Sometimes the most effective tips are the simplest. If you want to get to sleep earlier every night, you're better off removing as many obstacles as you can before you're completely drained of energy. Photo by Nick Harris.
It might sound strange, but your own laziness could be what's actually keeping you from getting to bed at a decent hour. The process of getting ready for bed is different for everyone, but it usually consists of a few tasks like brushing your teeth, taking out contacts or washing your face. Trouble is, you don't feel like doing all that stuff because you're tired and your motivation is at it's lowest point. Instead you stay awake until you're exhaustion forces you to finally do it all, but by then it's probably much later than you'd prefer. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before, explains her simple solution to Ron Friedman, PhD, at The Peak Work Performance Summit:
I used to find that I was so tired that I didn't want to go to bed because it seemed like too much trouble to get ready, take out my contacts, wash my face, and brush my teeth. Now I try to get ready earlier so that there's very little I need to do when it's actually time for bed.
Rubin suggests you brush your teeth right after dinner so you have one less thing to do later. Set tomorrow's alarm early in the day, take out your contacts and use your glasses as soon as you get home from work, and wash your face right after dinner when you brush your teeth. The more bedtime prep you can do early on, the easier it will be to crash whenever sleep starts to call. You won't have to stall any more because slipping away into dreamland will be the only thing left on your list.