As you may have guessed from the title of my blog, I struggle with anxiety. I’m heading towards college graduation and moving to a new city, and along with all my other stress, my anxiety is skyrocketing.
My anxiety has always effected my sleep. Because of this, I’m not a morning person. I love to sleep late, always need coffee to feel alert, and I am constantly tired.
For March’s 30 Day Challenge, I did a lot of research on how to get more sleep and be a better morning person.
Sadly, during my last quarter of college, I will have three 8AM classes a week. I really need to be able to get up and function to do well.
Here are the tips that I’ve decided to try for 30 days. I’ll let you know how it worked in April.
The best way I’ve read to get more sleep is to have a consistant wake up time.
- This translates to me getting up every day at 6:45… giving me enough time to get to my 8AM class, every day of the week. Even weekends.
Blue screens, meaning computer, phone, and tv screens, are extremely stimulating and decrease melatonin production, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
- 1 hour before bed, no more tv, computer or phone.
Have a bedtime routine to wind down to bedtime.
- To get 8 hours of sleep, I need to be in bed by 10:30. So, at 9:30, because I can’t keep Wii Bowling anyways, I will take a hot shower, have a cup of chamomile tea, write in a worry journal, do a short bedtime yoga routine, then read by a low light until 10:30.
In the morning, do not snooze the alarm. Get up when it goes off. Turn the lights up and exercise.
- I have banished my snooze button for 30 days. Since snoozing doesn’t give you enough time to reach deep sleep, so it makes you feel more tired than if you had just gotten up.
- As for the turn on the lights, our bodies respond to light to produce hormones that make us feel awake. This works best with sunlight. So, every morning, I’ll open the shades (pretty optimistic to expect sun in Rochester) and turn on my lights. Then move straight on to…
- Yoga. Just a quick, 10 minute morning yoga routine to stretch out after sleep.
Caffeine – just say no to drugs.
- Caffeine is addictive. It’s also really bad for you if you struggle with any sort of anxiety issues. I love coffee. But for this month, I’ve weened myself down to 1 cup of decaf coffee in the morning. Throughout the month, I’ll try to reduce it.
Lastly, if all of these tips aren’t helping you fall asleep, get up.
- Sounds counterintuitive, right? But if you’ve been laying in bed for more than 30 minutes and cannot fall asleep, it’s better to turn on a low, bedside light, and do a non-stimulating activity like reading or knitting until you feel tired. So, I’ve got a lamp loaded with a 30 watt dim lightbulb by my bed, so if I can’t sleep, I can get up and knit until I feel tired. Then, I’ll click off the light, and go to sleep.
I started this whole shebang last night. Since I’d been running around like crazy for a week on Spring Break, it felt good to go to bed early. I felt surprisingly tired and relaxed at 10:30. I shouldn’t have turned on the bathroom light when I stepped in right before bed though… it killed all of my work. I was “almost” asleep for a while, and probably should have just sat up and knit. But I struggled through and did fall asleep around 11:15ish. This morning was a rude awakening though. 6:45 comes early. But the yoga really perked me up! Here’s the a link to the routines I did. I found them on Pinterest. I’m still tired, probably in a sleep debt from this quarter still, but I’m nowhere near as tired as I thought I’d be, or as tired as I would have been had I just gotten up at 6:45.
I’ll keep you posted with my progress. Here are the links to the articles I found helpful when researching this!