Sleep, that is.
A few of my recent posts mentioned that I’ve been having a hard time sleeping in the morning. Regardless of what time I go to bed or set my alarm, I wake up anywhere between 4:30 and 6:30. That 4:30 happened last Saturday. A SATURDAY! A Saturday on which I later attended my sister’s bachelorette party, which kept me up until about 2 only to wake up the next morning at 6:30. That’s when I realized this is pretty much unacceptable!
Everyone has sleep issues every now and then and can agree that a few weeks of it starts to wear on you. This week I decided to focus on recouping some of the sleep I’ve been losing and getting back into better sleeping habits with the help of some popular sleep advice.
Avoid caffeine AND alcohol close to bedtime.
I’m mostly just a morning coffee drinker and if I really want a soda, I usually have it by 1 or 2 in the afternoon, which I generally believe is the cutoff for caffeine. I drink alcohol maybe once every two weeks, so that’s not really an issue.
Keep a consistent sleep schedule.
I have a bit of an issue with this one because with no kids or pets and different obligations on different days of the week, not every day is the same. During the week, some days I want to work out before work, so I get up at 5, some days I want to “sleep in” and I get up at 6. On the weekends, actually sleeping in (8…9…10) would be glorious, but that’s not a consistent schedule. This week I’ve been focusing on at least keeping a regular bedtime.
Have a night-time routine.
This may be more for people who have trouble falling asleep, but for me, it means that I plan to make my lunch and pack my bag for the next day so I’m not woken up with thoughts of all the things I have to do before I can get out the door in the morning. It’s also important for me to start getting ready for bed early enough so that I’m not rushing around getting things done when I’m already tired and 30 minutes after I wanted to be asleep.
Make your bedroom sleep-compatible.
I’m blaming the majority of my sleep problems on the street light that comes through my window and plan to put up blackout curtains soon. Until then, I’ve started using a sleep mask. I know this is a big no-no, but I usually fall asleep with the TV on, but make sure that the timer turns off that source of light. I also keep my room cool so I can cuddle into my covers.
I generally don’t have time to nap except on the weekends. If I train hard on a Saturday or Sunday (and most likely woke up early), I’ll allow a little couch snooze in the late morning or early afternoon, but for the most part, if I’m tired because I woke up too early, I’ll keep myself up and go to bed early to get better sleep that night.
I took a little break last week and think that may also have something to do with my inability to sleep. When I have trouble sleeping, I start thinking I’m too tired to exercise or that I shouldn’t get up for pre-work workouts because I need sleep more, but I always feel better after I work out and my body is used to burning off some kind of energy daily so I’m adding that back to my routine.
My brain needs time to unwind before I try to fall asleep, so I’m trying to get off the computer about an hour before bed.
Do you have trouble sleeping? What works for you if you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early?