Sleep Tips for Better Habits

Sea Change Program staff

It can be nearly impossible to form and keep new habits, or break old ones, if you don’t get enough sleep.

The new habit of waking up early, for example, doesn’t work unless you get a decent night’s sleep. But even trying to change your diet, or stick to a workout program, or meditating or reading early in the morning, all depend on getting enough sleep.

Without good sleep, you don’t have your full allotment of self-control. It’s like trying to win a war when most of your troops are sick and hungry.

So we thought we’d gather some tips from Sea Change members, posted on the forums, for developing better sleeping patterns:

  1. Don’t force yourself to sleep earlier or make it an issue of discipline/willpower, just change up your routine. Instead of using the Internet, watching TV, or listening to upbeat music, take the time to relax before going to bed bed (e.g. read, relax in bed, or meditate). –Aldo Pappacoda
  2. Set your computer to shut itself off at the same time every day, to resist the temptation to work or use the Internet, and to reduce the risk of turning it back on. (link to Windows 7 how-to shut off automatically: –Therese Larsen
  3. Get off the computer 2 hours before bedtime, dim the lights, and start winding down or stretching. –Marianne NYC
  4. If you read before bed, use a print/paper book or a paperwhite Kindle. Studies have shown that watching blue screens (like TV, tablet, computers, smart phones) keep people awake and prevent them from falling asleep for a long time because they emit a certain frequency that keeps them awake. –Marie-Claude Bourque
  5. If you have a strong inability to sleep, consider taking sleeping pills (as a temporary solution). Hyland’s Calms Forte (create hyperlink: is a product with all natural active ingredients, like chamomile. –Marianne NYC
  6. Don’t stay in bed if you can’t sleep; to create good sleeping habits, you should associate your bed only with sleep, not making plans or worrying. –Pierre M.
  7. Get up earlier, exercise during the day, and don’t take any naps; this way you will be sleepier by your bedtime. –Pierre M.
  8. Read: I Can Make You Sleep by Paul McKenna. It comes with a CD with 2 tracks; the second track is to be listened to while you’re in bed and it uses hypnosis. It can be extremely effective in helping you relax and fall asleep. –Marianne NYC
  9. For waking up earlier and raising your alertness quickly (the inverse to the previous tip): use a computer, smart phone, or device with a backlit screen. Set your alarm for the time you want and right after you get up, look at your device with a bright screen to wake you up. –Marianne NYC

Good luck, Sea Changers!