If there’s one thing growing up has taught me, it’s that life doesn’t always run on my schedule.
For this “Set an alarm?” “There’s an 8 A.M?” gal, that’s a harsh reality.
This semester I plan to be in bed by 10 p.m., at the latest, whenever I can allow.
That’s thanks to starting class at 8 a.m. four out of five school days.
(Thanks a lot scheduling department!)
These next couple weeks, I’m even going to try 9 p.m. It’s worth it to get those zzzs in bed, not in class.
I’ve never fallen asleep in class. I’ve definitely been distracted or have found my mind wandering into the blank abyss. I’ve also noticed my concentration slips on the days I get less sleep. I know people who can sleep through the night, and then sleep through the whole next day. There’s also people who can work a 12-hour day after only 6 hours of sleep.
On the days that I don’t feel those effects, I know it’s because I’m getting the rest I need.
This help guide has some great information about the sleep stages, sleep disorders, and even has some tips to pay off your “sleep debt”.
“Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you need and the hours you actually get. Every time you sacrifice on sleep, you add to the debt. Eventually, the debt will have to be repaid. It won’t go away on its own. If you lose an hour of sleep, you must make up that extra hour somewhere down the line in order to bring your “account” back into balance.”
The Canadian Sleep Society recommends naps!
(Now we’re talking.)
Naps should last between 10-20 minutes. That’s enough time to stay within the first couple stages of sleep, while allowing you to feel rested when you wake up.
Here’s some of their tips to get your best sleep:
• Go to bed only when sleepy.
• Try a relaxing bedtime routine.
• Establish a good sleep environment with limited distractions.
• Avoid foods, beverages, and medications that may contain stimulants.
• Avoid alcohol and nicotine before going to sleep.
• Consume less or no caffeine.
• Exercise regularly.
• Try behavioural/relaxation techniques to assist with physical and mental relaxation.
• Avoid naps in late afternoon and evening.
• Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime.
• Avoid fluids before going to sleep.
• Use the bed only for sleep. (Do not eat, read or watch TV in bed!).
• Establish a regular wake time schedule.
I’ll have to work on establishing a regular wake time schedule. Mornings don’t usually exist on the weekends in my world.
Note: If you’re unfamiliar with the stages of sleep, The National Sleep Foundation has a guide on their website.
Do you have a sleep schedule? What do you need to work on to get your best sleep?
Comment on this post, or tweet @Sarah_Tone and let me know.
-Enjoy the ride.