Hey everyone! It’s been awhile but my first semester was a little busier than I had bargained for but with the new year and the start of a new semester I’m working on plans to have a more organized and less stressful life. Hopefully leaving more time for blogging!
They way I’m organizing my goals this year is a handful of little goals which will help me achieve a bigger one. And the bigger one is to focus on sleeping better!
I’ve had trouble sleeping for about 4 years now. It’s not unbearably bad. I just know that it could be better and that it would help me. Growing up I was a great sleeper. My mom loves to tell the story about how when I was an infant if she wanted be to sleep so she could get some housework done all she had to do was put me in my car seat and I would drift off just in anticipation of a ride in the car. I could fall asleep anywhere.
My freshman year of undergrad I got a really bad concussion and ever since I have had problems sleeping, difficulty falling asleep, waking up early and not being able to go back to sleep, waking up repetitively throughout the night, or just waking up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. It was the worst right after my concussion and has been gradually been getting better. While it is improving I know I could be making better choices to further improve my sleep.
That is the inspiration for most of my resolutions this year. I’ve done some reading looking for the so called ‘tips and tricks’ to getting better sleep and I found the ones I think will make the most sense in my life and help me make sleep a priority.
Goals to help me sleep:
- Exercise more regularly- Exercise has been found to improve sleep. I also think is can be helpful in mitigating stress which can negatively effect sleep (and for me probably has been).
- Have a more organized schedule- I’m really trying to plan ahead this semester to keep from having to stay up late to finish projects or cram at the last minute. I started to take this approach at the end of last semester and it went really well. While there are some aspects of schedule that I don’t have as much control over if I plan better what I can control I think it will work well. I’m also hoping this helps me avoid wasting time, leading to latter stress.
- Cut back on drinking- While I don’t think I drink in excess to the point that it is messing with my sleep (I already don’t usually drink on weekdays) I know that is can affect sleep so I will continue to avoid that and drink less on weekends as well.
- Cut off caffeine after 4pm- Last semester I had late exams, review sessions, and colloquiums and got in the habit of drinking coffee late in the day to stay awake. I plan to replace late day caffeine with other pick my ups like a cold glass of water or a short walk.
- Have two bedtimes- I read about this and loved the idea! You have one bed time thats the time to stop working and start relaxing and getting ready for bed. Its will be my time to put away my phone, turn of the tv, dim the lights, maybe have some calming tea and start my bedtime routine of washing my face, (sometimes) doing a face mask, moisturizing, brushing my teeth, and reading a little before turning off the lights and closing my eyes at real bed time. I’m thinking bedtime one will be around 9pm.
- Have a sleep schedule- I think this will be one of the hardest parts for me because my Monday through Friday afternoon schedule (early (sometimes really early) mornings) is so different from my Friday night through Sunday schedule and I hate the idea of not sleeping late on weekends so I’m going to start with this as more of a flexible goal to aim to be in bed by 10pm (especially on weekdays) and to get up around 6:15am.
While I’m hopeful these new practices will have me getting better sleep and feeling well rested, I know I still won’t always wake up feeling like I got a full 8 hours sleeping on a cloud. So I found some times to better deal with those day without messing with my goals.
- Let the sun in! While this is weather dependent, sunlight can help you to feel more awake and alert.
- Drink Plenty of water!
- Don’t overcompensate by going to bed the minute I get home, further messing with my sleep schedule.
Let me know if you have any tricks you use for sleeping well of if you try any of the ones I’m planning on using! Happy New Year!