Most of us don’t need to be told twice that we don’t get enough sleep (go to my last article for more on this). Where you probably need more help is how to get better sleep and wake up feeling more rested.
Maybe you’ve tried going to bed earlier, putting your phone on airplane mode, bed, or taking a supplement like melatonin. While all of these are viable solutions (except maybe melatonin - more on that in upcoming articles), there lies a deeper layer when it comes to impacting your sleep and/or chronic fatigue.
Before we can jump into solutions to better sleep, a key step to this process is checking in with your current habits and behaviors.
By taking an inventory, you’ll be prepared to ease into change and understand your existing habits in a deeper way.
Self-monitoring is a tool used to become more aware of one’s emotions and behaviors in certain settings, then observe and adjust these behaviors based on how they’re affecting your and your environment. This is a great tool if used intentionally when making any lifestyle change!
When it comes to improving sleep, it is important to use a tool such as this to help take note of current behaviors and factors that are playing a role in poor sleep quality that you may not even realize.
I recommend taking out a notebook, and make some observations about your current sleep habits using the questions below as guidance:
What time do you go to bed each night?
Does it vary on certain days, like the weekend?
What time do you wake up? Do you need an alarm or do you wake up naturally?
How many times do you wake up to use the bathroom?
When is your last meal before bed, and what are you eating?
Do you nap? How long and when?
Do you fall asleep on the couch and then go to bed?
Do you exercise? If so, how soon before bed?
What are your screen time habits before bed? This includes TV, tablet, phone, etc.
How much caffeine do you have daily? What time is your last cup?
How much alcohol do you have daily? What time is your last drink?
For the next 7 days, track your sleep time, wake time, and how rested you feel in the morning. Note which days you sleep better/worse and investigate what is different about those days. You’d be surprised how much self-monitoring can show you as far as which habits may be causing the biggest issue with your sleep!
In my next blog, we’re going to dive deeper into some practical sleep strategies. Come prepared with that inventory, you don’t want to miss it!
If you want to check out some breathing exercises to help relax you and get you to sleep quicker now, try these here.
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