When you talk to people about habits one of the recurring things that people want to learn to do is to get up earlier. What is the secret for getting up early consistently? Going to bed early!
I know sometimes this can be really difficult! I haven’t been so strict with myself with getting to sleep early the past week. Our clocks got switched for daylight savings which mucked up my body clock a bit and then we have had a lot of extra things on which has been really busy. I think it is perfectly alright in times of extra stress and busyness to be kind to your body and to give it the extra sleep that it needs. Learning to listen to your own body is so important to stay healthy!
Getting enough sleep is so important for our bodies and minds and in times of stress we often need more sleep.
Here are ten tips that I plan to start using soon to get to sleep earlier:
1. Write out your to-do list: Get everything out of your head the night before. Don’t lie in bed thinking about what you need to get done the next day or what you will wear the next morning! Have your clothes laid out and your list made.
2. Drink herbal tea: Drink something relaxing like herbal tea before you go to sleep. There is a wide range of herbs that are beneficial for relaxation and sleep.
3. Calm your mind: I cannot stop raving about the benefits of yoga and meditation! But they both help you to connect more with your body and disconnect you from your recurring thoughts. I always feel so calm after I meditate. I think yoga is perhaps becoming more mainstream but meditation is still considered a bit alternative but I think eventually meditation will definitely become mainstream.
4. Take magnesium: Magnesium supplements taken half an hour before bed helps to relax your muscles and also helps you to sleep!
5. Get your family on board: This is a difficult one! It is hard to get to sleep early when other people are still up moving around. Try and get your family or partner on board with going to sleep earlier and waking earlier also. Perhaps you could include them in some of your routines. The other night I did my evening yoga practice with my son – he really loved it!
6. Screen-free time: Try and keep at least half an hour before you go to sleep phone or screen free. A tip that I am going to start doing soon is to put my phone in flight mode at a set time. I will probably set it for eight pm. Set an alarm if it helps to remind you to switch off!
7. Limit evening work: I have been doing a bit of work in the evening lately and I find that with evening work it is really hard to ‘switch off’ even if you try and set an end time you will often go over. You can’t really do evening work and then get up early and work. It has to be one or the other. Getting up earlier is much better for our natural circadian rhythms.
8. Exercise every day: If your body is physically tired you will get to sleep much quicker. Try and do some form of exercise every day. Perhaps something like running or cardio each morning and then yoga in the evening to unwind. Think about what pockets of time you might have available in your day and what forms of exercise you could fit into each one. The current research is finding that short spurts of regular exercise throughout our day is healthier and more beneficial to our bodies than doing a lot of exercise all at once. e g. going for a long run.
9. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Create a lovely relaxing ritual before you go to sleep. Switch off devices, do some yoga, light a candle and take a bath or shower, then meditate or read. Change it up and figure out what works best for you.
10. Set a bed-time: We adults need bedtimes too! Find out your ideal bed-time using this calculator.
Do you struggle with getting to bed early?
(Photo: Tobias Greitzke)