How can you improve your sleep habits?

Development of this Habit

How early do you need to wake up? Culture, context, genetic factors, work schedules, how much sunlight your part of the world gets, and more all play a role here. We are not going to prescribe a time for you to go to bed and wake up. Instead, we are going to ask you to pick a time to wake up each day and report on whether you hit your goal each day. Here are overall principles to apply no matter what your situation is:

  • Go to bed with enough time to get the amount of sleep you need.
  • Get the right amount of sleep for you.
  • Wake up at the time you plan every day, preferably the same time every day if your situation allows you to.
  • Wake up early enough to do whatever you need to, to feel ready for your first task or appointment for the day.

Please note that these principles can be applied in almost any circumstance. Even someone who works night shifts and has a changing work schedule can plan to go to bed at the right time and wake up with enough time to get ready before work starts. 

Many people have enough experience to know about how sleep they need. If you’re not sure how much time your body needs for sleep, try tracking your sleep for a couple weeks and experimenting with different bedtimes and wake times. For the purposes of this course, you can start with a habit of tracking your sleep every day before settling into your ideal routine.

Getting to bed at the right time is one of the most important principles to help you get this habit right. Other than that, we will leave the specifics up to you. Here are ideas that have helped others:

  • Set an alarm for the time you want to go to bed.
  • Take note of triggers and patterns in behavior stopping you from going to bed at your ideal time. Experiment with various ways to make positive changes.
  • Put your alarm clock or phone outside of the room you sleep in. This will help you to be less distracted when you’re falling asleep and will force you to get out of bed to disable your alarm.
  • Try using a morning alarm that is difficult to disable. There are alarms that require you to solve a puzzle, take a picture, scan a QR code, or take a certain number of steps.
  • Be accountable to others. You may find friends who are striving to wake up at the same time as you. You could set up a morning meeting, phone call, or group exercise routine.
  • Before you go to bed, think of or write down what you are most excited to do the next morning.