Especially since I started studying, I've noticed that my sleep quality suffers from the way I live and work. I would rather consider myself to be the night owl sleeping type: I go to bed late, but get up later in return.
Compared to the larks, who go to bed early and get up early, night owls have a rather hard time in today's society. For most people, sleeping late is only possible on weekends.
Sleep quality plays a big role in many medical and mental matters. That's why I want to improve it as much as I can without having to change too much or disregard my sleep type.
What Makes Good Sleep
Sleep is very complex. There is no recipe for getting a perfect night's rest. Everyone's biorhythms are different and even sleep types are really just simplifications.
In general, however, there are guidelines that improve sleep quality:
- A regular sleep rhythm, even on weekends (A good morning and evening routine can help with that)
- Exercise and get sunlight every day
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and large meals, especially just before bedtime
- Sleep in a cool, completely dark room
- Relax before sleeping and do not lie awake in bed for longer than 20 minutes
Especially the regular sleep rhythm is very important – however, it is also the point that I personally find the most difficult. If you stick to these guiding principles, you should soon notice improvements.
However, as we will see over the course of this article, this is easier said than done.
My Plan to Force Me to Go to Bed
As I said, I am a night owl who prefers to go to bed late. I have, based on the five guiding principles for good sleep, devised a plan for myself. This strategy is not a “Master plan” that can be applied to everyone. Instead, I want to inspire you, if possible, to question your own sleep habits and change them as needed.
The first phase is observation. Over the course of a few weeks, I have identified the following problems with my sleep habits:
- I go to bed too late and don't use the time late at night productively.
- I get up later in the morning than I would like and hit the snooze button too often.
- I sleep well overall, but too little, making me more tired than I should be, especially in the afternoon.
In the second phase, I've been trying to find ways to mitigate my problematic sleep habits.
- I use the health feature on my iPhone to remind me of my bedtime. If I don't want to go to sleep yet, I read something in bed until I'm tired.
- Because of my more regular bedtime, I sleep about eight hours a night. As a result, the natural low level of energy in the afternoon shouldn't be as big of a deal.
- I want to keep working on simplifying my routines and thereby relax better in the evening and get out of bed faster in the morning. I have already written about simple but effective morning and evening routines in another article.
What Happens Next…
Finally, the third phase is execution and reflection. This is where I currently am. Now is the time for experimentation!
I'm curious to see if my strategy proves itself and if my sleep quality actually improves.
I hope I have been able to encourage you to take a critical look at your own sleep habits. Good sleep is a key aspect of a healthy, fulfilling life!
If you have ideas or tips on how the rest of us can improve our own sleep, don't hesitate to write to me. I'm excited to hear what techniques you're working with!
 I highly recommend the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker.