Four Tips for More Sleep
Sleep is a blessing and gift from God. So how can we enjoy it more fully?
These are a few things that have helped me.
Start by committing to make sleep a priority, not a luxury.
Remember the pattern in Genesis 1? “And there was evening and there was morning…”
We don’t work first and then sleep.
This takes faith. It is entrusting the cares of the day into His hands.
It is believing that when I am rested, I can tackle the problem with a fresh mind.
Determine how much sleep you need to function best.
Or simply try adding one hour to what you currently get and work at being consistent with that for a month.
Many of us are so sleep-deficient it may take at least a week to see any benefits.
Block that time out first, not last, into your schedule. Note your target bedtime and then aim to be in bed by then.
Spend your waking hours wisely so you can be ready at your target time.
When we know that we need to be in bed by a certain time, it forces us to use the time we have a little differently.
If I was serious about my bedtime, I needed to be serious about the rest of the work day as well.
I cut out all the unnecessary, unproductive stuff, sometimes cold turkey.
I thought ahead to prevent predictable bottlenecks (e.g. packing lunches earlier, planning the next day’s meals, and writing out tomorrow’s schedule the night before).
Create an evening “shutdown” routine to start at least one hour before bedtime.
Starting this routine mentally signals to my body that I’m getting ready for bed.
I wash up, pick out tomorrow’s clothes, tidy up the kitchen, turn off my laptop and phone, get into my pajamas, and read a story with my younger son.
This provides closure for the day as well as a good start for the next.
It has taken me about two years to slowly work my way into my current schedule.
One change. One habit.
But they have all added up.
I now get about seven hours of sleep a night. (Most of the time!)
I wake up early and have an hour of Bible study and half an hour of prayer before I start the day.
I even have time to write for half an hour each morning.
Then I take a shower and am ready for the kids when they get up.
I do go to bed earlier than I used to, and there are still things I need to fine tune.
I need to figure out an alternate time to spend with my husband and children and adjust my schedule.
It isn’t 100% perfect. It’s a work in progress, but it’s much better than it used to be.
What’s one thing you can change to add an extra hour of sleep to your day?