Making sleep a habit means that you engage in shut-eye at a certain time of night, or day if you are a night-worker. Going to bed and falling into peaceful sleep should be a commonplace behavior. When it is not, you are likely to suffer detrimental physical and mental consequences.
In order to make sleep a habit, you need to create a customary system of behavior. Resetting your body clock takes vigilance and perseverance. One of the reasons countless children have sleep problems can be put down to a lack of consistency regarding the routine followed prior to sleep, and the regularity of the time that sleep takes place. Adults respond in much the same way when they go to bed at various times and fail to wind down before hitting the hay.
If you wanted to stop the momentum of a rolling stone, you would not help it gain speed by increasing the severity of the angle at which it was traveling. Instead, you would change its direction by setting it on an even, balanced path. The stone would slow down and eventually come to rest. Many people halt the winding down process that needs to take place before sleep by carrying out mentally and physically stimulating activities. Just like a stone rushing downhill, their systems gather speed in the guise of racing thoughts. Additionally, they might raise their body temperature.
Playing computer games, listening to fast music, watching action movies, arguing, making plans, exercising and eating too much are just a few of the ways people speed up instead of slowing down before they attempt to sleep. Other methods of winding yourself up include drinking coffee, eating sugary foods, and keeping the lights in your home bright as the evening wears on.
Winding down may consist of relaxation-inducing behaviors such as reading, taking a hot bath, drinking a cup of warm milk sweetened with honey, or eating a cracker topped with cottage cheese. At the same time, you might listen to calming music, sit by the fireside and look into the flames, or watch the sun go down from the front porch. You get the picture. The type of activity you carry out needs to be restful and relaxing.
Furthermore, engaging in similar activities at a similar time each evening might be useful. For example, you might take your bath at around nine-thirty, before selecting a book to read by the fireside. Alternatively, you might dim your house lights in line with the fading sun, turn off your TV set at a certain time each night, and play calming music before you go to bed.
The time you aim to turn in depends upon how long you want to spend sleeping corresponding with the hour at which you are going to rise. This sounds obvious, but lots of people do not give themselves the chance to sleep long enough since they go to bed too late. Studies suggest that people require roughly seven-and-a-half hours sleep in total, although you will need up to nine-and-a-half hours if you are a teenager. You might feel that you can cope with a little less sleep, or that you require a little more. Bear in mind that you may not fall asleep instantly. Therefore, allow extra time in which the act of drifting off to sleep can take place. In addition, if you like to gradually awaken and gather your thoughts, you will require more time in bed in the morning. Consequently, if you want to get up at seven, you need to go to bed at about half-past-ten.
You can make sleep a habit by resetting your body clock. Going to bed at a similar time each night and adopting a regular wind-down routine beforehand will make your goal possible.