Sleeping is the ultimate self-care technique guaranteed to boost mood through elevating serotonin levels letting you wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the new day. So why is it so hard to sleep at a reasonable time? It’s almost as though as soon as we hit the pillow, thoughts and feelings that we’ve neglected all day begin rushing through our minds demanding attention.
The world we live in requires us to be productive for the majority of the day. At the end of the long workday, it’s already well into dinnertime and we’ve barely gotten a chance to check in with how we are feeling, with our hobbies and interests. So when we are lying in bed we crave some time to be unproductive, to watch our favorite TV show, to browse random things on Instagram, or overindulge in just one more entertaining YouTube video clip. It’s that feeling we had when we were just little kids and we knew it was bedtime but in an act of rebellion, staying up just a little longer felt like a cheap thrill.
Staying up for too long at night can leave us resentful the morning after. We may have a long day of meetings ahead of us or deadlines we need to accomplish and it all feels so much harder without that one hour of sleep. To break the cycle, make a specific time that you would like to sleep and give yourself some space before that for unproductive me time. Try to stay consistent with that time so when your body feels the time approaching it will automatically signal that it’s time to wind down and shut down. Don’t stress too much if your body and mind simply won’t turn off some nights because if you start to become anxious, sleeping will be the last thing on your list. Instead, just let yourself rest and relax through slow breathing or reading.