Do you struggle to get to bed on time? Here are some tips that might help you get to bed earlier and get more sleep.
It Used to Be Simple
When I was young and single, getting to bed on time was not a problem for me. In fact, when I was in my early twenties, I would go to bed at 9:30 and wake up at 5:45.
My family thought I was crazy, but I persisted with this early-rising habit because I simply loved being up before the sun. Having time to read and pray before starting the day helped me make it through my long day at work.
It was easy back then, because I had only myself to manage, and life was just so much simpler in many ways!
After getting married and starting a family, I found it increasingly difficult to get to bed at a decent hour. Some weeks are better than others (depending on how busy we are that week), but I’m still struggling to hit my target bedtime consistently.
Because I know I personally need around 8 hours of sleep to feel rested, I have a hard time getting by with just 6 or 7 (which is what I’ve been doing lately).
During this past week of The Mom Makeover Challenge, I didn’t hit my ideal target bedtime even once. It’s a challenge, but I’m not going to give up on my target bedtime.
Here are the steps I’m taking to hopefully get to bed on time and get more sleep.
Create a Bedtime Routine
This is probably the best piece of advice I’ve ever seen for restructuring bedtime. Create a peaceful and predictable bedtime ritual that will give your body the hint that bedtime is coming.
Your routine can include:
- Picking up your living area
- Making a list of things to do tomorrow
- Drinking chamomile tea
- Getting ready for bed (bath, brushing teeth, etc.)
You can choose whatever it is that helps you get ready for the coming day and signals to your body that it’s time for bed.
Shut Down Early
Be sure to stay away from screens of all kinds at least an hour before bed. TV and Internet (and phones) can be way too stimulating right before bed.
The blue light they emit can affect sleep cycles and interfere with circadian rhythms.
Sometimes, when you’re trying to form a new habit, it’s helpful to come up with reminders to alert yourself to the fact that bedtime is coming.
This is part of the power of your bedtime routine, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Sometimes you need an external reminder.
Here are a few external reminders you might want to try:
- Set an alarm on a watch or on your phone to tell you it’s time for bed
- Ask your spouse or someone else to remind you
- Have your computer automatically shut down at a certain time
Just Get Up
Some sleep experts recommend not focusing on bedtime, but just making sure you set your alarm and get up at the same time every day. Apparently, you’ll potentially feel miserable for a week or two, but then your sleep/wake cycle will even out and you’ll start to feel great.
The nice thing about this method is that you might be so tired that you actually look forward to bedtime! 🙂
Keep Track of Your Progress
Something that really motivates me is checking things off on a list. For this reason, I find to-do lists, planners, and habit trackers highly motivating.
I love using the goal trackers in my goal-setting planner, but I needed a bit more. Earlier this year I created my own habit tracker as part of a 7 Habits of Highly Effective Homemakers printable set. If you’re a subscriber, you probably already received this, but if you didn’t get one yet, you can get it below.
This set of printables includes a list of the 7 habits, the habit tracker, and a daily docket (in 3 color options).
Week 2 Progress Report
As I mentioned above, I didn’t hit my goal bedtime this week. But in continuing on with the challenge, I’m planning to use the tools in this post to help me get there. I’m actually planning to try the “just get up” approach. I’m planning to set my alarm and get up early no matter what time I went to bed!
Next week we’ll be working on exercising more consistently!
Other posts in the Mom Makeover Challenge series:
- The Mom Makeover Challenge Week 1: Renew Your Mind
- Week 1 Progress Report: 5 Bible Verses for Hard Times
- The Mom Makeover Challenge Week 2: Make Sleep a Priority
- Week 2 Progress Report: How to Get to Bed on Time