Learn How to Go to Sleep Earlier Using 10 Scheduling Hacks

Posted on - in Planning & Organization, Productivity Hacks

You know that extra sleep could give you more energy and improve your productivity at work, but you can’t quite find an effective method to bump up your bedtime. You’ve tried tips and tricks to make yourself sleepier, but it’s just not working.

But there’s more to falling asleep than a sound machine and avoiding coffee. Your schedule plays a large part in helping your body get drowsy at the right time. If you want to know how to go to sleep earlier, check out these 10 scheduling hacks.

1. Get up if You Toss and Turn for Over 20 Minutes

When you crawl in bed but end up lying there for hours, your plan to go to bed early is ruined. However, part of the problem is staying in bed for longer than 20 minutes trying to go to sleep. Get up and do a relaxing activity, then return to your bed once you’re sleepy to train your body to doze off.

2. Set a Curfew

If you find yourself out late but you want to change this habit, you can arrange a curfew that will get you in bed sooner. Also, letting your friends know about your new curfew can give you the accountability you need to stick with an earlier bedtime.

3. Adjust Your Bedtime in Increments

Altering your bedtime too quickly can be a harsh transition, but if you change it by 10 minutes every few days, the adjustment can be easier for you. Choose a small increment to shift your bedtime earlier, and stick with it until you’ve reached your desired time.

4. Plan the Following Day to Avoid Nighttime Worry

What keeps many people away is tension over the next day’s to-do list. Even if you start to go to bed early, you are up again organizing and preparing for what tomorrow holds. Sit down before your bedtime routine to jot down as much as you can to plan the following day and reduce your nighttime stress.

5. Turn Your Phone off an Hour Before Bed

The light that electronics emit can keep you from falling asleep, but if you discipline yourself to shut them off before you turn in for the night, you have a better chance of a full night’s sleep. Stop using your smartphone, laptop or tablet about an hour before you climb into bed, and place them far away from you to avoid temptation while you’re attempting to get some shut-eye.

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6. Eat Supper Earlier

If you plan to go to bed at 8 p.m. but you eat supper at 7 p.m., your eating can cause you to remain awake for longer than you’d like. Having your meal around three hours before you go to sleep can allow you to get in more rest.

7. Create Reminders to Enforce a Nightly Ritual

It takes plenty of effort and time to reverse a habit of late nights — but it doesn’t take long to ignore your own goal of going to sleep early. Surround yourself with reminders to check your actions and remain on track. Make an alarm for when you want to start getting ready to go to sleep and when the lights should be off.

8. Exercise at Least Four Hours Before Bed

Working out earlier in the day can put your blood pressure and system in the ideal state for getting a sufficient night’s rest later on. But an intense late night workout might cause interrupted or restless sleep. Schedule your work out a few hours before you want to turn in, and you can enjoy the benefits of fitness on your sleep.

9. Limit Your Naps

If you’re sleepy in the middle of the day or you’re juggling unconventional work hours, taking a brief nap is helpful and refreshing. But if you sleep too long or take a nap later in the day, you might hinder your ability to fall asleep early. Keep your naps between 15 to 20 minutes long.

10. Brighten Your Mornings to Alert Your Body Clock

Your circadian clock responds to daylight, and when you wake up in the morning to a dark setting, your body can think it should continue to sleep. But this can throw off your attempts to fall asleep at the end of the day.

Set a timed light to turn on when your alarm does in the morning. And once you get up, open your drapes and let in natural light to accustom your body to a new routine.

Adjust Your Schedule to Fall Asleep Earlier

Learning how to go to sleep earlier can be simple when you rearrange your day to account for a decent amount of rest. So from the beginning of your day to the end, factor an early bedtime into your schedule. Try out these hacks, and you can finally start to see your nightly routine pay off.

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Also published on Medium.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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