My name is Derek and I am a night owl… Both of my parents are too, so it makes sense that I'm hard wired this way, but it can sometimes make for a long 'Time to Z' if I'm not careful.
I've found that the most important thing for me (by far) is avoiding bright lights, computer screens, and TVs in the hour leading up to bed. I'm a fan of the Power Down Hour and, even though I don't always hit the 20 minute intervals, it gives me direction. I've set a recurring silent alarm for my phone one hour before bed – I don't always see it, and it doesn't always stop me in my tracks when I do, but it serves as a subtle reminder that I need to be careful as bedtime approaches.
When I ignore what my body wants me to do and I find myself wired in bed (racing mind more than anything), there are a few things I've tried in the past…
- Brain dump – similar to the worry journal, I took the time to write down all of the thoughts that were racing through my brain… more often than not, things that I wanted to get done. I did this in the dark (to avoid lights), and it helped out a lot… I should do it more often.
- Got out of bed & read in low lighting – I've had good and bad experiences with this. Sometimes the books make my brain go faster, other times they make me ready for sleep. Book selection has a lot to do with this (but I have trouble reading something aimless… any suggestions?).
Thoughts? Other suggestions?