I pay attention to what I eat and how I exercise in an effort to maximize my body's health and efficiency. In many of the articles that I read, quality sleep is mentioned as essential to enabling recovery and performance but I have not found a great article on actually accomplishing these tasks.
Much like getting into new habits with diet and exercise, getting into better sleep habits is not an immediate switch. The task does not matter (diet, exercise, sleep, etc). The methods for successfully changing or swapping habits can be generalized for any habit.
Perhaps it's just a subjective point-of-view, but it seems to me that most people have an inconsistent sleep habit. Some nights are good and some are bad, but with majority being bad.
- What qualifies as a good night of sleep for you? 10 hours, 7? Not needing to get up and pee?
- Discipline around not using electronics in bed or even shortly before bed is important.
- How important is going to sleep at the same time? Does the goal of going to sleep at a certain time simply help form the new habit? Would the same hours of sleep starting at more varied times produce 'worse' sleep?
- Bad nights will almost certainly still happen. How to deal with them and not have them throw off an otherwise good pattern.
- Like a diet, it may be important to have cheat days. They will happen, but keep note of the resulting feeling the day after and use that as a reminder to motivate yourself as to why prioritizing good sleep habits is important.
- Track data. When I turned off all lights and laid down, when I awoke, use an alarm?, how I felt about quality upon waking up, how I felt about performance throughout the day (just before sleep), if off schedule the quick note as to why
- Evaluate the data after 3 months
- Take in questions, critiques and info about other sleep habit and quality studies