Two of the most common resolutions every year are losing weight and/or getting fit. We all focus a tremendous amount of time and money on diet and exercise but we consistently neglect a key piece of the health puzzle, sleep.
Two words: Circadian Rhythm.
One thing that happens is that we can feel so tired that we just keep sitting in front of the TV or computer because we feel too tired to get up and do our evening bedtime routine. Meanwhile, we only get more exhausted by the minute and bedtime is getting pushed further and further back costing us precious sleep time. If this is you set a timer on your phone to chime one hour before you want to go to bed. It's a helpful prompt to remind you that in about 20 minutes you could be ready for bed.
We actually have a limited amount of decision making capability for the entire day. By the time bedtime rolls around your mind and energy are depleted. That's why it's so important to have a bedtime routine in order. You will literally be able to move through it and get everything done without making any decisions. I've already done the work for you. Read Building Your Bedtime Routine for your basic bedtime routine checklist
Here are some helpful tips.
No screen time in bed. Not even the Kindle. Light from all our devices signals to our brains we should stay awake. Bedtime means reading a physical book and that the TV, phone, and laptop are banished to the den, dining room, and studio.
No news before bed. Just no. 10:00 news. Worst idea ever.
End your day on a positive note. Before turning out the light you might want to jot down notes for things to do tomorrow to clear your mind, journal about your day (also clears the mind) or write in your gratitude journal.
Use a diffuser with lavender next to the bed and a noise app or machine. When traveling I have a white noise app on my phone. Drowning out random noise is very helpful and lavender is a calming fragrance.
Don't wait until you feel tired and/or sleepy to go to bed. Bedtime is the same regardless of how you feel. This is the main mistake most adults make, they don't see the need to go to bed until they feel like it. An overactive overstimulated mind at the computer or watching TV is a terrible barometer of how much sleep the body needs.
Think of bedtime routine as pampering and self-care.
Don't keep any business-y type things in the bedroom. That's what the office and a desk are for. Anything that looks like it might promote over-thinking or worry is banished. Do all work someplace else. Who wants the energy of unpaid bills in the bedroom?
Unless you're sick the bed is only for a couple of things and one of them is sleep. We don't have a TV in the bedroom. Our brains need to associate going to bed with being in a mindset for sleep.
If you wake up and can't go back to sleep within 20 minutes get up, get some water, maybe read a bit, then go back to bed. You might also try prayer, meditation, and counting your blessings.
If you are feeling sick, run-down, and exhausted changing your sleep routine is a good place to begin getting yourself to a healthier state.
If you only make one resolution this year, creating and maintaining a healthy sleep pattern is going to do the most good in every other area of your life.