We all have those times during the week, month or year where there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that we need to. For some of us, this is a feeling we have every single day. The demands keep piling up, and healthy sleep is often the first thing that we sacrifice. That is why we decided to write this two-part series on how you can get the sleep you need during busy times of the year.
Ironically, sleep is the one thing that we need to be able to face our daily demands with a clear and focused mind and a healthy, strong body both physically and mentally. However, it is always the first thing we toss to the side. No more!
No more sacrificing sleep! Use these 5 tips to make sure you get the #sleep you need during busy times!Click to tweet
Here are five tips on how to be your best (and not sleep-deprived) during the busy times throughout the year.
5 Sleep Tips to Get the Sleep You Need During Busy Times
Put Sleep on Your To-Do List
Sleep is very easy to compromise, especially during demanding times of the year. So put it on your to-do list!
When we have tasks to complete, groceries to get, things to remember, what do we do? We make a list. Put sleep on your to-do list and feel the satisfaction of crossing it off, once you tackled a good night sleep.
Better yet, make a list of your bedtime routine and check off the box once it is completed. Not only will you be making sleep a priority by doing this, but you are also cueing your body to shift to sleep mode, which makes sleep come easier.
Focus on being more organized around your sleep. One of the best places to start when working on a healthy relationship with sleep is to figure out how much sleep you need to feel your best. This is a slow process, but one worth taking the time for.
Figure out what you need and plan to get it. Our circadian rhythm (internal clock) operates at its best when we have consistent sleep and wake schedules. Look at your calendar to see when you need to be up most mornings. That becomes your wake-up time throughout the week (yes even weekends!), then work backward based on how much sleep you need, and that becomes your bedtime each night.
For example, if I need 6.5 hours of sleep and I typically need to be up by 6 am, I need to go to bed by 11:30 pm. Consistent sleep, even if it is only 6 hours, produces a better quality of sleep, which in turn makes us feel better throughout our day.
Schedule Times of Rest in Your Calendar (Naps, Relaxation, Deep Breaths)
Take a look at your day and block off small sections of time to focus on creating a relaxation response within your body and mind.
As we move through our day, we build up a stress response that often stays elevated when we get home from work. It is the excessive built up stress that signals to the body that it is to keep operating in the wake system. By scheduling small bits of time throughout your day to relax, you are working towards keeping those stress levels from elevating to high making sleep difficult.
Try a power nap (10-20 minutes), do a quick body scan, some nice deep breaths, or some mindfulness several times throughout your day.
Commit to shutting down 45 minutes before bed. Often our devices are addicting and the blue light emitted from screens can affect your quality of sleep. Find some relaxing activities in the evening before bed that does not involve screen time.
Value Your Sleep
Sleep is not for the weak. In our fast-paced society sleep is often an after-thought, something that just happens (or not) at the end of a day. Be intentional with your sleep and make it a priority.
When something is important, we give it importance, and healthy sleep is something worth spending time on and giving it a little TLC. Start talking about your healthy sleep goals and expectations to your friends and family. This keeps sleep top of mind, especially during busy times, and it remains important throughout our day-to-day.
Whether you are smack dab in the middle of a busy time, or you have one coming up, now is a good time to start building a healthy relationship with your sleep. Will you get the sleep you need every single night? Probably not, if it is a busy time of year for you. However, this is about progress, not perfection. When we think something is important, we give importance to it.