If you think getting eight hours is going to solve all your sleep problems, I have some bad news for you. Getting enough sleep is one half of the battle. The other half is getting good sleep. It's time to refresh your bedtime and wake-up routine and banish these bad bed habits for good.
Not Going to Bed on a Schedule
I've had tremendous success controlling my sleep with this tidbit: A person's sleep cycle is, on average, 90 minutes. So if you plan your bedtime and wake up call for some multiple of 90 minutes apart, you'll likely wake up happier and refreshed every day. There's an easy-to-remember online website – sleepyti.me – to help you with the math.
Drawing the Curtains Before Bed
Natural light keeps your body on a natural sleep-wake cycle. If you frequently wake up feeling tired and groggy, your dark room and closed curtains might be to blame. Leave them open when you go to bed and let the sunrise wake your body up naturally to start your day on the right foot.
Not Putting Away Your Cell Phone
The time after work and before bed might be your only time to waste away on social media, watching cat videos until it's time to go to bed and do the whole day over again. But you might find you have more energy in the morning if you can put away your screens for a few hours before bed.
Not Making the Bed When You Wake Up
Could a chore like this one really make your life better? Yes, actually. Making the bed is a keystone habit that's correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.
Getting Out of Sync on the Weekends
There are some great ideas here for going to bed and waking up happier, but every time you sleep in on the weekend, you're resetting the whole system. Keep up all your new habits – the 90-minute sleep cycles and the open curtains and making the bed in the morning – for your best shot at long-term sleep success.