Jump Start: Self Care September: Day 17
It’s Day 17 of our Jump Start month, and we’re on the third day of Relax and Sleep Better week. Today we’re looking at setting a healthy sleeping pattern.
Most of us are at least a bit sleep deprived. We all know that the majority of us would benefit from getting seven or eight hours of sleep per night, but we often don’t get what we need.
Some of it is from external factors (noisy neighbours, kids, pets, night owl partners, insomnia and other health problems etc), but today let’s look at what we can personally control.
Start by looking at your natural waking up times. For example, my natural waking up time is before 7am, but I sometimes override that and go back to sleep because I’m tired from the night before.
Now look at your natural time for feeling sleepy in the evening. This might be more difficult – it’s easy to get disconnected from those natural rhythms if you’re taking in a lot of caffeine during the day, or you sit motionless in front for the TV for hours at night. If in doubt, cut back on both of those and you’ll soon find there’s a time when you naturally start to wind down.
Keeping to a regular bedtime and waking up time is one of the best ways to get the most restful sleep, because your body responds best to a routine. The easiest way to set a good sleep pattern is to work with your own natural rhythms.
Of course, life can and will get in the way – for example you might need to get up early to commute to work or look after kids, or have a job that finishes late in the evening. If that’s the case, you should still be able to work out a reasonable sleep pattern in most cases.
Tonight, pick a time to start winding down, and a time to start going to sleep. That’s it, all you have to do is stick to it.
Now, get to bed! I’m going to go to bed an hour earlier than usual, and read for half an hour. What are you going to do?