“Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex only. The bed is not the place to read or watch television. When you have difficulty falling asleep, go to another room in the house and relax. Do not stay in bed. Do not turn on bright lights.” John L. Eickholt, MD
This one builds from Tip # 2. Do you remember the “second key” that was mentioned? Here it is again: your brain starts to associate the bed (or bedroom, in this case) with being awake. The more time spent in bed (or the bedroom) awake, the more that association is reinforced. The same association becomes reality with the bed and the bedroom.
If you need to refresh your memory on the details, click here.
Let’s talk about some of the excuses, and more importantly, how to deal with them.
- “My living space is too small, so there is no other option.” First make sure this is actually the case. Are you being honest with yourself? Can you really not come up with a better location? If your living space really is that small, okay, we can make it work.
- “Yes, my living space really is that small.” I believe you this time! You live in a studio apartment, one room total, got it. My apologies for questioning you. No, you do not need to eat breakfast in the shower. Instead, hang a curtain around your bed.
- “I don’t sleep in my bedroom anyway.” Let’s talk. Do you really sleep on the couch, in the family room, while watching TV, every night? Well, if we look on the bright side, this may be an easy fix. Continue to watch TV on the couch in the family room. Start sleeping in your bedroom on your bed. Problem solved.
- “Watching TV/reading/knitting/adult coloring/feeding my fish/_____ helps me fall asleep.” The details of this excuse are irrelevant because my answer will be the same. At least temporarily, pick a different location. You may think it helps, you may begin to feel drowsy, and you may actually fall asleep, but that doesn’t mean the activity induces quality sleep.
- “I like my bedroom.” Great! I really am glad you like it, because that makes sleeping easier. However, you would probably like it even more if you could actually sleep there.
- “People bug me if I’m not in my bedroom.” Try having a serious conversation with these people. Ask for help. Explain to them why you need their support. Share this article. If all else fails, hide in the shower. (I’m kidding, maybe.)
- “Seriously though, where am I going to watch TV/read/knit/adult color/feed my fish/_____?” Other than the bedroom, where would you like to do these things? If the weather is nice, try outside. If you have a family room, living room, basement, car (not while driving), spare bedroom, or den, that’s fine. You could try a couch, chair, hammock, chaise, or even pillows on the floor. Be creative. Create your own oasis, and send a photo.