Amanda’s Corner: The ABC’s of Better Z’s

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amanda's cornerEver heard the phrase, “Sleep is for the weak?” I definitely disagree. We all need a good night’s sleep (or many) to be our happiest, healthiest selves! While I have been getting enough sleep, I think my sleep schedule is completely out of whack. I blame it on the residual effects of staying up way too late for paper-writing sessions in college. I was one of the lucky few who never pulled an all-nighter (go me!), but the rigor of college still managed to take its toll. Now, with almost a year since I graduated, I still fall into the trap of staying up late. I just don’t feel tired. (And then I have trouble waking up in the morning). Here’s how I’m trying to get my sleep schedule back on track:

(Less) Coffee Cure: I have been drinking more coffee lately—gotta love having a coffee pot within arms’ reach. I am not a caffeine fiend by any means, but I have been drinking more coffee than I probably should (two cups instead of the usual one). I’m going to try sticking to one cup per day in the mornings. After that, I’ll be brewing some decaf tea and sipping lots of water.

Sound the Alarm:
I typically snooze past three or four alarms in the morning—no joke. It’s bad. The day I start waking up to only one alarm will be a glorious day. So I’ve decided to set an alarm for bedtime, too, and see if that works. 10:30 pm. 11 pm at the latest. (I remember in third grade my parents would let me stay up until 9:30 pm on weekends. Those were the days! Now, I can’t imaging going to bed then.)

Unplug: Often, when I try going to bed earlier, my mind races with all sorts of ideas that I have the urge to research on my iPhone, even after I’ve shut down my laptop.  I am hoping to find some moments of solace between me and my notebook, or me and a book, as ways of calming my mind. I’ll jot down any ideas I have before I go to bed—a “mind dump,” if you will, that I’ll turn back to in the morning. I’ve also been trying to read more, so what better time to read than right before bed? No more staring at the light of my laptop. Time to dream!

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