How To Install Your ‘Back To School’ Sleep Schedule
Whether you’re embarking on a new schedule this autumn or simply need an excuse to reboot your less-than-regular sleep routine – we all know that maintaining a good routine takes work. Typically, our sleep begins to deteriorate right before we need it working optimally: like starting a new job or before a new big project. Knowing that we humans are creatures of habit can be one way to nailing down a proper (and effective) sleep schedule.
As always, the Sleep Lab has got your back! Sleep is one of the essential building blocks to thriving in our everyday lives and if your existing routine needs a helping hand this is the one for you…
TIP 1 | Set A Schedule (A Proper One)
If you already know your new timetable or have a rough idea of what time you’ll need to be starting your day each morning, get that time in your mind and work out how much time you reasonably need to get yourself ready for the day. Remember this should ideally include some mindfulness practice which can be anything from making a cup of tea to a quick Yoga stretch.
Once you have both timeframes you need to count backwards 8 hours (minimum). So, if your day begins at 8AM and you want an hour to yourself before starting that means getting out at 7AM. Considering a minimum of 8 hours sleep (to fuel your body and mind optimally) works out at a hard bedtime schedule of 11PM. EVERY night - yep, even weekends…
If you’re serious about optimising your sleep quality, consistency really is the key, and it often means starting this schedule a few weeks before you ‘need’ it to be in place. This is to allow your body (and your existing sleep routine) to adjust, so you are already implanting the new sleep schedule and already feeling the restorative effects. Whilst it might feel bizarre and counterproductive to be rising at a much earlier time than your existing commitments require, you’ll thank yourself BIG time in the long run.
TIP 2 | Build A Brief Bedtime Ritual
If you’ve been a long-time reader of the Sleep Lab, you’ll know that we think bedtime rituals deserve a lot more credit. As we mentioned before, we humans are creatures of habit. Like any other routine, bedtime rituals establish habits that help our brains recognize when it’s time to sleep. Sounds simple but stay with us. By performing the same activities in the same order every night, your brain comes to see those activities as a precursor to sleep, making it easier and easier each time. They also play a significant part in reducing late-night stress and anxiety – the worrying thoughts that keep you up at night. By building a bedtime ritual into your schedule you can keep your mind focused on other tasks and encourage yourself to relax instead.
The trick is to make sure this ritual is manageable. We’ll repeat that – manageable. A ritual that requires 10+ steps and an hour and a half of your evening isn’t going to be feasible when you get back exhausted from your new routine. It could be as simple as spritzing an indulgent pillow spray on your bed before sinking into it. One step you can easily complete each and every night – see our old friend consistency is popping up again.
TIP 3 | Upgrade Your Sleep Essentials
It’s funny we should mention sleep essentials, they can provide the anchor you need for your new bedtime ritual and turn it from a chore into a delightful space in the day reserved just for you. Here at DROWSY we’re here to provide you with the products you need to elevate sleep from an afterthought into an indulgent and quite frankly glorious ritual…
Our top micro ritual suggestion? Start your ritual off with some aromatherapy. If you’re lucky enough to already have a diffuser, add a couple of drops of the Sleep S.O.S Essential Oil Blend and let the 100% natural sleep oils start unwinding you when you’re brushing your teeth or doing your skincare routine? No diffuser? No problem! Either add a few drops to your bath or loofah to keep that heavenly fragrance lingering long after you’ve dropped off. When you finally find yourself climbing the stairs to bed, continue the scent association with a couple of spritzes of the Sleep S.O.S or Zen Pillow Sprays and for the ultimate indulgence, pop on the Silk Sleep Mask to keep out every ray of that early morning brightness before the clocks change.
The Bottom Line?
Sleep is pretty crucial for our wellbeing and is one of the key ways our bodies are able to adapt to the changing stresses and strains of our busy lives. If you needed any further convincing of the importance of a decent sleep routine (and we’re not sure why you would) check out our previous post all about how you can hack your way to the best sleep of your life.
Until next time…