Posted on April 26 2017
You haven’t seen your bed since leaving for work early this morning. You come home and fling off those heels you’ve been walking around in all day, make dinner accompanied by a nice glass of wine, and contemplate a relaxing soak in the tub. Sounds like you’ve got the recipe for one night of amazing sleep; the moment you’ve been daydreaming about for hours now, when your head will finally meet the pillow again, is getting closer and closer.
Somehow, someway, that recipe for sleep doesn’t turn out quite as you had expected and that moment of drifting off to a peaceful slumber you’ve been longing for doesn’t happen. “What the F?” You toss and you turn for hours before the question hits you, “Should I just get up and tackle some of those tasks that have been haunting me lately or should I continue to fight for this rest I so desperately need?”
As a college student, I have faced these very same sleepless nights, but it wasn’t until WRITTEN Founder, Emily came into the office mentioning her similar scenario that I decided to research just what is the best way to handle this situation? This is what I found out.
Roll Over or Get Things Done?
It turns out that there are actually scientific terms related to these sleepless nights we all experience: sleep-maintenance insomnia and sleep-onset insomnia. In short, these terms refer to when you feel the inability to fall asleep, either before or in the middle of sleeping. No matter the circumstance, both terms are important when you live your life as a hard-working WRITTEN Woman! So how do you decide if you should try to get a few more zzz’s or get up and start on that hefty to-do list? Don’t worry, your body will let you know.
According to Timothy Morgenthaler, former President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, your body’s circadian rhythm will help you make that daunting decision. Also known as your biological clock, your circadian rhythm is your body’s way of telling you whether or not you’ve had enough sleep. If you wake up before having a recommended seven to eight hours of sleep and you dread getting out of bed, sleep homeostasis, a basic sleep principle, will push you to sleep longer and more intensely if you haven’t slept enough. Waking up early on a consistent basis will not only make you feel tired, but you are also missing an important stage of sleep that provides energy to the brain and body and supports daytime performance…the WRITTEN Woman can’t afford to have an off day.
However, if you’ve already gotten your seven hours in before your alarm sounds, you should probably take advantage of that time. Dr. Morgenthaler states that the best case scenario when sleeping is when you wake up naturally. You’re body is literally telling you that you’ve had enough shuteye and are ready to take on the day. So throw back that blanket and grab your cup of coffee because it is time to get things done!
Tips For Better Sleep
- No Fluids Before Bedtime: We all have those mid-sleep bathroom breaks and have a hard time falling back to sleep soon after. Avoid this problem by limiting how much you drink before bedtime.
- Make a routine: Try to sleep at the same time every night. This will help your body get acclimated to a regular sleep/wake schedule.
- Avoid Naps: As a college student, I still enjoy my naps during the day. However, this greatly affects what time I feel ready to fall asleep. You can avoid this problem by refusing to take a nap during the evening. A 10-15 minute nap throughout the day is okay to regain alertness, however.
- Resist Stimulants: Turns out that glass of wine before bed may be interfering with your ability to fall into a deep sleep. Restrain from drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks if you want to get the most out of your nighttime rest.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster, get more deep sleep, and awaken less often during the night.
Everyone is different, we know that’s a fact, however, using these tips can help you start to get the sleep that you need. Remember, if you are consistently waking up before your alarm clock it may be a good idea to get up and get your day started. After all, the WRITTEN Woman never gives up an opportunity to get more done…it’s how she rises to the top!
What is part of your bedtime routine? Let us know!
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