump out of bed every morning, even do a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing.If you go to bed on time and get enough sleep you may suffer from poor sleep quality.
Children may require extra sleep. Teens who have a big test the next day will do better if they go to bed early instead of staying up late to study.Feeling constantly tired or regularly waking up early can both be symptoms of depression. If you are worried that this may be the case for you, consult your doctor or a therapist/counselor.Sleep deprivation can decrease your focus and ability to think properly by up to 33%. This makes you more likely to injure yourself if you work with machinery or even drive to work.
Posted by Jane at Sunday, March 15, 2009 |