The last couple of weeks I’ve slept like shit.
My Fitbit sleep stats were terrible.
I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night and then staying awake for a couple of hours.
After thinking about ways to improve this, I came up with a little hack that I’m going to start using. I actually did this last night and slept great.
This is the routine that kept happening:
I would usually wake up because I had to pee. So I’d go pee.
Then, I’d return to bed and check my phone on my nightstand right next to me. I’d usually see a few unread emails and notifications, so I’d check those.
Then, I’d want to check my Quora stats and my WordPress stats. Then, I’d check YouTube stats.
Then, I’d scan YouTube for new videos and maybe watch a couple of those.
Before I know it, it’s been two hours and I’m wide awake.
Make no mistake, this is all totally avoidable. But it’s so easy to fall into this trap when your phone is within arm’s reach by your bedside.
I’m not yet one of those people who is willing to put their phone in an entirely different room when I’m sleeping. I still need an alarm clock on most days.
But I did try this:
I kept my phone off my night stand outside of reach from me in bed.
This forces me to either look at my phone or lay in bed. I can’t do both.
So now, when I’m done peeing, I go straight to bed with no phone. And guess what? I go back to sleep much more quickly.
You may not be able to control waking up in the middle of the night, but you can control what happens after you wake up.
Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
Featured image by Álvaro Serrano.
First published on Quora.