We all pine for more sleep, yours truly included. Here are some guidelines on improving your sleep as well as tips to get a better night sleep. 😴😴😴
We get it drilled into our heads from childhood that we need 8 hours of sleep but not much is discussed beyond that about the other factors that are important for good sleep. It is key to focus on consistency, quality, and quantity - not just quantity.
CONSISTENCY ~ same wake time and bed time
QUALITY ~ cool dark room, blocking out outside sounds with earplugs, so you can reach deep sleep
QUANTITY ~ for some it is 8 hours but it can range from 7-10 hrs/night depending on the person. To find out how many hours you need a night, track how many hours you sleep for a week without using an alarm to wake up. See what time you wake up each morning without an alarm, and gauge the hours. It will likely oscillate around the same amount of hours
- i.e. If I go to bed at midnight, I naturally wake up around 9am. I need about 9 hours of sleep on average. I test this theory by having the same bedtime every night for a week and seeing when I wake up each day without an alarm.
Now that you understand the 3 key factors to improve your sleep, here are some tips to try out:
🌃1. Keep the same bedtime & wake time
🌃2. Use Black out Windows ~ this has been a game changer for me personally in really hitting that deep rem sleep, I simply use black trash bags taped on my bedroom windows which are hidden by my regular curtains. It’s cheap and easy. You can also buy black out shades online:)
🌃3. Aim for 9hrs ~ Sleep cycles range around 90m and rem sleep is later in night but with variability so test out whether you do better with 8/9/even 10 hrs a night.
🌃4. Have a Wind Down Routine ~ Get in PJs, light candles, read before bed, have a hot shower
🌃5. No Phone in the Bedroom ~ Use an old school alarm clock. It will cut down on being lured to ‘set your alarm’ and get sucked into emails/instagram etc
🌃6.Dim Lights ~ light dimmers are a great diy thing you can do in your home and are a good method to help nudge your brain in direction of slowing down/preparing for bed
The Trip Ups To Avoid:
Catch up on weekends = Don't try and play catch up on weekends = Sleeping in to 'make up' for lost sleep in the week will throw off your sleep cycles, and cause more 'tired' feeling during the following week. Yes, sleep in a bit on the weekends if you need to catch up on lost sleep/you are tired but try not to go more than 10-12 hrs
- Avoid the 12+ hr nights = By and large try to avoid having days where you sleep 12+ hours in one night (extenuating circumstances obviously not included) as this will throw off your sleep as well, making it hard to get to sleep the next night.
You now have a more holistic understanding of 'good sleep.' You should feel empowered with this knowledge that there are a lot more ways to tackle improving your sleep, beyond just the numbers i.e. you can improve the quality of your sleep, you can improve the consistency of when you go to sleep/wake up.
In addition, you have some practical tips to try out to see what works for you!
I wish you sweet dreams, and of course am always an email away if you want help on your sleep woes :)