How to get more sleep.

bed time

Like many modern folk I wake most mornings feeling tired and unready for the day ahead. The simple answer to this is to go to bed earlier. But how do I make myself actually go to bed earlier?

I have read many things that agree that a good 8 hours sleep is important for health and happiness. And several bloggers I read say they go to bed much earlier than I do. They claim the benefits of waking early and well rested. I tend to agree with them that this is a good idea.

I think it is important to have a habit of going to bed at the same time every night. The tricky part for me is actually doing it. When 11pm comes I’m just quickly checking facebook or did someone email me back yet. Or checking my wordpress stats. Or just playing one more map of a video game.

A few months ago I decided I need an automatic reminder. I bought a simple plug in digital timer to use with my modem/router. My internet goes off at 10.30 every night and comes on in the morning for me to write. No computer distraction to keep me awake after 10.30. In theory. Often though I will switch the internet back on to just finish typing an email or last night to post a video on my blog. Then I’ll have a look a something else etc… Last night I was asleep about 12, which is not quite enough sleep. That idea works to an extent. It helps remind me it’s time to stop and go to bed.

My latest idea is to set up a daily event on google calendar with a reminder. My phone should ping me and I’ll get an email and a popup in gmail. Just a little reminder should help. Then I will make it progressively earlier in 5 minute steps. Hopefully I will end up getting more sleep every day. Yes I will have less free time in the evenings but I will enjoy it more as I will be less tired. And I’ll have more energy in the mornings.

Part of it I know is getting up at the same time every day and I’m getting better at that. You get more weekend if you don’t sleep in on Saturday and Sunday. I like that.

Another tip is to be ready for bed well in advance. Teeth brushed, ready for sleep and prepared for tomorrow well before bedtime. This tip comes from Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project.

Lets see how that goes. Got any tips for me?