We all want to have our lives run like a well-oiled machine. Do you ever stop to think how important sleep is to your schedule? Let’s go over how scheduling your sleep is so important to organizing your day.
Why is Sleep so Important to Organizing Your Day?
Sleep is crucial for an organized day. Studies have shown over and over that a proper sleep cycle will lead to increased levels of motivation and energy throughout the day. Following a sleep schedule will allow you to organize your day with structure. If you woke up whenever you felt like it, it would be impossible to follow a schedule!
Are you sleeping correctly?
Depending on your diet and age, there are different sleep cycles that are considered healthy. Optimally, you should be sleeping a minimum of 6-8 hours every day. If you are pulling all-nighters or barely getting more than 4 hours of sleep, then chances are you will feel the side effects of sleep loss.
There have been cases of extremely successful people who have slept only 5 hours. However, they followed a rigorous schedule each and every single. They always went to sleep at the same time and woke up at the same time.
Ask yourself this question.
Do I find myself waking up feeling energized? Or do I find myself waking up half asleep, barely functional on the way to work?
If your answer to the second question is yes, don’t even think about organizing your day.
Having energy to follow a routine is the most important factor in actually following the routine.
The Secret To Waking Up Feeling Refreshed
Humans follow REM cycles that come and go in 90 minute intervals. That means if you sleep for 180 minutes (3 hours) and wake up you will feel fine. However if you sleep 140 minutes and you’re interrupted by your alarm clock, you will wake up feeling groggy. I will show you exactly how to use this information to your advantage in the next section.
Organizing Your Day Action Step 3: Fixing Your Sleep Schedule
On a piece of paper, create a box and label it “Sleep”. Write down the time that you have to wake up in the morning. From that time, start counting backward in intervals of an hour and a half.
For example, let’s say you have to wake up at 6 in the morning to get ready for work. Optional times for you to go to sleep are: 3:30 Am 1:00 Am 11:30 Pm 10:00 PM The key to feeling refreshed in the morning is to sleep at least 3 cycles. Sleeping more than 4 cycles will make you feel tired throughout the day.
Yes that’s right sleeping too much can kill daily motivation!
Therefore, the optimal time to go to sleep (if you have to go to work at 6) is either 10:00 Pm or 10:30 Pm.
On the same piece of paper, calculate and write down your optimal time to fall asleep.
How to fall asleep
Falling asleep can be a daunting task. I’m sure many of us have issues with sleep. Often times when we go to bed at 10, we don’t fall asleep till 11. I know this happens to me all the time! Researchers estimate that the average human takes about 23 minutes to fall asleep. Some of us may take even longer. This can affect the sleep cycles.
For Example: You calculated the optimal time for you to fall asleep. It’s 10:00 pm. If you go to bed at 10:00 pm you are most likely not going to fall asleep until 10:30 pm.
What I would suggest, when planning your sleeping cycles, is to throw in an extra 30 minutes before you actually go to bed. So instead of going to bed at 10:00 pm you should go to bed at 9:30 pm.
Having trouble falling asleep?
I used to have a huge issue with falling asleep on time. The key to falling asleep is to train your mind to associate your bed with sleep. With the recent upsurge in technology and smart phones, more and more people are doing work or browsing the internet in bed. This is terrible for your sleep schedule.
Studies have shown that the light emitted from your phone screens reduce the levels of tiredness. In order to have a proper sleep schedule you must set limitation on your smart phone/computer use.
Here is the best method to go about this: Never use smart phone or laptop in bed.
This will condition your brain to associate the bed with sleeping. Do not use your smart phone or laptop 30 minutes prior to heading to bed.
Do not ingest any caffeinated products after noon. Caffeine stays in the body for 12 hours. Some people are extremely sensitive to caffeine and this will prevent them from feeling tired, even at night.
Exercise in the morning. Exercising at night will tell your body that there is more to do throughout the day. Instead work out in the morning.
Organizing Your Day Action Step 3.1
Figure out when the optimal time to go to sleep is (including the 30 minutes it takes to fall asleep), and write it down.
(Refer back to the first part of this action step above.)
Start applying the tips and tricks to your life to ensure proper sleep.
Write down the time you want to wake up every single day. Set an alarm clock for that time.
Start applying what you learned in this post today! Go to sleep at the time you specified tonight!
Having a proper sleep schedule is the foundation to properly organizing your day. By waking up on time each and every day, you will feel more energized to follow a structured schedule.
In the next post in this series, we will begin to talk about creating your own daily agenda/routine. If you missed any of this Organizing Your Day series, read them here.