The “Being Happier” Podcast
Today’s Topic: How To Heal Sleep – Part 4
Prioritise Your Sleep Time
If you are going to take control of healing your sleep, you need to do all you can to achieve that. So what does that mean?
You need to decide to take your sleep healing seriously and prioritise a time by which to wind down and then ultimately be asleep by. If you don’t decide on a wind down time and a sleep time, you’re never going to achieve the proper rest and rejuvenation that you’re after.
I suggest the wind down time begins at 8pm: don’t have any more things to do, places to go, people to see. And let yourself wind down over two hours and then plan to relax and stop interacting in order to achieve sleep or have all lights out planning for sleep, by 10pm.
Being ready to sleep or being asleep by 10pm, allows you to have two hours of best rejuvenating sleep on this side of midnight and perhaps another 6 hours on top of that. It’s the sleep you achieve on this side of midnight that counts the most for your body’s recovery, so do all you can to achieve as many hours as possible before 12am.
There’s always the argument: but I want everybody to be asleep so that I can have peaceful time to myself, that’s why I stay up late. Sure, I get it, but do that early in the morning. People are still asleep very early in the morning, when you could be awake having your own time. Back to prioritising your sleep time…
Ultimately, you want to get back to a good night’s sleep as being the norm, not the exception: you need to put your chosen sleep time at the top of your list, despite judgements from yourself or others. Plan to be back from wherever, stop work or housework or prep for the next day by 8pm, allow two hours to wind down with minimal interaction and be asleep or ready for sleep by 10pm.
There’s inevitably the argument: but I won’t have a social life, I’ll never see anybody; it’s not my fault that society functions to meet for dinner around 8pm Benita. True, I fully agree with you and it sucks that you might have to say no to meeting for dinner. But the ace thing is, there are other times to meet, maybe for breakfast, rather than at the end of the day when you’re starting to disconnect from the world.
Being disciplined with your sleep time can be hard, but it’s just too bad, do you want to heal your sleep or don’t you? You’ll just have to get good at saying no. Maybe therein lies the real problem, you don’t want to be the one to let others down or you don’t want to be talked about behind your back because you’re not there.
In the end, nobody is going to care about how much sleep you don’t have, except you. The dinner or meeting will come and go at 8pm and people may or may not notice you’re not there, but then everybody gets back to their self engrossed world again.
Respect your energy and your sleep time and get good at implementing boundaries regarding time and space that nurture you.