If you’re anything like me, you “go to bed at 11,” but between catching up on my favorite shows and checking email and social media one last time, you actually go to bed sometime after midnight – which probably means you’re not sleeping as much or as deeply as you should be. So how can you actually make yourself get to bed at a reasonable hour? (Without getting up to check your phone every 5 seconds.)
Keep phone use to a minimum
I know, I know, you’ve probably heard this over and over again – but seriously, you’ll have a much easier time falling asleep at night if you stop staring at screens an hour or more before lights out. If you really just can’t resist the pull of Netflix or one last scroll through Instagram, try an app like F.lux, which is designed to dim your computer or phone screen throughout the day based on the time of day and the surrounding light levels. That way, an overly-bright screen won’t leave you lying awake even after you’ve put your phone down for the night.
Write it out
If it’s worries or extra work that keeps you from heading to bed at a reasonable hour, try taking 5 or 1o minutes each night to make a to-do list, write in your planner or get your major sources of stress onto paper. When you have your to-do list tucked away in a place where you can deal with it in the morning, it won’t keep you lying awake at night.
Sleep with your phone across the room
If you’re sleeping with your phone under your pillow or on your nightstand, you’re probably not doing yourself any favors. Ever gotten up after 10 minutes of trying to fall asleep only to check your phone one last time? Yeah. When you sleep with your phone off or across the room you won’t allow yourself to push back your bedtime any further.
Move your workout to the morning
If you’re feeling overactive at night, all it may take is a simple switch to your workout routine to make falling asleep easier. Try squeezing your workout in in the morning, or at least 4 hours or more before bedtime. Studies have shown that working out earlier in the day can cause you to feel more ready for bed at night, but that working out too close to bed can keep you awake.
Create a routine
Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids. If you create a routine for yourself at night and start getting ready for bed sooner (personally, I love putting on my PJs and doing a face mask), your body will gradually associate your before-bed routine with being tired. You’ll fall asleep faster and won’t be able to use the excuse, “I’m too tired to get up and take out my contacts,” to stay up later.
[Photo: Barefoot Blonde]