How to prioritize your sleepJul 11, 2022
In the second part of this five-part series, I explore the importance of prioritizing sleep.
In the first part, I talked about valuing your sleep. Included was a journaling exercise to dig deep into why you should value your sleep, a vital step towards switching your mindset. If you haven't had the chance to do the exercise yet, please read Part 1 here.
The purpose of sleep is to deliver good mental and physical health, well-being, and the ability to function during the day.
Once we recognize how valuable sleep is to our overall health, we can take it seriously. Now it’s time to commit to creating the optimum environment for good quality, regular sleep.
Prioritizing means making DECISIONS to put your sleep first on your list of what is important to you.
You might need to make some hard choices, like leaving a gathering early or even choosing not to go out at all. You may miss out on your favorite show or late night phone conversations with friends. For some of my clients, going to bed earlier meant missing out on their only chance of some time alone, when the rest of the house was sleeping.
In order to shift your mindset, you need to figure out what you will GAIN by choosing sleep over staying up late.
Before you make the hard decisions, let's do a cost-benefit analysis.
For example, let’s say you are out with friends and they want to stay out past your usual bedtime. Do you leave, or do you stay?
The cost of leaving early:
- Feeling bad for letting down your friends
- Disappointment at missing out on the fun
- Frustration that you need to do this in order to sleep
The benefits of leaving early:
- Waking up tomorrow feeling refreshed and energetic
- More energy to spend with your kids
- Being more present with your family
- Working on projects that are important to you without feeling tired
Seeing how the benefits outweigh the cost makes it easier to choose sleep over staying out, and ensure it remains at the top of your priority list.
Yes, these types of decisions can be difficult, but the more you choose your sleep and how great you will feel the next day, the easier they become.
Knowing we need to prioritize our sleep is only the beginning. That might seem straightforward but it doesn’t mean we know how to make the changes necessary to ensure a good night’s rest.
That's why I'm offering a completely free 20-minute Optimal Sleep Assessment on Zoom. In this we will figure out your biggest hurdle to getting the restorative sleep you need AND what action you can take towards improving your sleep.