Have you ever woken up on a Monday morning, feeling like you haven't slept at all? You drag through your morning, the rest of your day and eventually through the rest of your week feeling like a zombie...hanging on juuuuust long enough to make it to your next cup of coffee. Yup. We've all been there. And up until recently, I was that person. All. the. time. Not only is it a terrible feeling, but for a busy person like myself, it makes it really difficult to get anything done. I was talking to my best friend (and avid reader of the blog) a few days ago, and she was telling me all about how she has been unable to sleep recently. When she described her all too familiar half-alive-half-awake state, I decided we had to get to the bottom of what was disturbing her sleep so badly. It turns out that it all boiled down to one little thing: her phone.
Ever since starting work, my husband has been on my back about proper "sleep hygiene". He's up between 4:30-5:00am for work, so good sleep is super important for him. I guess now it seems like a pretty obvious thing, but I'd never given it much thought before. Simply put, sleep hygiene is all the ways you can maximize restful sleep. For example, getting ready for bed early so you don't delay falling asleep, turning all the lights off once you get in bed, no electronics in the bedroom, not falling asleep to a TV, etc. For my friend, having her phone near her was disrupting her sleep the most. And I think that's true for the majority of people these days. For one, it prevents you from falling asleep. Regardless of what time you plan to sleep, there's always a delay because you're checking texts, emails, notifications, Instagram, voicemails and Twitter while laying in bed. When you finally put the phone down, your mind is racing with to do lists, e-mails to answer and texts from friends. A lot of people also tend to wake up in the middle of the night. And what's the first thing they do when they wake up? Reach for their phone. So rather than falling back asleep (which your body more than likely would have done on its own), you've let a ton of time pass by checking all your Instagram likes and stimulated your brain enough to a point where you can't fall back asleep.
Here's a few tips on how you can improve your sleep hygiene:
- Get ready for bed early!! Especially for you ladies that have a lengthy night routine (guilty). I can't tell you the number of times I've gone to bed almost an hour later than I should have, simply because I was putting off washing my face and brushing my teeth.
- Give yourself a "bed time" and get in bed at that time, regardless of whether or not you feel sleepy. We are constantly stimulating our brains with phones, tv's, computers, etc. so it's hard to tell when you are actually tired. Giving your brain time to unwind and shut down will help you fall asleep much faster.
- No gadgets in the bedroom! This is a big one. I try my hardest not to bring my laptop or ipad into bed with me because I inevitably waste time on them when I could be sleeping. Anything I need to do on them before bed, I do somewhere else like the dining table or my office.
- Don't look at your phone past your bed time. Set your alarm, plug your phone in the charger...and don't look at it until you wake up in the morning. Silence all your notifications so the buzzes and beeps don't wake you up in the middle of the night. If you're will power won't allow it, get an alarm clock instead and keep your phone in a different room overnight to resist the temptation.
- Go to bed early. It doesn't make you lame, or old. It makes you smart. Remember all those naps you wish you would have taken as a child? Now is your time to make up for it. Go to sleep early so you can wake up early!
I've gotten much better about maintaining good sleep hygiene and it has done wonders for my sleep. I go to bed on time, sleep throughout the night and as a result, I'm able to wake up early and get a ton of things done throughout the day. I used to dread waking up early, but now I actually look forward to my quiet time in the morning when I can drink my coffee, plan my to-do's and have a relaxing start to my day. Shout out to my handsome hubby and best friend for inspiring this post. Try out some of the tips and let me know how it works for you!! Happy Monday morning my loves!