Having trouble sleeping can be miserable. When I have a poor nights sleep, I can be irritable, impatient, lethargic and less clear thinking the next day. I perform less well at any task, have been known to nod off in public as well as seeking out sugary foods and messing around with time wasting activities.
Poor sleep is known to impact on our health, work performance and even our ability to successfully lose weight. Sleep deprivation has also been cited as a factor in car crashes, industrial accidents and poor decision making.
I don’t know about you, but sleep is most likely to evade me when something significant is happening the next day. A presentation to an important client, an early morning flight or a big life event like getting married can all hamper sleep.
This past year, my sleep has been particularly erratic. I think it’s partly due to arthritis pain that wakes me up and partly down to poor sleep habits. My current pattern is that I tend to have a couple of very poor night’s sleep and then good one due to sheer exhaustion.
Over the next two months, I want to see if I can radically improve my sleep quality and duration. To this end, I have created a pre-sleep checklist. There are two areas I want to focus on, preparing a sleep friendly bedroom including everything from creating calm, clutter free environment through choosing the right duvet tog for the season. I also want to create a personal sleep preparation routine for myself so that I wind down appropriately and give myself the best chance of a good night. My personal sleep preparation checklist printable is below. There is also a second blank sheet, should you wish to create your own specific routine.
I’ve also decided to track my sleep and keep a record of what I do each night. I can then try to identify what helped and where I can improve and carry these actions into the following week.
My sleep tracker printable is below. Again there is a second blank sheet, if you wish to devise your own questions.
I want to make my health a top priority this year and I know that sleep quality plays a major part in this. Sleeping well makes me more cheerful, more creative and much more motivated to take responsibility for my life. Over the next few months, I will share any tips and ideas I gain from my sleep experiments.