10 Simple ways to go to bed early when it’s not in your habit
How many times you’ve decided to go to bed early and ended up sleeping late?
Most nights, you find yourself very firm to sleep early and suddenly realize there are so many things to do that going to bed early isn’t looks like a priority.
But, good sleep is always necessary for overall well-being and waking up refreshed and energized in mornings.
However, sometimes you really want to go to bed early and even you know how a good bedtime routine is important, especially when you want to wake up early.
Although we often neglect our sleep in order to finish work, watching Netflix or surfing Social Media with “just a few more minutes” feeling.
This type of procrastination leads to poor sleep which makes you feel grouchy and tired during a day.
If you struggle to maintain the early-to-bed habit, try these simple ways that’ll motivate you so going to bed earlier will be easier than you think:
Schedule a time for bed
You can schedule a time for bed by looking at what time you need to wake up. Pick the good bedtime that gives you enough amount of sleep you need.
Normally, an adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day. So, before you set your tuck-in time, check if it allows you to sleep well.
For example, if you’ve to wake up at 6 AM then go to bed early at 10 PM. If you’re not able to stay regular at your bedtime, try an alarm at least before an hour of your bedtime.
This helps because once alarm reminds you of going to bed early before an hour, you start winding up the things that you need to finish before you go to sleep.
Furthermore, it’s even better you plan your bedtime earlier that day. By this, you plan your whole day by managing tasks so you don’t have anything left near your bedtime.
Turn off the screens
In this 21st Century, electronics are part of life and needful to stay connected with the outside world.
However, it’s important to set an electronics curfew near bedtime since the exposure to its artificial lights can disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle.
Make a rule to turn off all the screens before you go to bed. Though, it will be great if you are able to keep them out of your bedroom to keep the distractions away.
As per National Sleep Foundation, watching TV or using smartphones, laptops or any other electronic device at nighttime can halt the sleep-promoting hormones and enhances alertness instead of getting you sleepy.
This, in turn, delays your bedtime and negatively impacts your sleep quality and alertness in the morning.
It’s advisable to reduce the screen hours at least an hour before bedtime for your focus only on going to bed. You’ll feel more likely to fall asleep.
Eat healthy and less
Always eat healthy, not only it’s good for your waistline, but it also helps to promote restful sleep at night.
Don’t eat unhealthy foods with lots of carbs and spices close to bedtime as it can cause indigestion and keeps you awake.
Moreover, you should also keep an eye on a meal portion. A big meal can postpone your bedtime and even if you make it happen, it’ll be hard to stay asleep.
Make sure you take your last meal of the day no less than 2 to 3 hours prior to bed so your body can get enough time to digest what you eat.
Therefore, opt for nutrition-packed healthy foods the whole day, from breakfast to dinner, and it will give you more energy all day and a good rest during the night!
Don’t fall for late-night caffeine
There’s nothing soothing and calming like a hot mug of tea or coffee when you want to stay alert and need refreshment in your daytime.
However, it’s the worst thing you can do if you’re really keen to go to bed early. Don’t fall for late-night caffeine like tea, coffee, chocolates, sodas or even alcohol.
Any type of caffeine makes you feel less tired, thus making it harder for you to fall asleep and leads to poor quality sleep.
Ensure that you put down the caffeine cup at least 6 hours before bedtime to avoid its negative effect.
Or, if you find it hard to give up, why not try chamomile tea, lavender tea or just plain warm water with lemon instead?
Though keep in mind to not drink this also right before going to sleep, you won’t like to run to the bathroom all night.
Start a journal
We often lie on the bed tossing and turning because our mind just doesn’t stop a loop of thoughts running here and there.
And, if you may have noticed, then the bedtime is the only time when we start thinking about everything in life.
Realize that this type of overthinking not only keeps you awake, but also creates negativity and stress to the most restful time of the day.
Instead, start a journal of gratitude. Take a time of 15 minutes to note down the things you’re grateful for every day before bed.
This way you will become calmer and relax, which in turn, is necessary for a better night’s rest.
Besides this, you can even prepare a to-do list of tomorrow, so when it’s time for bed, you won’t find anything pending.
After all, it’s better to keep those thoughts and worries in a journal than in your mind to sleep well!
Have an exercise routine
Often we get into some exercise routine just because we want to be in shape. Though, it can do more than just weight loss.
Every day workouts keep your sleep patterns regular as well as make it easier for you to get healthy sleep at night.
However, make sure you don’t do exercise near bedtime because then it’ll be hard for you to go to bed early.
Instead, try working out earlier in the day, preferably in the morning, to shift your bedtime earlier. This will help you to feel naturally tired and you’ll fall asleep faster than usual.
Therefore, get into a habit of doing exercise every day, not because it offers the number of health benefits, but you deserve a good sleep as well.
Limit your naps
Napping is really OK as sometimes our body needs rest. But, make sure to limit your naps for only 30 minutes if you don’t want to be a night owl.
I have often experienced this feeling of not going to bed early after a long nap during the daytime, so I always set an alarm to wake me up after 20-30 minutes.
Take a nap, no problem, but also set an alarm to ensure that you don’t go in a deeper sleep where you often wake up disoriented.
Understand, your body needs this type of sleep at night and a long nap may cause you trouble in getting quality sleep at its intended time.
So if possible, try to eliminate napping during daytime or limit your naps to 30 minutes or less early in the day.
Create a gentle bedtime routine
Creating a gentle bedtime routine includes doing small things you enjoy and get relaxed with so that your mind and body get to know it’s time to sleep.
Even you can create a bedtime routine with your own selection of things that make you happy and relax.
Take a relaxing bath, be ready in a night pajamas, put your work aside and get everything done an hour before actual bedtime you’ve decided.
Do yoga, meditation, read a good book and listen to the soft music in the dim light of your room – if it’s enjoyable and relaxing, you’ll less likely to push your bedtime ahead.
Also, don’t force yourself to sleep if you’re not tired. It’s more frustrating to simply lie in the bed and begin a nasty thought pattern.
Get up and do something else to relax if you find yourself awake even after 15-20 minutes of effort to fall asleep.
Stay consistent to a good bedtime routine and you’ll be soon in an early go-to-bed habit!
Make a small and gradual change
Changing habits isn’t an overnight task and is a matter of small and incremental changes to get success. And, so is applicable to your bedtime too.
If your usual bedtime is midnight, then it would be silly to think of going to bed at 10:00 PM immediately on the next night.
Remember, your natural clock is used to that midnight sleep habit. Now, if you want to go to bed early, you need to give it small and gradual changes over time.
For instance, if you’re sleeping at 12:00 PM and choose to go to bed at 10:00 PM, start a bedtime that’s 15 minutes earlier than your regular one. After a few days, you can further decrease your bedtime to more 15 minutes.
This way it allows your body to get used to with new bedtime while keep moving you towards your goal.
Get up early
When you’ve so much to do after a workday has finished, it seems totally impossible to go to bed early.
In fact, cleaning, preparing dinner and so many other things keep us occupied that hitting the targeted bedtime looks like a dream.
If this sounds similar to you, why not try to wake up early than normal?
By waking up early you will have enough time to complete all pending things and then, you can relax after reaching home from work.
Plus, as you got up early, you’ll feel more tired in the evening and able to sleep early than routine time.
Ultimately, our goal is to feel tired to sleep early, that’s it!
Hopefully, these simple ways help you to start going to bed earlier in no time. Initially, it will be tough to make it a habit, but once you get in this routine, the easier will be for you to go to bed early.
But, be sure to keep it consistent after you make it happen!