Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one really simple thing you could do that would make your day – your entire life better? Guess what? There is!
The solution to your desire to increase your creativity and live a fuller, more beautiful life isn’t a pill or a potion. Nor is it the latest super food or green smoothie. It’s not even an exercise routine. Instead, it is sleep. Thats right! The one simple thing you do each night can literally change your life if done right.
“Done right?” you might be saying. “But I’ve been sleeping all of my life! Surely I know how to sleep just fine!” But do you? Or do you think of sleep as something that you can skimp on when you have an extra busy schedule? Do you wake up early in the morning to exercise…without making sure you are going to bed earlier the night before? Do you stay up late at night to “relax” only to find you’re exhausted the next morning and in need of more relaxation because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before? I know that this describes me far too often. Especially before I had my daughter and began learning just how sleep deprivation feels (and what it does to you) when you are never allowed to sleep in or catch up on those zzzs.
Sleep matters! Creativity won’t come if you cheat yourself on sleep to be able to have more time to “create”. If you actually make the time in your schedule to get the proper amount of sleep, (or, if you’re a mother of young children, as close to the proper amount of sleep as you can!) you will notice a huge change in yourself. It will suddenly become almost magically easier to think. To concentrate. To imagine. And…to be patient! Which as a creative writer/novelist and a stay-at-home-mom, is absolutely essential to maintaining any form of sanity (as well as getting anything done). Would you like to be more creative? To feel happier with your life? To be even more productive with seemingly less time? Then read on! Here are five ways to get more and better sleep, no matter how busy you are.
1). Schedule time to sleep.
If you’re a type-A personality like me, your schedule has a way of dictating your life. If you don’t plan on something, it is crazily hard to deviate from your schedule to do something spontaneous or even healthy. Personally, I have to plan time to be spontaneous. (As ridiculous as that sounds.) I have to plan time to relax, and time to wind down in the evening so I can get to bed at a good time.
2). Develop a bedtime routine that is personally relaxing for you.
That’s right. Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids. Or for babies when you’re sleep training. It’s good for us as adults too. Especially when we are trying to establish new habits. Like getting enough sleep. My own personal (and very relaxing, for me!) routine at night is putting my daughter down to sleep as close to 8 as I can. Then I pour a lovely glass of red wine (how large depends on how my day has gone…) and then either my husband and I read or watch a tv show together. It’s simple, but I look forward to it all day. Which is exactly how it should be.
3). Set your “bedtime” in accordance with the time you wake up.
This one is pretty self explanatory. If you are waking up at 5:30, don’t go to sleep at 11:00 the night before.
4). Avoid sweets (or, food, really) close to when you want to sleep.
Food is energy. And you don’t need extra energy right before going to sleep. That is when we need to wind down and relax. And get sleepy.
5). And then, go to bed!
Actually stick to that sleep schedule you set up for yourself. Go to bed!
If only it was time to go to bed now….. this sleep-training-baby thing right after getting over jet lag is exhausting….
How do you increase your creativity? Even more importantly, how do you make sure you get the sleep you need? Please leave a comment below! I really would love to know.