Being able to get a full night’s sleep as an adult is hard. In college, we could party until 5am and still roll out of bed for our 8am the next morning. And when we had a big exam, we could stay up all night studying just to get the ‘A’. All we needed was a pot of coffee or energy drink to keep us going (Check out my article on being successful in college if you’d like).
Now that we’re older, we have new responsibilities. We have to get up every morning, put on professional-ish clothes, and be productive for a full 8hrs a day. This means thirsty Thursday has to change to happy hour, where we get home by 9:30pm. And that we can’t binge watch the whole season of Orange is the New Black on a Tuesday.
Otherwise, we’re going to wake up looking something like this:
With adult lives, comes adult changes (In case you missed the article on anti-aging, you can catch up here). Here are some tips I’ve discovered to help you get a full night’s sleep:
1. Set a Bedtime
On my phone, I have the ability to set a bedtime alarm. This way my phone not only wakes me up in the morning, but it also notifies me when it’s time to go to bed and tracks my sleep. I’ve also used Sleep Cycle, which is a paid app that has fancier features but this free option works just as well. Setting your body on a regular clock helps make getting up easier if you stick to the schedule.
But sometimes you go to bed and you can’t sleep. Which leads me to suggestion 2:
2. Start to Wind Down At Least a 1/2hr Before Bed
It’s going to be impossible to find sleep if your brain is still on overload from the day, so you need to calm it down before trying to climb into bed. I like to do night time yoga to help center myself and to settle my body. For nights when I don’t have time to commit to a full-flow (or would rather sit around and do nothing) I like to read a book. For me it has to be an actual book in bed, and not a tablet, because of the LED light.
For some of you these might seem like boring ideas or something you definitely don’t want to do. That’s ok! These are just my favorite ways and not the only ways to wind down. The goal is to limit bright screens, like watching TV in bed. Instead you could watch TV on the couch, preferably something that won’t wind you up like a mystery or drama, rather watch a comedy like Parks & Rec or Grace & Frankie. You should also try limiting your phone usage. Reading emails for things you need to do tomorrow at work or seeing drama on social media will only get your brain ticking. If you want to be on your phone, try to find things that won’t increase brain waves. My boyfriend likes to peruse Reddit.
Now sometimes there are nights that no matter how much meditation and brain un-stimulating you do, sleep will not come. Since we are not wizards (the letter was lost in the forest with my owl), then we need to help sleep along.
3. Take a Supplement (Preferably Natural)
I'm not a big advocate of taking pills, but I understand for some of you it's necessary. For me, I prefer things of the earth before the manufactured variety.
That means I'll take a melatonin gummy (I know that gummies aren't the best for you buuuut I'm still a child at heart and they taste delicious). I also really like sleepy-time tea, which is even better when you have a good book to read while you sip on it. For those of you with the medical legality, like my friend, there's always the option for a little green to relax you.
Whichever way will work best for you to get your zzz's DO IT! Sleep is so important to functioning in life and I strongly recommend trying to get some ASAP. No one wants to wake up as a bear or have to work with the Wicked Witch of the West.
*Note: If you read my disclaimer, I am not an expert. Please do your research and talk to a health adviser before making any life changes.