Apr 6, 2021

7 tips to fix your sleep routine


 I recently stumbled upon this term called "Revenge bedtime procrastination". This implies that we delay sleep on purpose to gain some me-time. 

As I was reading more articles on this topic, this one by BBC had elaborated it very well

"people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late-night hours”.


I remember many years back (2012-13) when D was a toddler, I would put her to sleep by 10 PM, make myself a nice cup of hot chocolate and watch an episode of "Castle" on Star World from 11-12. Though I knew I had to catch up on my sleep, I would delay it, just so that I can grab an hour for myself. Fortunately, there wasn't any Netflix/Prime during that time as I might have ended up binge-watching one episode after another.


Off late, I have been observing this sleep procrastination happening among my friends and family. During this past year of work-from-home, it is becoming a much more prevalent practice.


Though most of us understand the importance of sleep in our overall well-being, we succumb to the temptations of social media, Youtube, and streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime.


Sharing with you 7 tips on how you can fix your sleep routine.


(1) Maintain a sleep log

Track the number of hours you sleep. Most of us aren't even aware that we are sleeping less than 6 hours a night. Also, keep a note of the following aspects - how do you feel after waking up - do you feel energetic, do you reach for more cups of coffee/tea to get through the day, do you feel sleepy after lunch, do you have sustained energy throughout the day? These questions will help us become aware of how poor sleep affects our energy levels.


(2) Prioritize your sleep schedule

Fix a time to go to bed. Turn off all your gadgets/devices an hour before your bedtime. Follow this habit at least during weekdays. You might have heard this multiple times but if you are finding it difficult to implement, start slow. If you are used to sleeping by midnight, shift it to 11:30 PM (the gadgets to be turned off by 10:30 PM). Only through conscious habits, we can make a permanent change.


(3) Plan your calming hour

During this one hour before bedtime,

  • go for a short stroll
  • meditate
  • read a book (preferably a physical one)
  • journal about the day
  • write down a plan - tasks/to-dos for the next day

(4) Plan your work schedule

I often hear from many people that in the past year, they have been working longer hours. The commute time, lunchtime, and casual conversations at work with colleagues are now replaced with more and more meetings and work commitments. 

Time-box your day and fix up a clear schedule for various activities (meetings, email, work, research etc). Block a few hours to do deep work without any interruptions.


(5) Set clear boundaries at workplace

Work-from-home doesn't mean that you can be reached at any time of the day. Communicate your availability to your peers/co-workers. Having a fixed work schedule doesn't undermine your commitment to work. 


(6) Block time in the evenings to relax and unwind, so that you don't compromise on your sleep. Allocate an hour to catch up on your favorite series/youtube channels/social media.


(7) Identify *offline* activities that you enjoy and at the same time, give you a break from your gadgets. Me-time doesn't necessarily have to be scrolling through social media feeds. 


Good quality sleep is as much important as eating a nutritious meal / getting an hour of workout every day. Let's not compromise on our sleep for anything else - be it work commitments, catching up on favorite TV shows, etc. So not worth it!

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