Just…ten…more….minutes. Sound familiar? Many of us are sleep-deprived, groaning through another morning with coffee and those annoyingly peppy news anchors just to get to a reasonable state of functionality. We skip breakfast, practically assault the snooze button, shave or apply makeup in the car (we’ve all seen it!) – just to get a few precious minutes of “extra” sleep. Clearly, that “extra” sleep isn’t extra at all. You probably need it! Here’s how to get it.
10. Tivo your shows.
For a few extra dollars a month, you can watch your favorite programs when it’s convenient for you.
9. Unplug the TV.
Better yet. Unplug the TV except on weekends or other scheduled days. TV disrupts good brain patterns, is subtly stressful to your body, and can keep you up too late. Especially avoid the evening news, which is usually focused on anxiety-inducing topics that are anything but peaceful. TV left on all night as a comfort actually disrupts good sleep and the production of growth hormone, so skip that, too.
8. Unplug the alarm clock.
For many people, the knowledge that the clock will blare all too soon is enough to prevent deep sleep. Do you find yourself waking constantly to check the time? The alarm clock can create anxiety and snooze-buttonitis. Try going to bed early enough to wake naturally at the desired time. Or, try simply trusting yourself – if you tell yourself you need to wake at a certain time, you usually will. This really works for many people – but I don’t recommend this for catching those early morning flights! Our bodies quickly adjust to waking at certain times. If you are at odds with the alarm, that’s a good indication that you need a different sleep cycle.
Another option: talk to your boss about a slightly different work schedule that accommodates your health needs. Be willing to part with some other benefits if a different schedule means a lot to you. (Although, ideally, your boss will understand that flexibility on his/her part will only increase your productivity. Good luck.)
7. Give yourself a “worry time” that is not near bedtime.
People often find themselves worrying or pondering obsessively about their day or upcoming tasks as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Allot a different time, such as a brief period after lunch, for worrying and pondering. Or write down everything before you get into bed. The beauty of this is that by giving yourself a specific, non-bedtime “Fret Fix” you begin to see how silly and needless worrying really is – it’s a great little cure for worrying and stressing in general.
If you lunch is an hour, consider napping for half of it from now on. Or take a nap after lunch and work a little bit later each day. This will refresh you enough so that you may not need extra sleep at night.
5. Enforce a strict bedtime rule.
You might just need to go to bed earlier. Whenever you go to bed, make it a rule. There will be times you don’t follow it, of course, but try to get into a regular sleep pattern. Give yourself a little extra time to get relaxed and sleepy – this shouldn’t count into your seven or eight hours.
4. Unplug the phone.
Cut out any possible interruptions that may interfere repeatedly with your sleep.
3. Wear earplugs.
This works wonders! If you are a light sleeper or are sensitive in general, reducing the effectiveness of one of your senses can be more powerful than sleeping pills. Sleeping more soundly through the night isn’t technically “adding” an hour, but it will feel like it.
2. Do you wake up really early from stress…
…and then just lie there? Take steps right now to address your anxiety:
- Journal before bed
-Tell yourself, confidently, that you will have a good night’s sleep
- Remind yourself that it’s really okay if you don’t have a good night’s sleep
- Try ten minutes of stretching, a cup of chamomile tea, or a twenty-minute hot bath to help ease stress.
1. Simply grin and bear it?
Learn to get by on less sleep with positive rather than negative tools. Instead of forcing your eyelids open by way of a morning blazing hot shower and endless cups of coffee, get energy from other sources, such as more nutritionally dense foods (protein and fat), daily vigorous exercise (just 15 minutes is all you need), and listening to upbeat music.
Here’s one way to wake up:
How many alarm clocks do YOU need?
How do you get a good night’s sleep? Share your tips!
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