A good night’s sleep does wonders to both the body and psyche. Nothing facilitates early rising like early sleeping; in fact, studies have shown that the earlier you sleep, the more energized, serene and optimistic they felt in the morning.
If you find that your most significant challenge to early sleep is mild insomnia, easy distraction or a lack of discipline, you may want to consider a few lifestyle changes that will drastically improve your ability to fall into comfortable, uninterrupted sleep – early. The following tips will help you adjust your physical clock to ensure full nights of sleep and easy early waking.
Going to Bed Early
While this may seem obvious, many forget that it is common to require over an hour of resting time to fall asleep. This is because your heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, and even hormonal releases need to adjust to the upcoming hours of sleep. Going to bed early is the best way to convince your body of the necessity of sleep while providing more time for your nightly reading or meditation.
Though this may require effort at first – it can be challenging to fight the sentiment that “10 pm is too early to be in bed – gradually, an early bedtime routine will re-program your body to consider a more sensible hour (11 pm/ midnight) the proper time to fall into sleep mode.
Possibly the most common advice for those suffering from mild insomnia, an extensive exercise routine guarantees you fall into early, deep and rejuvenating sleep through two things: 1/exhaustion and 2/endorphin release.
Endorphins, or the hormones of “well-being,” are released when one is subjected to pain, has an orgasm, or exercises. It is no surprise many chose the latter for a steady, frequent and controlled release of the hormone, which acts as a natural sleeping agent that massages your senses into absolute relaxation. This state of relaxation facilitates early sleep as effectively as medication, without the risk of dependence or overdose.
Listening to Soothing Music
Soothing music, or eerie sounds such as waves or even rain, have been shown to help many fall asleep early and quickly. This is because they help lower stress, slow down your heartbeat and provide a perfect background for effortless meditation.
This helps your muscles relax and your mind to slow down, which eases your body into sleep. For this transition to be effective, you may need to immerse yourself entirely in the sounds, with the removal of light or any possible distraction.
Putting Your Phone Away an Hour Before Bed
Recent studies have depicted the use of tablets or mobile phones as the number one cause of late sleep in teenagers and adults aged 16 and above. This is because while scrolling through the internet, the brain remains active, sending signals to your body to stay awake as it performs more work.
The act of watching exciting, fast videos, interacting with friends and reading stimulating posts may seem relaxing but is interpreted, by your body, as a reason to keep you as alert as if you were sitting behind your desk at work. Instead, consider switching your phone, an hour prior to sleep, for an unchallenging book that may both entertain and relax you.
The act of reading, through the effect it has on your rapidly moving eyes, has been shown to provoke sleepiness or even drowsiness in some people. You may want to put your phone on airplane mode an hour before your intended sleep and pick up an easy read instead.
Cutting Out Caffeine, Alcohol, and Cigarettes 4 hours Before Sleep
Though most are aware of caffeine’s “awakening effect” on your body, few people are aware that alcohol and cigarettes operate in similar ways, to make you feel “stimulated” for hours on end. Alcohol, while providing the sentiment of “drowsiness,” actually makes your heart beat faster, your brain works in overdrive to manage the sudden spikes in dopamine or other energizing hormones and keeps your body restless to eliminate the toxins it has ingested.
Similarly, cigarettes have the effect of speeding your heartbeat and increasing your blood pressure, which will keep you awake even a couple hours after your last smoke.