The Daily Mind Games for the week are going to take a slightly different tack than normal. Our goal each day will be to add one more element to an increasingly sophisticated bed-time ritual. The point is that by creating a standard pre-bed routine, our brain will come to associate the process with relaxation and proximity to sleep. Set behaviors will also help train our circadian clock to a particular sleep cycle, and that will increase the liklihood of solid slumber.
The first element of our bed time routine will be, well, selecting a bed-time. We all have a sense of how much sleep we need and/or want to get each night. We also have a sense of our daily routines: time to arrive at work, time to commute, time to get ready, etc. So, let's work backward and figure out a rough time we need to get to bed.
Task: Determine the perfect time to be asleep.
Info: Estimate the time needed for morning routines accurately. Do the math: what time do you need to be at work/school? What needs to happen in the morning before work? What time do you need to get up to finish all that? Next, select a sleep time that is appropriate for you. I function best with around 8hrs. Add your preferred sleep time to your morning time needs. Subtract that time from the time to be at work, and you have bed-time. That's about the time you'll want to be going under. For example, I need to be in at 10am. It takes me 2.5hrs to get ready, commute and exercise. I need 8hrs of sleep, so I need to be asleep by 10am-2.5hrs-8hrs=11:30pm. That's bed-time for me.
Goal: Select a manageable, and appropriate, bed-time considering your morning routine and sleep needs.