Make time for sleep

Image of Professor Colin Espie
by Professor Colin Espie

Many of us who wish we had better sleep can take a single, simple step to move closer to our goal: make time for sleep.

When it comes to sleep many of us fall into a pattern of “boom and bust” – squeezing sleep in around other commitments during the working week, then trying to catch up on our days off. However, evidence suggests that having a stable, consistent sleep schedule – going to bed each night and getting up each morning at the same time – is generally effective at producing satisfying, efficient sleep.

You may say this isn't possible for you – social engagements and work deadlines certainly make it more challenging. But often we have more control over our time than we assume. Why not try to “choose sleep” for a week or two, over other demands on your time, and see what impact it has on how you feel during the day? Perhaps block out the time in your diary in advance, labelling it as a 'sleep experiment', from at least 2 hours before you intend to head to bed each day. Spend that time winding down from the day, doing something you enjoy and find relaxing – some well-earned “me time“!

Next: Reserve your bedroom for sleep

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