How to Get More Sleep
Keep In Sync With Your Body’s Sleep Cycle
We know maintaining a proper sleep schedule can be tough. Life can often get in the way of a good night’s rest. Late nights at the office. An evening of pub trivia. Or maybe you just need to clutch onto every single precious moment you have to yourself, so you get stoned and watch The Office until two in the morning. Today is the perfect day to start a new you. Remember, discipline is the first milestone on the road to restfulness.
Exercise During the Day
Exercise can reduce stress levels, mitigate insomnia symptoms, and contribute to more restful shut-eye. Experts recommend twenty to thirty minutes of brisk, moderate cardiovascular activity every day, such as walking or jogging, and caution that five to ten minutes of quick, rhythmic exercises working mainly the right wrist are an ineffective substitute. We know, it’s been three months since Julie moved out, and yes, you probably shouldn’t have yelled at your parents on the phone like that. Maybe try joining a club soccer team?
Wind Down and Clear Your Head
No one can fall asleep with a mind chock-full of anxiety and stress. Rather than spending the night tossing and turning, take some time before bed to center yourself and release the thoughts that swirl around in your brain. Practice deep breathing. Meditate. Call your brother back and forgive him for stealing your Jeep Grand Cherokee. We understand that relationship is loaded, but you need to understand that addiction is a disease. And it’s not like you have everything in your life under control. Who showed up high to brunch with Julie’s parents that one time? Sure, it was just a little pot, but Julie had a point. That’s just one example of something you shouldn’t be thinking about before you go to bed. Breathe.
Improve Your Sleep Environment
It goes without saying, comfort is of the primary importance when it comes to sleep. Your mattress from senior year probably doesn’t provide the support you need. Julie kept saying you should get one of those memory foam ones. She even offered to split it with you, remember? God, that was nice. You were actually getting to bed earlier in those days, come to think of it. She said Brian got one of those, and he’s been sleeping like a baby. Who can blame her for keeping in touch with your old friends from college, when you were just watching The Office all night, right? And who’d’ve thought Brian would end up a surgeon? Of course, surgeons are very tired at the end of the day because of how hard they work. Not surprising that if you’re just sitting in front of a computer for eight hours, adjusting the margins on Word documents, you probably have a lot of saved-up energy. But then you’d just come home and vegetate, and it’s certainly not like you were having sex anymore. Maybe once every couple of weeks, right? Supposedly Brian goes to rock climbing classes after work. Maybe you could try that once, you know? What’s the harm in doing that one night, out of all the oceans of empty nights you spend in half-darkness, eating fistfuls of Raisin Bran out of the box?
Control Your Light Exposure
Dim the lights an hour or two before bed to get your body ready for sleep. No screen time. No music. No reading. Just lie on the bed and think about the fact that you’re going to die one day. This is how you’re spending the prime years of your life. A nameless cog in the corporate machine. Overweight. Sad. Alone. Julie’s going to Cambodia this spring. Do you think Brian will propose? It’s hard to meet people when you don’t love yourself. But how are you supposed to love yourself, when you haven’t even washed your sheets since she left? You can still kind of smell her hair over on the right corner of the bed. You should probably wash those this weekend. Maybe that’s a good first step. A first step on the on-ramp to the road to restfulness.
Her hair smelled really nice, though.
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Michael Bleicher and Andy Newton are above-average in height and know the harmony parts to most Simon & Garfunkel songs. Andy is an editor in New York City and Michael is a copyright attorney in Washington, D.C.