We’ve all had evenings where our workload kept us up well longer than intended. A recent study found 35% of the American population gets the recommended eight hours of sleep every night.
Lack of sleep has also been found to be a contributor to the most prevalent fatal health issues in the country, including cancer and heart disease. Simply put, sleep needs to be a priority.
With a good night’s sleep, you can:
- Work harder
- Get more done during the day
- Enjoy loved ones and time together
- Live longer
With that being said, it can be understandably hard to ignore the continually long to-do lists and actually head to bed.
So if you need help making sleep a top priority in your everyday routine, turn to these tricks that will make it easier to hit the pillow.
1. Create an Enticing Bedtime Routine
Our brains like patterns and rewards and a good bedtime routine can help our brains recognize that it is time to get to sleep and be excited about the prospect.
Save appropriate activities you enjoy until the minutes leading up to bedtime. By creating a new and enjoyable routine, you’ll not only signal to your brain that sleep is on the horizon, but you’ll also look forward to going to bed.
2. Create a Sanctuary
A bedroom can so often double as an office, an exercise room, a dining area, an entertainment center, and a list of other purposes when we’re wide awake.
But by re-purposing your sleeping space, you’re making it more difficult actually to go to bed. Leave the laptops and cell phones out of the bedroom, as well as the snacks, televisions, excess paperwork, and clutter.
Just as a clean desk or workspace allows us to feel focused and productive, a streamlined and peaceful bedroom allows us to feel blissfully tired.
3. Keep Bedtime Consistent
You may have stayed up late once or twice cramming for a test, or preparing for a big meeting at work, but this should never become a routine.
Scientists have found that people get the most beneficial hormonal secretions and bodily recovery in between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., which can help us feel sharp and focused the next day more than late night cramming ever could.
4. Take Stock of your Workload
If you’re on the go from the moment you wake up until you head to bed, it’s time to take a look at your over-packed schedule and see if there is breathing room to be made.
Obviously, the busier we are during the day, the less time we have for sleep, but being busy and being efficient aren’t always the same thing.
Re-prioritize your schedule and learn to say no to tasks that aren’t instrumental to make extra hours in the day to relax and to get into a calm and sleep-inducing state of mind.
5. Think of Sleep as an Investment
If someone told you that if you did “X” for one or two hours more every day, you would be smarter, more focused, more productive, happier and live longer, wouldn’t you do it? What if it took almost no effort at all to accomplish?
Because that is exactly what sleep does. A little extra sleep has a wealth of benefits to your brain, your mood, and your overall health in every conceivable way.
So think of sleep as an investment to everything that’s important in your life and something that deserves to be a priority. By thinking of sleep as the instrumental health and work benefit it is, you’ll be able to give it the dedication and attention it deserves.
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