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Sleep Routine - how?


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Hello everyone,

One of the major setbacks in addictive gaming is disrupted sleep, and irregular sleeping patterns.  I know that many of the GQ members are also students as well.  I have been there and done that.  Post-secondary education or high school demands so much of our attention and energy.  Some people also have classes during evenings, which creates another obstacle to developing and maintaining better sleep habits.

I work full-time on a regular schedule, five days a week consecutively.  This does help, but I'll aim to provide solutions for anyone in any circumstance they are in.

1)  Choose a reasonable time to go to sleep every single day.  The goal is to go to sleep at exactly the same time every....single...day.  Choose a reasonable time to WAKE UP in the morning (or evening if you do shift work).  It must be the same time you wake up every single day.

2)  Remove all digital devices from your sleeping quarters.  That includes cell phones, folks.  No computers in your bedroom or television. 

3)  Use an alarm clock instead of your cell phone.

4)  Do not use the computer just before going to sleep.  Computer use should ideally be turned off at least one hour before bed-time.

5)  No caffeine at least three hours before sleeping.

6)  Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.  If your bed is uncomfortable, for chrissake buy a new mattress.  If your room is messy, get off your ass and clean it up.  Also, your room is not a bloody kitchen.  So, quit eating in it.  It's a place of REST.  Make it feel like your sanctuary.  If you're a student, don't study in your room.  Go to the library.  Or study in the dining room. 

7)  Use essential oils to help relax you before sleeping.  There are some oils that are safe to apply on the skin, particularly on the temples, on your wrists, behind your ears.  Eucalyptus, lavender, vanilla, those are recommended to help you relax.  I would avoid citrus oils because they are used more for stimulation and energy.

8)  If you simply cannot fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night, get UP out of bed, walk to another room, and meditate there, or read a boring book.  Then return to your bedroom.  If you are still awake until the sun comes up, stay awake and continue with the tasks of the day.  DO NOT TAKE A NAP.  When night-time rolls around, and it's closer to your bed-time, your body will crave sleep.  But for the first week or so, your body will be resisting the new designated bed-time. 

9)  Use a sleeping mask if you are light sensitive.

10)  Use ear plugs if you are sound sensitive.

11)  Wear comfortable pajamas.

12)  Do not go to the gym one hour before you have to sleep, if you can help it.  Some people may feel energized and unable to sleep.  Others may feel fatigued.  Figure out what type of person you are and change your habit accordingly.

13)  Don't worry if you are still struggling with sleep habits within a two week time period.  Remember, the goal is to get to sleep at the same time every...single...day.  AND to get up at the same time every day.   Yes, that includes weekends too.

14)  Try to drink water a few hours before you sleep, otherwise if you drink liquids closer to bed-time, you'll be waking up to take a piss in the middle of the night, and that will derail your sleeping habit pronto.  Trust me, it happened to me several times.  Lesson learned.

15)  People have social lives too and go out partying late into the evening.  That's fine.  But remember that it may cost you a few days or a week to settle back into a sleeping regime again.  Depends on each individual.  So, maybe keep the partying to weekends or the days when you're not working or doing too much schoolwork, so that it doesn't interfere with productivity.

16)  Listen to relaxing 'white noise' music CD's if that will help you.  Keep the volume low enough that you can just drift off to sleep.

17)  Document your sleeping patterns using a Sleep Journal.  Try this for two weeks and observe your behaviour patterns.  Eg.  Why did I get up in the middle of the  night?  Was I hungry?  Thirsty?  I went to a get-together last night and came home late, so I was extra tired in the morning.  I studied late into the night.  I was watching tv or playing on the computer late. 

18)  Take melatonin every day for maximum of two weeks.  This is a natural hormone your body makes, but the supplement can also be helpful as a short-term fix.

19)  Make sure you have comfortable pillows.  I noticed there are pillows created for various positions of sleeping.  Eg.  sleeping on your stomach, on your side, on your back.

20)  Take note of the temperature in your room.  Is it too hot?  Too cold?  What temperature is right for you to get to sleep?

21)  Meditate an hour before bed-time.

22)  Buy a light 'dimmer'.  I bought mine from Ikea and it works like a charm.

If anyone else has more to add to this list, feel free to post your suggestions.  Hope this helps.

~ Dani

Edited by Dannigan
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23. Write down a list of things you want to do in the morning so that if you feel sluggish, you won't have to strain your willpower as much. Make it super bare-bones such as drink water; take medicine; brush teeth; change clothes etc.

24. If you know about sleep cycles and think that sleeping 7 hours is worse than sleeping 6 hours, you are being delusional and it's most likely just keeping you in a negative habit loop by sleeping less than you should. Waking up during REM time really only matters if you sleep less than 5 hours and/or are waking up naturally, without an alarm.

25. If normal alarms don't do it, install an app called "I can't wake up!". In this puppy, you can set up a set of challenges that you need to complete before the alarm stops. This includes some simple memory puzzles, math equations, assigning capitals to countries, typing exercises and more. It's fully customizable and can go from trivial to absolutely impossible. By the time I complete my set, my brain has already done 3 minutes of quite intensive logical thinking and is much more awake than normally.

26. Put your alarm device far enough that you have to walk out of bed.

27. Make sure to forgive yourself immediately after you oversleep. Taking responsibility is one thing, guilt and shame are another. One is beneficial, the other is not.

Edited by JustTom
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  • 1 year later...

This is really interresting but never helped me.

I found a book about waking cycles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm and even read more into scientific papers who where recently released (becouse of better measurement devices) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronobiology .

The newews discoveries broke the plain day-wake-cycle even into more periods over a day.
They found out every human has a slighly different form of those cylces.
This graph will propably give you an understanding of what I mean:


Those periods shift and align to when you wake up (therefore it's stressfull for people to get up at different times each day, like shift workers have to do).
This means, someone who did go to school at 9am every day has a slighly shifted waveform than someone who did go to school at 6am.

Absolutely nothing helped me to sleep in properly, until I shifted my time going to bed to 20pm or even 18pm before that. Sadly I am working shifts right now, so I need to go to bed 22pm.

In addition I am using a daylight alarm clock withou sound.
I do not need any form of sound to wake up with this method!

Edited by creationlist
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