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FORBES

February 1, 2021

25 Hacks to Get More Sleep

You perform best after adequate rest. 

As a kid, we detested and fought against naps, and 8:00pm bedtimes. As a college student, we took advantage of all nighters and overdosing on mountain dews to keep us awake as we crammed for an exam through the night. And as adults, there’s a different struggle… social media is the world that never sleeps.

It’s the channel that’s always on and we don’t want to miss out. So we scroll and scroll and scroll… “just 5 more minutes” we whisper and 2 hours later, we look up and it’s almost midnight. But we still have emails to wrap up, proposals to finish, and other stuff to do like taking a shower and brushing our teeth.

“Ahhh… I have no time!” we think as we rush to get things done, and race to get to bed to hopefully get some sleep but we’re wired and at the same time exhausted & excited. Make it make sense!

So while we’re laying down in bed trying to get sleep, we pull out our phone to take another scroll down the world that never sleeps… we see someone posted about a celebrity death, and we have to find out how they died. Then, someone else posted about something outrageous a politician said, and we have to see what stupid thing they said today. And someone else shares something funny and we watch it 10 times to get rid of the stress.

After we laugh our faces off, we see a post that says, “you have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé” and we feel guilty, log off… and try again to doze off to sleep.

Our alarm goes off the next day, we yawn, hit snooze and think “why am I so tired? I need more sleep not working out this morning. I need a few more minutes in bed.”

Is this accurate or is this accurate?!

Okay maybe this isn’t exactly the scenario for you, but if you’re honest — we (as in you and me) spend far too much time doing unimportant things (this isn’t limited to social media, it could be Netflix, snacking when not hungry, over working, etc.), and not enough time getting proper rest.

You already know sleep is important.

There’s a plethora of scientific studies that show how sleep can prevent, and heal diseases, how it impacts your energy, etc. and I won’t be citing that research here. However, I highly recommend an audiobook called, “Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson. It’s the best book I’ve ever read on the topic. He makes it simple, gives easy actionable steps, and his voice is really soothing.

If you follow me on Instagram @MelodeeForbes, you know I’m doing a 30 Day Sleep Challenge — you can find more details of that at #MFSleepChallenge on Instagram, but to summarize. I’m committed to being in bed asleep by 10:00pm CST. You’re welcome to join me.

Without further ado, here’s. . .

  1. Identify obstacle thoughts. What are obstacle thoughts? These are sweet, little lies you tell yourself but are dangerous to your goals. Thoughts like “just five more minutes”, “I’ll get to it in a minute” or “I’ll do it later” — can be the kiss of death.
  2. Eat your last meal 2 hours before you go to bed (unless you’re like my sister who sleeps better on a full stomach), because if your digestive system is like mine it needs time to process and break down your food before bed.
  3. Pause your screen time 30 minutes to an hour before bed. We don’t realize how charging the energy behind our screen can be and how it impacts our ability to get to sleep.
  4. Plan your online activity. This means if you need to post on social for your business/brand/blog do it early enough so you can stick around to chat with your people in the comments without compromising your bedtime.
  5. Take magnesium a few hours before bed (consult with your physician first obviously).
  6. Enjoy a bubble bath with Epsom salts, lavender & chamomile. 
  7. Exfoliate your face.
  8. Play classical music.
  9. Light candles (blow out before bed).
  10. Read something soothing (that’s not on a screen) like Emily Dickson poetry. 
  11. Write down your thoughts without filter.
  12. Straighten up your room. Put away clothes, throw away papers, etc. 
  13. Walk through the next day in your mind.  Imagine getting up early, waking up refreshed, drinking your fresh juice, moving your body, reviewing your schedule, crossing things off your list, closing deals, helping your community, and/or whatever makes you delighted.
  14. Set your phone to “do not disturb” automatically 2 hours before bed. For example, do not disturb from 8:00pm to 8:00am. Apply it to favorites.
  15. Let the important people (that are used to calling you later in the evening) in your life know of this change.
  16. Turn off all notifications (settings > notifications > switch from the green “allow notifications” to it not being green)
  17. Wear a sleep mask if seeing a speck of light bothers you and you need complete darkness to sleep.
  18. Play the rain rain app in the background. I love the rain rain app, because you can select soothing nature sounds from the rain, snow, ocean, forest, fire, etc. and have it play on repeat while you fall asleep.
  19. Turn off all electronic devices. If you use your iPhone for your alarm, lay it face down far away from you.
  20. Make hangout time earlier. Let your girlfriends know that you’d love spending time with them, and you’ll be available from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. They’re welcome to hang out longer, but you’ve got a deadline to meet.  (Side Note: people respect the words deadline more than sleep/rest queue the “girl, you can sleep later” comments, because a deadline or date feels more important to overachievers and workaholics than sleep or rest).
  21. Spray sleep mist on your pillows and sheets.
  22. Count up to 1,000 (i.e. 1 1,000, 2 1,000, 3 1000, etc).
  23. Get a new mattress that conforms to your body (my sister swears by tempurpedic).
  24. Get satin or silk bed sheets and pillow cases.
  25. Massage yourself. When you’re putting on lotion (or in my case, body butter) rub it in those crevices and take your time from your legs, to your thighs, butt, stomach, breasts, neck — and really show your body some love.

Listen, your first attempt will not be perfect, and you will likely miss it in some capacity. That’s okay. We’re human beings not machines, and perfection isn’t our destination. 

Don’t give up if you don’t make your bedtime the first time, keep going. It takes 21+ days to make a new habit. Commit for 30 days. See what happens.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post! I hope it was useful to you!

What hack are you excited to try first? Are you a Sleeping Queen what else would you add? Let me know in the comment box below!

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