Finally – My tips on a Good Night’s Sleep

Fact #1: I need at least 7 hours’ sleep

  • I have no trouble getting to sleep – it’s just staying asleep that I find a challenge.
  • I can get by with 6 hours’ sleep.
  • 8 hours is just fine.
  • But anything above or below is problematic for me.

I know this because I frequently wake up after just 5 or 5 and a half hours’ sleep.   And because I can’t get back to sleep, I never feel fully rested. Instead, I feel a little numb and not as sharp as I would like.  And I also find that without the right amount of sleep, I am unable to tick off a good deal of my to-do list

If I sleep for more than 8 hours, I feel sluggish and regret having wasted a good part of the morning.  Even on weekends.  Even when I’m away on holiday.

 

Fact #2: I need to turn off all Tech

I read somewhere that making sure that you turn off your computer, tablet, phone and any other devices, at least 30 minutes before going to bed helps to ensure a decent night’s sleep.  Apparently the blue light that these devices emit hinders sleep.

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Working from home as I do, I am surrounded by technology.  My desktop computer, my tablet and my mobile phone are always close by.

Turning off my computer is easy – I normally stop work at around 6pm – I just turn off my machine and close my office door.

But I belong to a reading group, and I used to be in the habit of taking my tablet to bed with me to read our current book before going to sleep.  So I have started reading for up to half an hour each evening, and then turning the tablet off.  And then I leave it downstairs, in the living room, each night.

With regards to my mobile phone, as well as using it for calls, I have a tendency to check my mail and some of my social media accounts.  I also tend to use it as an alarm each morning which guarantees its position on my bedside table.

Well, now I also leave it downstairs with my tablet.

And we don’t have a TV in our bedroom!

 

Fact #3: I need regular exercise

This is no revelation to me, and I workout between four and five times a week.  Fortunately this is a habit that I no longer have to think about. The received advice is to workout at least 3 hours before bedtime.  My preferred exercise time is the morning.

 

Fact #4: I try not to eat late

This is easier said than done, but I do try to leave at least two hours between eating supper and going to bed.  There is enough available research that advises against caffeine and alcohol before bed, but I reckon that I do need a treat once in a while (especially at the weekends and holidays!)

 

Fact #5: I organise my mind

I update my diary for the next day’s tasks so that I don’t have these thoughts going around my head while I’m trying to sleep!

This little act quietens my mind – and it’s such an easy thing to do.  I normally tap things that come to mind straight into my tablet before I put it away each evening.

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Fact #6: I have a bedtime routine

I rather suspect that this is the key element of my recent success.  Nothing more to it but a routine!

  • So hubby and I watch something on TV together – maybe a film or a favourite show (crime thrillers do it for me!)  Conveniently this tends to happen at around 9pm.  By this time we will have eaten supper.
  • At 10pm we turn the TV off and I will read for 20 minutes before finally turning off my tablet.
  • At 11pm, I will go upstairs to bed.

And because I work from home, having my alarm clock (not mobile phone) set for 7am SHOULD give me my 7 hours necessary.

So all I have to do is keep these six facts in mind and I will continue to sleep well every night (well, almost).

 

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