After a summer of relaxation (hopefully), getting back into an early morning routine can be tricky, especially since most teachers are already sleep-deprived. Here are five tips for getting back into your routine:
- Change your waking and sleeping times. Move your bedtime up, set your alarm clock and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends). Rewarding yourself for a desirable behavior is one of the most time-tested ways of changing behavior; make your mornings a “win” with a fun activity or leisurely breakfast. Then you’ll want to get out of bed.
- Establish a soothing bedtime routine. Instead of trying to put together your lesson plans or solve family dilemmas right before bedtime, turn to soothing activities like taking a warm bath, meditating or reading. And keep work, computers, television and other distractions out of the bedroom because they signal the brain that it’s time to awaken, not sleep.
- Get organized. The more methodical you are about scheduling, the less time you’ll waste – particularly when it comes to planning your day. Use a day planner or calendar to keep school activities organized and top of mind.
- Watch what and when you eat. It’s best not to eat anything two to three hours before your regular bedtime. The same rule applies to liquids; you don’t want to disrupt your slumber for a simple bathroom trip.
- Get moving. People who are more physically active get better sleep. Plus, when you’re tired, a brisk walk can help you feel more energized. Just don’t work out right before bed. Exercise causes your body temperature to rise and it takes about six hours for it to drop again.