Time to Sleep

For the next month I’m going to work on sorting out my sleep. I’ve been getting insufficient sleep for months and it’s time to fix it.

I’ve been “trying” to improve my sleep over the past few months, but I haven’t taken a committed approach. Each time I have attempted to improve my situation I’ve seen inflexible barriers where they don’t really exist. For example:

  • I can’t get up later than 5am because I need to exercise, meditate and shower before my daughter is up
  • I want to spend some quiet time of an evening to calm my mind and prepare from the next day before bed
  • Having a toddler or working during the day means mornings and evenings are the only times I can do things on my own

In reality, it’s about priorities.

I got some background for this month by listening to a great podcast episode on sleep. It’s from 2017, however I think the information is relevant. Take 40 min to listen to Hurry Slowly (#10) – Sigrid Veasey: The Science of Sleep or follow the link to get an overview from the podcast website.

Reflecting on Sleep

  • 6 hours average on weeknights, 7 hours on weekends
  • Lots of sugar and caffeine to get through the day
  • Napping whenever possible
  • Feeling too tired to engage in life how I’d like (eg. playing with my daughter)
  • Increased frustration throughout the day (eg. at family or when driving)
  • Depression/anxiety are worse the more sleep deprived I get
  • Regular illness

Sleep Goals

  • To get 8 hours sleep each night (history has demonstrated that this is a good amount for me)
  • To still be able to fit in sufficient other activities for self care, like my morning exercise
  • Stop napping during the day
  • Improvements in mood, diet, energy levels and general health would be a bonus, however since they’re impacted by more than my sleep I don’t think I can write a clear goal

Strategies

Things that are working:

  • Using my phone for an alarm, but keeping it on the far side of the room and don’t use it in bed
  • Rarely drinking coffee after midday
  • Taking some time to wind down of an evening so I fall asleep easier and have better quality sleep

Things to consider:

  • Getting to bed earlier – maybe starting with being in bed at 9.30pm and moving it to 9pm later in the month.
  • Foregoing some of my evening routine in favour of sleep
  • Eating dinner earlier – perhaps with my daughter or having it ready to go as soon as my husband gets home
  • Really considering what tasks need to get done – are they worth sacrificing sleep for?

Do you have any tips for getting more sleep?

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