It’s a workday, so this morning wasn’t my best morning. If it’s not a weekend, I hardly wake up with a smile on, because I just can’t get excited about getting out of bed. Every. Single. Morning. I struggle to wake up. It’s a true and constant battle, every morning. With Arianna Huffington’s new book out, The Sleep Revolution, there are a ton of articles (CC: Buzzfeed) circulating about how to wake up fresher than a daisy.
Because I don’t plan on reading a novel about how to have better sleep (didn’t we have great sleep when we were kids?!), I scoured the Internet for anything and everything I could find. Of course, there are the main habits they say you should monitor like your diet and stress, and that is something that I have taken into consideration here. There were a few other tips that I saw across sites that I decided to try:
- Immediately wake up and not hit snooze (mind over matter? but no matter what I’m still exhausted at first blink.)
- Make your bed so you feel accomplished immediately (I do and an accomplished feeling never follows).
- Keep the same schedule to fall asleep an wake up, even over weekends (I tried this for a month but would always slip one day and foil all the progress).
- Turn off all electronics an hour before bed. But what if we want to read a book on our tablet?!
As you can see, these tips just don’t cut it for me. This got me so frustrated, I decided I was going to take a stand. For the month of June, I dedicated my evenings to getting my sleep schedule figured out once and for all.
I can’t say I found the golden ticket, but I did start to notice some habits: as nights fell, I would obviously start thinking about tasks and the next day. I realized that I really needed to shape up my personal to-do’s, and I needed something positive to happen the next day. This article by The Muse takes you through an ideal day for productivity, and in turn I was inspired to think about what my perfect day looks like. As I thought about what was on my to-do list, I realized there are a crazy amount of small tasks that I constantly procrastinate. Things such as sending a few ‘catching up’ emails to old coworkers or friends to keep your relationship fresh, or taking 5-10 minutes to research something new to inspire you or filling out that rebate you’ve been meaning to send, are all just sitting there on a list.
My perfect day would be getting my to-do list checked off and actually doing my hair.
I decided to take action and started to write down any task that popped in my head at any point of the day. Then, I make it an absolute priority the next day to do 1-2 tasks on the list. If I don’t, the snowball affect happens immediately and I’m back to a never ending list. Now, I go to bed with a clear mind, and I wake up already with purpose to complete the task.
Also, I use a sleep cycle app (mine happens to be called “Sleep Cycle”) that connects with your microphone to listen to breathing patterns. You set a 30-minute window to wake up, and a soothing wind chime sound wakes you up. I will not lie; I do not feel fresher than a daisy 8/10 times. However, the app keeps a lot of data like how long you were asleep for and what time you fell asleep and woke up, so you can really see how your habits vary across the week. Mine (as I mentioned) has no consistency, so getting my hair done comes maybe once a week. But knowing that makes me feel a bit better about my grogginess because I can see that I am prioritizing other things than my sleep. Point blank: it’s up to me to make the change get myself on a real schedule.
And last but not least, have something in your day to look forward to makes me wake up with at least a smile on my face. Whether it’s a yoga class to take the edge off a long day or lunch at your favorite café, there should always be something special in your day to look forward to so your mind can have an immediate positive thought.
As I continue this journey on the perfect night’s rest, I welcome any and all comments and suggestions! Clearly there is no one way for every person, and sharing is caring (who doesn’t want everyone to have the best night’s sleep, every night?!)
Bottoms up to waking up as fresh as a daisy,
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