Dog-tired? A nighttime ritual to help you feel more rested

Have you ever found yourself drudging through the day wishing there was something you could do to feel well-rested and alert? Unfortunately, most people have responsibilities like work or children that mean they have little control over what time they wake up in the morning. But that doesn’t mean you’re destined for a lifetime of drowsiness. That’s because the key to getting more sleep might have nothing to do with waking up later and everything to do with going to bed earlier.

The problem? You can’t seem to stop staying up later than intended. You watch one more episode of your favorite show, relentlessly check your devices to see if you have new emails or wander down the rabbit hole of internet news and videos.

That’s what these tips are for—they will help you get into a better bedtime routine so that you wake up feeling better, mentally and physically.

  • Set an alarm. Think of everything you need to get done to prepare for bed and calculate how much time that takes. Then set two alarms – one for when you want to be asleep in order to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep and one for when you need to start preparing for bed. The sense of urgency will ensure that you don’t procrastinate.
  • Keep your laptop, iPad and phone out of arm’s reach and turn off your TV. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted to use your electronic devices from bed: It may actually make you less productive at your job. If you use your phone as an alarm, place it across the room, which will also help you get out of bed in order to turn it off in the morning.
  • Brush your teeth right after dinner. (Okay, maybe you can squeeze dessert in first.) Brushing your teeth not only knocks one more bedtime preparedness item off your list, but it also signifies that you’re winding down for the evening.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, pick up a book. Reading is great for your mental health, and unlike TV or surfing the internet, reading can actually help you fall asleep faster.

 

Photo credit: Chris

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