I Sleep It Off, Sleep It Off

Every morning is a process of swearing and demanding that tonight, tonight we must go to bed earlier. Humans should not be this exhausted.

Then, around 10 a.m., I can take on the world! This is great! This coffee is great! My sweater is great! Today is going to be a great day! I can stay awake for years!

Welcome to 2 p.m., which feels like a slow torturous death, where 5 o’clock seems years away and the energy it would require to go fill up your water bottle seems insurmountable.

Yay! It’s 6 p.m. And I’m home! I have so much to do! I can cook. I can clean. I can watch all the Netflix. I can take a bubble bath! I can read some of my book. I can get ahead on work! I can do everything!

Midnight! I should probably go to sleep soon.

And then the whole blasted process starts all over again.

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Getting a good night’s rest is like drinking ten glasses of water a day. We know we are supposed to and we know from experience that we will feel so much better if we do, but gosh, soda and coffee are delicious.

I am not going to rant for too long about the importance of sleep. We know. We get it. Do it. Yadda yadda yadda.

But ya gotta do it. Ya just gotta.

 

Set the mood

Romance yourself into a good night’s sleep.

This will make sense in a second, I promise.

Dim lighting, soft sounds, comfy pajamas, a warm cup of tea or decaf coffee.

Get yourself in the mood for sleeping. Woo yourself into a sleepy state.

It is much more difficult to put yourself down for a good night’s rest when you are drinking sugary sodas in a brightly lit living room while munching on room-temperature taquitos.

Allow yourself to decompress a bit before jumping into bed.

 

Turn it off

Oprah had experts on her show that said it for years — don’t have a television set in your bedroom. Apparently it is not good for you.

However, because most of us do have televisions in our bedrooms, we need to recognize this fact.

Don’t blare The Walking Dead before bed as you try to catch up on your DVR and then expect to just be able to sleep. This is not only because The Walking Dead seems unbelievably scary, but also because the bright lights on screen (televisions, phones, iPads) wake your brain up and make it harder for sleep to come.

Try doing something else right before you fall asleep, like reading. It really does help you go to sleep faster and stay asleep more restfully.

If you are one of those humans who needs to listen to something as you fall asleep, work on that. But in the meantime, listen to something you have watched a million times so your brain gets bored and lulls you to sleep faster. Like re-watching an old Disney movie or Friends for the millionth time.

 

Water yourself

Most of us are walking around as little dehydrated prune pits. We are so busy running around, being awesome and saving the world, that we forget to water ourselves like the delicate orchids that we are.

Make sure you are super hydrated when you go to sleep.

This does not mean chug an NFL-Gatorade-tub-sized portion of water. A huge, fast influx will have you making several midnight trips to the bathroom.

Rather, keep hydrated all day long so that your body has its fair share of water before it tries to go to sleep.

This will help you sleep. I don’t understand the science of this but it is there and yay science!

Drink up, buttercup.

 

Written by Shelby Dorsey, sadorsey@live.com
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