I should be sleeping now, but I’m not. The reason is procrastination. More regularly than I’d like, I don’t get to sleep because I’ve put something off too long and have to get it done. I procrastinate on assignments a lot. I also do exactly the same thing for sleep itself.
My thoughts go something like this: What’s this? A really cool song on Spotify. It sounds kind of like that other song I like. Oh, wait, I’ve forgotten how that song goes. I’ll just look up the lyrics quickly. No, I’m supposed to be doing something. Stay on task. I’m supposed to be asleep by now.
Here’s a couple of ways I’ve found to deal with sleep:
1. Set time aside for things (and stick to it!)
Set times for the things you need to do during the day, and do them during the day, when you said you would. That way there isn’t something with a deadline that you need to get done at midnight.
Scheduling also means setting a time to get to bed each night and slotting in eight hours, leaving an hour or so to go through a routine and get to sleep. If you do this often enough it will become a habit and you won’t have to torture yourself with sleep deprivation on a regular basis.
2. Avoid anti-sleep things
Using laptops or phones blasts blue light into your eyes. Unfortunately, our brains were invented a long time before electricity, so we end up thinking that light = day = awake. Caffeine is also a bad idea. Using your bed as a study spot is also bad.
Am I a perfect snapshot of “wellness”? No, but I’ve figured out that I don’t have to be. Every step in the right direction should be celebrated. I can’t just expect to make everything in my life perfect right away. Putting pressure on myself to fall asleep (for example) is counter-intuitive. It just means I stress.
One technique I’ve found helpful is to set myself a challenge: stay up for as long as I possibly can. It’ll suddenly be hard to do because everything’s a hundred times harder when you try.