I love sleeping. It’s one of my absolute favorite hobbies. If I didn’t have so many other things to do, I’d sleep for 12 hours a day. Instead I have to settle for eight hours.
What I don’t like is that it takes me forever to fall asleep — often because my brain won’t be quiet. Is this really the time to wonder which person living or dead has the most portraits in existence, brain? No, please just shut up and let me go to sleeeeep! I’ve lain in bed for hours just because my brain still wants to think about useless things.
So then I enacted the go-to-bed alarm…
Just like my alarm clock in the morning, I programmed my phone to chime every evening at 8:45. It’s not a jump-in-bed-and-turn-out-the-lights-right-now alarm, but rather a cue to start winding things down. Wrap up any chores or projects, put dirty dishes in the sink, change into jammies. If I’m not home, time to start thinking about heading home.
Another self-imposed rule is to turn off all screens. No more just-one-more-Buzzfeed-article on the computer, no just-one-more-episode-of-Friends on the TV, no just-a-quick-scroll-through-Facebook on my phone. Admittedly, sometimes I’ll cheat and extend things until 9:00 or 9:15. But the idea is to decrease stimulation and quiet my brain. Instead I might take a bath, do some tidying up, lay things out for the next day, and then curl up with a (not-overly-exciting) book.
By the time the lights turn out at 10:00, my body and brain are rested enough to be ready for a good night’s sleep.
So that’s what works for me in my life. How about you? Do you have any bedtime routines to help you get your Zzzzs?