7 Steps To Train Yourself To Go To Bed Early

Learning how to go to bed early can be a game changer. Stellar Sleep has seven steps to help you get longer, better, higher-quality sleep.

 

Going to bed early is tough — it’s often challenging to tear yourself away from everything you’re doing and still have to do if you feel like you’re “wasting time” sleeping. However, when you work to change how you look at your sleep schedule and find ways to get more quality sleep, you’ll be amazed at how much of a positive impact it can have on your life. 

Want to learn how to go to bed early? Here are seven tips you can start using today. 

Why Is Going To Bed Early Important?

Everyone requires a different amount of sleep to feel their best. Although “early” is in the eye of the beholder, getting a good night’s sleep is important for various reasons. For most people, seven hours of sleep is the minimum needed to stay physically and mentally healthy. 

Sleep is when the body heals itself, turns short-term memories into long-term ones, and recovers from the day. When your body doesn’t get enough time to do that, your physical and mental health can suffer.

How To Go To Bed Early

An early bedtime may be the goal, but learning how to go to bed early can seem impossible if you don’t know where to start. Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, try one or any combination of these tips for a jumpstart. Consider this a to-do list for combatting sleep deprivation and kicking your sleep quality into high gear. 

1. Set a Sleep Schedule

A consistent routine is one of the most essential tools for supporting a healthy sleep schedule. The key is to always stick with that routine, even on weekends, holidays, and off days. Aim to head to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning — this can help regulate your circadian rhythm, or your body’s internal clock.

2. Avoid Blue Light

Technology is everywhere, and the blue light that some electronic devices emit can take a toll on your body clock. To minimize your exposure to blue light, avoid using your devices an hour or so before heading to bed. Watching TV and using smartphones and tablets can expose you to wavelengths of light that may trick your circadian rhythm into thinking it’s not actually time for bed. 

3. Establish a Bedtime Routine

In addition to sticking with a set sleep schedule, establishing a supportive bedtime routine can help you go to sleep early and stay asleep longer. Your sleep habits — also known as your sleep hygiene — are important to sleep quality. 

Try turning off your cell phone, taking a warm shower or bath, and reading a book before heading to bed to give yourself time to wind down and prepare for sleep. If you’re unsure where your routine is going wrong, take our free sleep quiz.

4. Try Using White Noise

The noise around you — known as ambient noise — can either help you get better sleep or cause sleep problems. If the noise around you is distracting you instead of helping you fall asleep, you may benefit from using white noise

White noise (or other forms of noise on the color spectrum) can help cover up those environmental noises and help you drift off into dreamland. Ear plugs can also be beneficial for getting the deep sleep you need to thrive. 

5. Avoid Late-Night Activities

Sleep procrastination happens to all of us, especially for those who feel like they don’t have enough time during the day to get everything done. However, stimulating activities — like exercising or watching TV — can keep your mind too active when you’re finally ready to fall asleep. 

Avoid stimulating activities an hour or two before bedtime, and instead opt for calm and soothing alternatives. 

6. Avoid Stimulants in the Afternoon

You may not always realize just how much caffeine you take in during the day, although most of that caffeine consumption often happens in the morning. 

Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, or soda later in the afternoon can play a role in the quality of sleep you get — avoiding caffeine later in the day may help you enjoy a better night of sleep.

Bright light can also act as a stimulant, so consider investing in blackout curtains to reduce external light exposure in your bedroom. Too much light while trying to sleep can trick your body into thinking it’s daytime, sending signals to your brain to stay up instead of falling asleep.

7. Try Natural Sleep Aids

Natural sleep aids, like chamomile and melatonin, can be an excellent way to supplement other ways of helping you get to bed early. They may not be able to help you get good sleep entirely on their own, but they can help boost the success of other changes you’re making to your sleep routine. 

Melatonin, in particular, is a natural hormone produced by the body that helps tell your body when it’s time for bed. Those with inconsistent schedules or who travel a lot (especially across multiple time zones) may find melatonin beneficial. 

When Should You See a Professional?

Trying to start a new habit can be tricky, but there’s nothing wrong with going it alone — at least at the beginning. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or have been unsuccessful in making the necessary changes, it may be an excellent time to reach out to a professional for help. Poor sleep can result from a physical health issue like sleep apnea, and a doctor can diagnose any underlying conditions and give you personalized advice. 

Not sure what’s going on with your sleep cycle? Take our insomnia quiz to see where your specific issues land on the sleep disorder spectrum. Once you understand more about what’s going on with you, you can more specifically address the problems that may be stopping you from getting the best sleep of your life. 

The Bottom Line

Want to learn how to go to bed early? Whether you’re a natural morning person or a night owl, the desire to make a change is the largest piece of the puzzle. Working with a CBT-I coach can help you address any psychological factors that may be holding you back so you can start getting enough sleep and wake up the next morning feeling well-rested and ready to take on your day.

Sources:

Blue light has a dark side | Harvard Health

Noise as a sleep aid: A systematic review | PubMed

Caffeine | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Melatonin: What You Need To Know | NCCIH

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  • How psychology can help your sleep
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