Personal Habits • Behaviors • Choices
Imagine yourself on vacation without chores, work assignments, or a schedule. You find yourself easing into a comfortable routine filled with delicious meals made with fresh ingredients, light exercise as you explore a new place, and, of course, lots of high-quality sleep. Here, your behaviors, habits, and choices are designed for enjoyment and relaxation, which primes your mind and body for better rest.
But, back at home, life is rarely like this. Instead of strolling along the beach, we’re commuting in heavy traffic. And, rather than eating a fresh meal, we’re ordering a pizza. The Routine factor encompasses the daily behaviors that impact sleep, like diet, bedtime and wake time, exercise, and the number of caffeinated drinks we drink.
However unwieldy our day-to-day may be, we all have routines we follow from morning to night. The question is: Do they support or hinder sleep? One easy way to answer this question is to keep a sleep journal. This tool helps you track your daily habits and uncover which ones lead to good sleep and poor sleep.
Now, if you want to make a specific improvement in your sleep routine (such as waking up earlier), try taking incremental steps. For example, aim to wake up 15 minutes earlier instead of 2 hours earlier – and then progressively wake up earlier and earlier over time until you reach your goal. Change isn’t always simple but you can set yourself up for success by easing into a new routine – just like you do on vacation.
For other facts and tips about the Routine Sleep Factor, check out these articles: