You may not have heard of sleep procrastination, but it’s a safe bet that you have experienced it! Little kids are past masters at putting off the evil hour of bedtime, but even adults can find themselves avoiding going to bed at a reasonable time.
Whether it’s fear of missing out or getting caught up in a movie or book that’s too riveting to put down, sleep procrastination is a real thing. And lack of sleep sets you up for a bad day.
If you’re consistently not getting your recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, here are some tips to help you get to bed earlier.
- Check your evening activities
The first thing to do is to work out why you’re not getting to bed earlier. What activities are keeping you up? Are you still doing household chores or accounts right before bed? Make sure you get these chores out of the way early in the evening or at the weekend.
- Know your sleep needs
If you know you’re the sort of person who thrives on a good eight hours sleep, you need to make sure you get what you need. Some people do well on less sleep, while others need more. You might be keen to get to the gym first thing in the morning, or maybe you know you can’t face anything until after eight. Whatever your pattern, you need to calibrate your bedtime to match!
- Be flexible
Setting a cast iron bedtime is setting yourself up for failure. It can lead to insomnia as your anxiety levels rise if you’re not asleep by the appointed time.
Aim for a time and allow yourself an hour’s leeway and take the stress out of bedtime.
- Limit evening screentime
You’ve probably heard about the effect of electronic devices on sleep. There’s plenty of research that suggests that limiting screen time in the evening will help you sleep better, deeper and longer.
- Have a bedtime ritual
Work out what routine sets you up for a good night’s sleep. Your childhood bath warm milk and storytime will also work now you’re a grown-up. A bath with some aromatic oils will soothe and relax you. A warm drink of milk, honey, and cinnamon are calming. Reading a book in bed will soon lull you off to sleep.
However, you decide to deal with your sleep procrastination, be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up for not sleeping is a sure-fire recipe for insomnia. Working out the best bedtime for you will help you sleep better and set you up for a better day ahead.