How much sleep do you need, and how do you make sure you get it?
Sleep is essential to self care. What is self care? It’s making sure your basic needs are met so you can be your best for other people. Self care is necessary in your daily life. If you’re not sure how to get started (after making sure you get enough sleep, of course!) here are 6 easy ways you can get started with self-care today.
For now, let’s focus on the essential thing we all need, but don’t usually get enough of: sleep.
Most people should get between 7.5-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re getting less than this, it’s time to make a change.
Here’s how to do it:
Work backwards. Start with what time you need to be up in the morning. For this example, let’s say its 7am. Subtract from that the number of hours you you want to sleep. If we want to get 8 hours of sleep, we are now at 11pm. This is the time you need to fall asleep.
Now, most of us don’t pass out the minute our heads hit the pillow. So let’s subtract 30 minutes for that: 10:30pm.
Additionally, you probably have a few bedtime routines. Maybe you take a sweep through the kitchen for any leftover pots and pans from dinner (20 minutes), then head to the bathroom to brush your teeth and wash your face (30 minutes), before finally settling into bed with a book to read to relax before bedtime (30 minutes).
That’s another hour and twenty minutes. Let’s call it an hour thirty for good measure, since you probably do a bit of dawdling (don’t we all?)
We’re now at 9:00pm. This is the time you need to start your evening routine in order to get to bed on time, get optimal sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
Try this exercise on your own, working backwards from the time you need to wake up and calculating out both how much sleep you need and the actions you need to complete before going to bed for the night.
Then, put it in action. Start your routine on time, and put yourself to bed on time. Make it a habit. Commit to it for two weeks. You’ll be shocked at how much better you feel each day simply by ensuring you’re getting enough sleep at night.