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It’s always frustrating when you have to get up early the next morning but can never fall asleep early, so you’re never able to get enough rest. No matter how much you try to go to bed earlier, your body just won’t let you. So how do you to to sleep earlier when you’re so used to staying up late?
It can be tough to change your routine, but it’s completely doable with these tips. As long as you implement these practices, you’ll be able to go to sleep early without any tossing and turning trying to get to sleep each night.
How To Go To Sleep Early
They key to being able to go to bed early is making a new routine for yourself. When you’re a night owl and don’t go to bed until late at night, your body is not used to going to bed earlier, so it makes it hard when you don’t follow your routine.
1. Gradually Go To Bed Earlier Each Night
This is super helpful to get your body used to the new routine of going to bed earlier. If you try to go from night owl to early bird in one day, it’s not going to work well for you. Your body needs time to adjust to the new schedule.
Start by going to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier each night. This way you are gradually working up to going to sleep at a different time and it won’t be as much of a shock to your body.
So, if you regularly don’t go to sleep until 1am, each night get ready for bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier each day. This will take a few weeks, but it will be worth it in the long run.
2. Set Reminders
It’s helpful to set reminders each day a little bit before bed time. I suggest setting them for 30 minutes to 1 hour before you want to go to sleep. That way, you have time to finish what you’re doing and get ready for bed.
You can manually set reminders each day, or use sleep tracking apps that help remind you when you need to unwind and get ready for bed.
3. Create A New Bedtime Routine
Everything you do to get ready for bed will need to change, too! You’ll want to move up the time you start getting ready to go to sleep so that you have enough time to complete your routine.
This will include things like what time you eat dinner, how long you watch tv or play on your phone for etc. Plus, anything else like brush your teeth, take a shower, etc that you might do before going to sleep.
4. Go To Sleep At The Same Each Night
Once you have your new sleep schedule established, it’s important to go to bed at the same time every night. It doesn’t have to be exact, but just try to go to sleep around the same time every day.
Once your body gets used to the new schedule, you will naturally become tired around that time and it will be easier to get to bed early.
5. Stop Drinking Caffeine Late In The Day
Caffeine’s half life is about 4-6 hours, meaning after 4-6 hours, you still have half the amount of caffeine in your body. For example, a cup of coffee has bout 100mg of caffeine in it. Five hours after drinking that cup of coffee, your body will still have about 50mg of caffeine.
This means if you are having caffeine late in the day, it stays with you for a few hours, which can make it hard to to go sleep earlier.
6. Have A Sleep Friendly Environment
It’s impossible to sleep well when your room is bright, loud and warm. Ideally, you want your room to be as dark as possible, quiet and cool. This is the optimal environment for sleep. It’s also helpful to only use your bed for sleeping and not working or watching tv. This helps your mind know it’s time to go to sleep when you get in bed.
7. Modify Electronics Use
The blue lights from our phones, computers and tv’s disrupt our melatonin production, which is a hormone responsible for our sleep cycle and makes us feel sleepy. It’s best to not use electronics before bed, but if you must then try some blue light blocking glasses, or switch your screen to night mode.
On my phone, I have night shift turned on from 7pm-7am and it really helps block out the blue light to keep it from interfering with my sleep.
How To Go To Sleep Quickly
Getting to sleep easily is all about mental preparation. You have to prepare your mind. It sounds silly, but the for many people the biggest struggle is their mind won’t turn off and let them sleep.
Here are some ideas you can add to your bedtime routine to promote sleep.
Yoga – yoga is one of my favorite ways to relax before bed. I always feel so calm after a few minutes of yoga. There are also certain yoga poses for sleep that help promote relaxation and sleep, so they’re perfect before bed!
Meditation – meditation is also another amazing way to turn your mind off before bed. Meditation works by training you to let go of racing thoughts and worries and put them away so you don’t stay up all night because your mind won’t stop.
Melatonin – melatonin is naturally produced by our bodies, so it’s perfectly safe to take a melatonin supplement. It’s a hormone responsible for controlling our sleep cycles and it’s what makes us sleepy.
Take a hot bath or shower – sometimes a little hot shower or bath is all you need to relax. I love doing this when I’m feeling particularly stressed and tense. Afterwards I feel much more relaxed and ready to go to sleep. You can also add some lavender essential oils to make it even more relaxing.
Journal – journalling allows you to release your thoughts and worries from the day. I love to journal because I always feel like a giant weight has lifted off of me. For some reason, something as simple as writing things down can have a huge impact on how you feel. It really does feel like you’re letting go of the thoughts so your mind can relax before bed.
Sleepy time tea – this is another one of my favorites, especially in the winter! Making a cup of tea is so cozy and relaxing. I love to make my tea and crawl into bed with a good book. Plus, sleepy time tea has special herbs in it that are great for promoting sleepiness.
What Time Should You Go To Bed?
You may wonder if it’s best to go to bed earlier rather than later. And that really depends on each person! The biggest thing is making sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim for around 8 hours at least. If you have to get up at 8, then make your bedtime about midnight. For me, I have to get up earlier, around 6 so I typically go to bed by 10.
It’s not so much about what time you go to bed, but more about how long you sleep and the quality of your sleep. So aim to get around 8 hours each night of quality sleep.
Whether you need to change your schedule for work or you need to make more time in the day, going to sleep early can be hard if you’re used to staying up late! With this tips, you’ll be able to change up your sleep routine and go to bed earlier in just a few weeks.
Being an early bird really isn’t all that bad. I go to bed early and am typically up by 7 (even on the weekends) and it’s great because I have more hours during the day to get things done.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Let me know down below!