The No. 1 Secret to Getting More Sleep

Secret to Getting More Sleep

One of the best ways to restore yourself—the way we have programmed into us to make sure we restore ourselves is to sleep. Now, sleep is a huge topic that could fill many episodes. Just for today, I’m going to talk about the number one secret to getting more sleep. And that is to go to bed early.

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This is a secret to getting more sleep I learned from Laura Vanderkam, author of Off the Clock: How to Feel Less Busy and Get More Done, and host of the Before Breakfast and The New Corner Office podcasts. Laura writes and talks extensively about time management, which she needs to know a lot about because she also has five kids. I know Laura through freelance writing circles and have interviewed her for many articles in the past. And one tidbit she gave in one of those articles has stuck with me to this day. And that is, going to bed early is how grown-ups sleep in.

You know how you’re watching your current favorite show on Netflix, and your eyes are starting to close, and you know you really should get up and go to bed but the next episode starts playing automatically? And so you decide to stay put, but then the next thing you know you wake up and the episode is over and you have to rouse yourself to go get into bed and then you don’t sleep that well? OK, well, there’s a time and a place for everything and it’s fine to be naughty and stay up too late binge watching every once in a while. But as a regular strategy, it’s not helpful.

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment is just for tonight, get in bed 30 minutes before you usually do. I’m not saying you have to get in bed at 8:30 like you’re in second grade! Just start the process a little earlier. Sleep is like thirst, by the time you realize you’re sleepy, you’re generally REALLY sleepy. If you get in bed while you still feel just a little drowsy, when your eyes start to naturally start closing you’ll already be in bed and you won’t have to force yourself to be more awake in order to brush your teeth.

Also, yogis say that the sleep that counts the most is the sleep you get before midnight, because that’s when you do the most repair. I know I’m not going to convince lifelong night owls to start going to bed early in one episode, but there is such a thing as an optimal time to get sleep, and when you are sleeping in sync with your natural rhythms, the more restorative that sleep is going to be.

Stay Awhile!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode, when I’m interviewing my bestie, Paige Chapman owner of the virtual yoga studio Mama’s Wellness Joint, for her guidance on how to process a nutty year so that you can honor what’s happened and clear some space for what’s to come.

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