This is going to be hard for me. Week Two is all about getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I fully admit that this change is not going to be small for me. I have tried getting eight hours, and sometimes, it just doesn't happen. That's why...
I LOVE NAPS!
There are times when I have hit the sack at 9 p.m. and found myself wide awake at 4 a.m. Yes, that's seven hours, and I probably should have mathed a little better, but I thought for sure I could get an extra hour and be bubbly and full of energy the next day. No dice. I was a slug. So, recently, my experiments include getting four hours here, two hours there, a couple of half-hour accidental snoozes and a few 'zone-outs' in the middle of the frozen section of the grocery store.
These accidental naps are the worst! My husband has prodded me after he found me sideways on the couch, or folded forward over my butterfly legs. I've felt the Sahara on my tongue from in-the-chair, open-mouthed siestas. Once or twice (yes, once or twice), I was alarmed by a snort! It was me.
Anyway! Enough discussing my sleeping habits. On to what will make getting sleep easier...and yes, I'm paying attention.
1. Make where you sleep good for sleeping. Lighting, sound, what you wear, your sheets, the temperature and the humidity all need to be considered.
2. Experiment with a sleep schedule. If you can't sleep more than four hours at a time, figure out something that works for you. We're all different, so we'll all have different needs. Do this gradually.
3. Don't exercise too close to bedtime. You need cool-off and wind-down time before hitting the hay.
4. Create a routine before bed. Make it something you enjoy doing that you know relaxes you. This should not include looking at a computer, phone or electronic game, reading a can't-put-it-down book or drinking Jolt (although those with ADHD might be able to do the last thing and still conk out easily).
5. Avoid sugar and caffeine*.
6. Don't drink too many spirits before bed. It messes with REM! Also: Dry Mouth. The Sahara. Xerostomia. Look it up.
7. Try to drop the smoking. This was news to me: The body starts going into nicotine withdrawal in three to four hours, so smokers tend to wake up after three to four hours. Wow!
8. Finish eating two hours before bedtime. It's not pleasant to awake in the middle of the night and deal with heartburn! I can attest, my friends. I thought I was a dragon once.
9. Stop drinking two or three hours before bed. I hate having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The bright lights assaulting my eyeballs, the cold floor making me whine, the foot-shuffling...it's all stuff that makes me feel like I'm three years old.
Okay, that's it. Report back, and yes, this was not posted on Friday. I fell asleep. :-)
* Again, with the ADHD, caffeine does not apply.