Some nights the last thing you want to do is go to bed. There are too many things tempting you to stay up. So many more things seem more appealing than shutting off the lights and closing your eyes.
Do these self-defeating temptations sound familiar?
- You could be watching something on YouTube.
- Texting a friend.
- Playing a videogame on your phone or game system.
- Studying for a test that has you worried.
- Practically anything else.
It’s easy to get carried away.
Yet, deep down, you know better than to let yourself get carried away. If you do, you’re going to be too tired to do your best.
Of course, you can ask someone to remind you when it’s time to go to bed. Sometimes they will. Other times they forget too.
You can also try telling yourself that it’s time to go to bed. When it’s time to turn off the lights, you might find yourself arguing with yourself.
Just one more video, one more game, or maybe contacting one more friend to have one more conversation.
Many people set alarms to wake themselves up. This helps them get to work or school on time. If you’re going to get enough sleep, you’re going to need to sleep enough. Sleeping takes time. How about setting an alarm when it’s time to go to bed?
You probably won’t need any special equipment. A readily accessible alarm that you can use is as close as your smartphone. If you want to use fewer electronics or don’t want to struggle against the distraction of a smartphone, you can also use an alarm clock. One can find new and used electronic, manual wind-up clocks, and even clock radios starting for around $10.
Within the Clock app in both systems, find the Bedtime tab. Then follow the prompts to choose your settings.
Any type of alarm clock serves as a figurative line in the sand. It lets you know you shouldn’t cross it. It can be the next best thing to having a real-life coach there to motivate you.
Once you have a consistent bedtime and some follow-through, work on sleeping as little as possible. You probably have goals and minimizing sleep healthfully is the best way to see that you reach them.
After the alarm rings, set the alarm again if you want more help in ensuring that you get up on time.
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James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.
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