All the keys to forming new habits, and how we can implement those each day into our sleep routines.
Our sleep patterns are all about the habits we create. Most of us go to bed around the same time every night, wake up around the same time every morning, and have the same nighttime and morning routines. What we may not realize, is that each of those decisions has a huge impact on how we feel every day, and therefore how we go on to live our lives. Breaking bad habits and trying to create new ones can be difficult, but even small changes in our daily routines can lead to huge changes in our everyday lives.
If you ask behavioral scientists, in order to learn a new habit, you need three basic things: reminder, routine and reward. The reminder is the trigger of the behavior, the routine is the desired behavior and the reward is the benefit of the desired behavior. If the reward is positive, then we are more likely to continue the behavior. The positive rewards of better sleeping habits are endless! When we sleep better, we have more energy, we feel more focused, our mood improves and much more! The better we sleep at night, the better we feel the next day and the more likely we are to tackle our dreams.
Here is how we can implement “The 3 R’s of Habit Change” into our sleep routines:
Reminder: Once we have decided what and how we want to improve our habits, the first thing we need to do is establish a trigger. It is easiest to choose something that happens to you every day already as your trigger, for example, taking a shower, eating dinner, brushing your teeth, etc. Once this thing happens, it should be your immediate reminder to practice your new behavior. Since we are discussing habits surrounding sleep, your trigger will likely be something that happens in the morning or at night.
Routine: Now, it is time to actually perform the behavior! New habits do not need to be anything extravagant. In fact, it is better if they are more simple and manageable. As said by Physical Performance Specialist Kurtis Rayfield, the goal is to make the most amount of change with the least amount of effort. Too much effort early on leads to burnout. It is a good idea to start small, and focus on one thing at a time. For example, if you want to improve your sleep habits, you may start by simply going to sleep at the same time every night or putting your phone away at the same time. It is too much to ask yourself to change everything all at once. By focusing on one thing at a time, the habit is more likely to stick. Whatever the behavior is, it should be something you can do consistently every day!
Reward (My favorite): We want to reward ourselves every time we perform a new habit so that we create a positive feedback loop and continue to do the action in the future. Sometimes a simple pat on the back or words of encouragement can be enough. For me, knowing that I am improving my health and overall wellbeing is my reward. When I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on my day after a great night’s sleep, I get excited about doing the same thing the next night! The important thing to remember is that we do not want to break our new healthy habits with unhealthy rewards.
Now that you have the keys to success, it is your turn to go and put them to the test! Maybe you try to go to bed just 30 minutes earlier each night, or waking up 15 minutes earlier and starting your day with a short walk. Even trying a different pillow or blanket can have a huge impact on how you feel when you wake up in the morning! Better yet, make your favorite reward a new product to add to your bedding collection. I suggest the SleepSmart Temperature-Regulating Basket weave Blanket from Pottery Barn as an easy way to improve your sleep and a wonderful addition to your sleep environment. With this design, I was inspired by the familiar comfort and simple beauty of cotton woven blankets, but I wanted to give the natural breathability of this product a boost! Today, many people struggle with temperature fluctuations keeping them from sleeping through the night. I updated this classic by weaving 37.5® Technology in the construction. 37.5® temperature regulating yarns work immediately and continuously throughout the night to either trap heat when you are cold, or evaporate excess heat when you are warm. Combined with the natural comforts of cotton, this blanket has it all: performance, easy-to-clean, comfortable, and lightweight warmth perfect for warmer nights!
Breaking habits can be difficult, however starting small, and keeping the rewards in mind can make it a lot easier. Introducing new habits can make the sleep experience fun, and soon you will look forward to going to bed each night, just like I do! There are so many opportunities surrounding our sleep patterns that we can do each day to live happier, healthier lives, and therefore take on the world through our sleep!
About Inventive Sleep, Inc.
Inventive Sleep is dedicated to helping people realize their dreams and goals starting with a great night’s sleep. Its founder, Sleep Products Innovator Tracy Laskowski Miller, is one of the most engaging and creative sleep wellness product inventors in the industry today. She is known for her unique perspective on sleep materials research to create and help people find their favorite bedding products. With more than two million sold since 2006, her engaging brands and sleep solutions are in homes and hotels across the country. The company is a leader in designing, inventing and marketing innovative combinations of comfort and technology to create sleep products and brands including sheets, pillows, comforters, blankets and mattress pads. For more information visit www.inventivesleep.com Sleep Tonight. Create Tomorrow.™