Don’t Count Sheep – Do This Instead

Have you ever noticed that any time you need to wake up early for something, it becomes impossible to fall asleep? It seems the more you need to get to bed early and fall asleep promptly in order to rest up for something “big,” the less your body wants to accommodate. 

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s about anxiety that the alarm won’t go off, a mind racing through the activities of the day to come, or some other USS (undefined sleep stealer – yes, we made that up), it’s darn frustrating.

We can’t promise that we can fix this phenomenon, but here are a few tips and tidbits of information that we hope will be sanity-savers the next time you find yourself staring at the ceiling.

  • Do yourself a favor, and try not to look at the clock (especially if the “clock” is your phone!)
    • It’s really tempting, we know, but looking at the time is likely to start up the mental math around how many hours of sleep you might miss, and that just makes those sweet ZZZs even more elusive.  
    • Not to preach, but… you’re probably aware that screens are enemies of sleep, right?
  • Follow Arianna Huffington’s lead, as detailed in her book Sleep Revolution, and take the opportunity to meditate
    • This doesn’t have to be formal. Something as simple as focusing on your breathing, tuning in to a constant sound, or repeating a soothing word can do the trick.
  • Take comfort in the fact that if you’re basically well-rested (i.e. not chronically sleep-deprived), you can probably survive the following day with just a little less spring in your step.
    • You may not feel or perform your very best after a sleepless night, but if you generally try to keep your sleep debt to a minimum, you're in a pretty good place as far as your sleep health is concerned - though it may be a good idea to warn those around you that you could get a little cranky.  ;)

There you have it. Now you’ll be all set if you plan to wake up at the crack of dawn this Black Friday to hunt yourself some deals, or if an early morning flight home to family is in your future. Ready or not, here come the holidays!