Is Your Attitude Toward Sleep in Need of an Overhaul?

My attitude toward sleep has shifted quite a bit over the last handful of years and particularly over the last two or three when things became quite stressful. I’ve discovered that the way I think about sleeping alters my behaviors, when then have an impact on how much rest I get in a typical night.  Since I’ve been sharing my tips about this for a while, I thought I’d continue my trend from this perspective.

Understanding Your Attitude Toward Sleep

Attitude toward sleepI think the most important thing I did in working to get more rest was to take a minute to get to know my attitude toward sleep. I don’t mean whether I like it or not. Of course, I like it. But about the care I gave it and the priority it had in my life.

Since I was in high school, right through my working years, I gave most things priorities over going to sleep. I would alter the time I went to bed and when I got up in order to suit whatever was going on at the time. I’d keep living life to the fullest right up until the moment I had to place my head onto the pillow and wrenched myself awake with the alarm clock in the morning. It was awful and I rarely got all the rest I needed over the longer term. In essence, my attitude toward sleep was terrible.

I didn’t treat it well and in return, it didn’t treat me well either. In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense.

Once I started changing my attitude toward sleep, giving in priority in my life and valuing it as much as diet and exercise, things changed for me.

Changing Your Attitude Toward Sleep

I’m hardly a sleep expert, and by that, I mean I’m not one at all, but I do know what has helped me to get more rest.  Here are some of the things I did to change my attitude toward sleep so that I could finally start getting decent rest on a regular basis.

1 – Think of It as Important

As a society, we tend to have certain opinions about getting enough rest.  People who go to bed early have no life. People who stay up late all the time are the social, respectable ones. Or, they’re the ones who get stuff done.  People who make a priority of rest are lazy or don’t care about being productive.

As someone who used to think I had to sacrifice sleep to fit the rest of my life into my day, I can tell you that those assumptions are not true. I am now a well rested person. I think more clearly (I had no idea how foggy my brain was until I started sleeping more!), I drive better, I find it easier to cope with challenges, and stress doesn’t hit me as hard. I’m better at life because I’m well rested. Because of that, I need less time to achieve the same goals. It fits, despite the fact that I’m still spending about 9 hours in bed each night to get 8 hours of sleep.

2 – Say “No” to Things That Can Wait or Aren’t Important

At the time, that next episode of the show you’re binging seems important. It’s not. It will still be there tomorrow.  Staying that last hour at a gathering you’ve been attending for three hours already and that is definitely petering out seems like a good idea, but if it’s too late, it’s not.  Start to be reasonable with yourself.  Weigh the cost and benefits to your decisions. Remember your positive attitude toward sleep? That involves remembering that an hour of it – and sticking consistently to your bedtime routine – will do you far more good than streaming an episode of a TV show ever will.

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