How to Sleep Early:10 Ways to Get to Bed Before Midnight
Nothing good happens after midnight.
I first heard this phrase while in the military.
It was true then; it is true now.
All sorts of shenanigans happen to those who are out on the town past midnight.
Even in a more sedentary, “stay at home” lifestyle, nothing good happens after midnight.
Think of the common reasons to stay up to the wee hours of the night:
- Video Games
- Watching the paint dry…
To those night owls who want to increase productivity and have a happier lifestyle, a “Sleep Before Midnight” habit may be the perfect remedy. In this post, we shall discuss ten tips for getting to sleep early.
Sleeping Our Lives Away: How Much Sleep Do We Need?
One of the things many people wonder is how much sleep we actually need. Chance are you’ve heard that people need 8 hours. That means that 1/3 of your life is spent sleeping.
The fact is sleep is a genetic predisposition. Some people “need” 5 hours and some require 8. But 8 hours is actually on the “long” side of sleep needed, and according to recent sleep studies : 8 hours may be too much.
Since most people wake up between 6 am to 8 am, it’s important to set your target goal to around midnight. This means you’ll get a minimum of 6 hours of full rest, which will help you be productive and energetic throughout the day.
10 Tips for Getting to Sleep before Midnight
Like all habits, if you get to sleep before midnight for 30 days straight, it will become part of your routine. Over time, you will find that you won’t need to “force yourself” to do this every day.
Here are 10 tips ways that can help you get to sleep early:
1. Use soothing sounds.
There is a reason why lullabies put babies to sleep. The mind and body desire rest when they hear restful and peaceful sounds. Soft soothing music, a white noise generator (here is one I recommend) or even simple earplugs will provide the soothing sounds we need to fall asleep.
2. Go to sleep earlier.
If your goal is to be asleep by midnight, this doesn’t mean you MUST stay up to midnight. Going to sleep as early as 10PM directly leads to being relaxed and fast asleep by midnight.
3. Expend energy during the day.
This one is simple. If you are exhausted from physical exercise it is far easier to sleep at night. A workout JUST before your sleep, however is counterproductive.
4. Cut out caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes before sleep.
All of these interfere with getting to sleep and can make feel “wired” throughout the evening.
5. Imagine a relaxing scene.
Picture yourself walking along a beach, garden path or getting a relaxing massage. This visualization makes falling to sleep far easier than worrying about what’s going on in your life. Leave the heavy thinking for the daytime.
6. Do not go from TV/PC directly to bed.
Studies have shown that back-lit screen use (TV, PC, Cell Phones) at night can lead to sleep disorders. It is far better to do a bit of paperwork, read a book or just unwind with your loved ones before going to sleep.
7. Make your bedroom for sleeping.
Keep the modern distractions out. Get rid of the TV, PC and stereo in your bedroom. Make it a place to get your full night’s rest.
8. Fix the temperature.
Like Goldilocks, you want your bedroom temp to be, “just right.” Your bedroom should be cool, but not cold, to help promote sleep.
9. Get a comfortable sleep environment.
Keep your sheets fresh and laundered. Make sure your pillow is comfortable. You spend nearly 1/3 of your life in bed, so do it in style and comfort.
10. Deep Breathing.
Take long, slow deep breathes. Inhale slowly. Exhale slowly. Think of the relaxing scene from tip #5.
If you follow these tips you should have no problems with getting to sleep before midnight. It may take some time for your body to get used to this new routine. But you can also try a 30 day challenge, to turn it into a permanent activity.
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