sleep please

…je dois dormir.

in the hustle and bustle of today’s world, in bright city lights, in the addicting blue glow of our smartphones, we are surrounded by stimuli. we are surrounded by all these lights disrupting our natural circadian rhythm and telling us to stay awake when our bodies are telling us to sleep. the light usually wins the battle. have you stayed up just 15 minutes longer to watch a short youtube video, but ended up watching five more? i have. i bet you’ve found a really good show on netflix and just had to watch the next episode. when i tried out netflix, i did that. it was one of the reasons i cancelled my subscription. or the endless scroll takes over. life is stressful, and sometimes, it is so much easier to zone out and scroll through other people’s lives than face our own. i’ve done that too. and sometimes you can’t fall asleep. you stay awake and watch that show or read that book or suddenly decide to clean your room and have to finish. but that’s a lie, because you can fall asleep and your body wants to fall asleep, yet you’ve denied yourself sleep for so long you’ve developed a bad habit.

i used to sleep a lot. i slept so much that people made fun of me for it. i personally need a lot of sleep. i don’t drink coffee or tea, and if i don’t get nine hours of sleep i feel so mentally drained the next day. i know this. i know what i need to do to set myself up for a good day, or to keep myself healthy, but the holidays happened, i travelled, and i slipped back into years old habits of staying up and sleeping in.

it’s a new year, friends, and big events are looming in the horizon. i have lots of testing to look forward to, big soccer games, big track meets, more, more and more to prepare myself for college and beyond. i think we all feel the pressure, and that is why we are able to trick ourselves into an endless cycle of bad sleep. i justify my screen usage as relaxation, or resting. and that’s ok, but the truth is, screen time is not relaxing. it’s a full-time job to maintain an online presence and keep up with everything everyone is doing around you constantly every hour of the day comparing yourself are you doing enough jealousy overwhelmed stressed nervous in a constant competition to be the best look the best, fake it the best.

there’s a reason i’m bringing this up. i want to recenter myself and find more balance in my life, and i believe it starts with good sleep. a good night’s sleep sets you up for the day by making you more positive, tolerant, patient, resilient, and energized. it also helps you retain memories. i have not been doing this lately and i’m feeling the effects. i feel like i can’t remember what happened the previous week, and i’m tired all the time at school. i want to change that now. and maybe you do to. so here are some actions i am going to take to respond to my body’s plea, “sleep more.”

NIGHT ROUTINE: 10 steps to sleeping better ⭐︎☽

  1. finish all of my homework right when i get home. turn my phone onto drive mode, or hide it. i want to have all my homework done by 8.
  2. go on social media, relax, reward myself for being focused, and do whatever i need, but turn off my phone at least 30 minutes before i go to bed
  3. stretch before bed
  4. prepare my body for sleep: read a book, journal if i have any thoughts that are consuming my attention, meditate, pretty much anything that slows down my heart beat and can be done in dim light
  5. dim the lights! i have a desk lamp with adjustable lighting, or candles work or a small lamp instead of a light that fills the room. dimming the computer or phone screen doesn’t really count.
  6. set a bedtime that is adjustable based on how i feel. if i had a game or a hard practice, make it earlier. if i didn’t do much exercise and am not very tired, make it a little later. if not, i can always read until i feel sleepy.
  7. drink warm water, put on lotion, close the curtains – make something a habit to do before I go to bed so I know it is time
  8. remind myself that everything on texts, emails, and social media can wait until tomorrow. rarely anything is so urgent it needs to be seen or answered in an instant (at my age at least)
  9. wake up early! this causes me to feel more productive in the morning and makes the day seem longer. i also feel more tired at night when i do this, and it creates a nice cycle of sleeping early and waking up early plus sunrises are magical!
  10. lastly, just try to sleep. if I don’t want to, or can’t, there is usually some other reason behind it. usually it’s a thought or event that is stressing me out, or i am so tired i am in overdrive and i think i want to stay up. acknowledge why i can’t sleep, and fix it. writing things out or listening to a meditation app is very helpful for that.

and that’s all from me at the moment. it’s getting late, and i need to get into routine and train my body to sleep more. i definitely notice a difference when i do these things, and my goal for this year is to follow through with it. i hope you found something meaningful from reading this self-reflection of mine and i wish you good night!

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