I’ve been an insomniac for a very long time. I’ve known that I needed to focus on my sleep for years, and finally, I’ve decided I really need to figure out how I can get more sleep.
My average sleep during the night over the last week was 5,5 hours. For you, that may not sound like much, but for me as an insomniac, that is a huge leap compared to my usual pattern of tossing and turning.
I’ve written about sleep before, but I’ve tried a couple of different approaches now, that seem to help even better.
Here are the seven things I do to get more sleep:
- Two timers
My evenings are ruled by two timers, one is set for 22:00 (or ten pm for the 12 hour clock peeps) and the other for 22:30. The first is a “only do relaxing stuff from now on”-alarm, the second a “put everything away except your Kindle”-alarm. This usually ensures that I am asleep around 23:00.
2. No news between 21:00 and 09:00
This is a recent rule but it really helps me so I share it. I was lying awake at night worrying about the world. I was driving myself into agony and then thought, “I’m not helping myself with this, nor the world. Why do I send myself into anxious spirals before sleep if there’s nothing I can do to change it?”
So, I quit reading the news late at night. And it does wonders for my sleep.
3. Staying hydrated
If I don’t stay hydrated, I wake up with a dry mouth, coughing my stomach up. So I take care to drink a glass of water before turning over to sleep.
I use an app called Journey to help me clear my mind by. If an idea or thought pops up I just grab my phone, write the idea and then close it again. I used to keep a journal next to my bed to do this, but I had to do a lot more for that to happen. Now I only need to grab my phone and that’s it.
5. Experimenting with when I eat
Another new habit. I’m intermittent fasting using a circadian rhythm, so I fast between 13 to 16 hours a day. I always had a late eating window, so I could eat dinner with my husband.
Now I’ve shifted my window to way earlier in the day and I’ve already started to notice how much easier it is to fall asleep now.
6. Only have powernaps
I used to sleep so badly at night that I felt I needed to nap in the afternoon when possible and sometimes slept for hours. Now I set a timer when I feel I’m getting sleepy so I only nap for half an hour at most.
7. Closing the day
I always take time to review my day, check off what I did in my planner, take notes on the next day. This clears my mind and gives me room to expand into the next day.