Another kick at the sleeping cat. As regular readers will notice, I´m a bit obsessed about sleep right now. There are all sorts of great tips out there for getting good sleep, and tons of obvious evidence about the benefits of that sleep. Here´s the third gathering of helpful sleep tips:
Develop a bedtime ritual — If, every night before you go to bed, you brew a cup of tea and drink it while reading a magazine, then your body will learn that it´s job is to relax and get ready to go to sleep when you turn the kettle on. We try to pretend that we are all complicated, but humans are really very simple beings, and this kind of thing actually works. If you are thinking of developing your own ritual, though, make sure that it is transportable so you can do the same thing to help get to sleep when you are on the road, too. Tea and a magazine would work anywhere, but hugging the giant stone statue in your garden doesn´t work when you are away (and I don´t guarantee it would work when you are at home, either).
Make a worry list — The single biggest thing that can make it hard to get to sleep is the cloud of worries and anxieties storming through your brain. If you have a pad beside your bed and you spend a few minutes jotting down what has you worked up or what you need to get done then you have freed them from your subconscious and you might be able to slip into sleepy-land a little easier.
Keep a sleep journal — If you are a particularly organized and detail oriented person then a sleep journal may be just the thing. If you record things like the length of your sleep, the time you went to bed, the quality of the sleep, and the food, alcohol and caffeine that you consumed before bed, then you might be able to spot patterns which will help you figure out what works and what doesn´t and you can create a situation that is more conducive to sleep.