When was the last time you were too excited to sleep? Was it over an important job interview? How about an upcoming vacation? This priceless Disney commercial sums it up for many people.
While many people associate this sense of excitement preventing sleep with the exuberance of the young, it can be a real downer the next day when adults are the ones who are too excited to sleep the night before. What can you do to get the sleep you need before exciting events, so that you’re not dealing with the fog of sleep deprivation rather than enjoying the event you were so excited about the night before?
What this means is that the packing and plans need to be finished well ahead of time, so you’re not rushing around trying to pick out the right interview power suit or pack all your vacation toiletries long after you should have been in bed in the first place. Keeping to your normal routine signals the brain that it’s time to shut down and prepare the body for sleep.
You also shouldn’t try to “force” yourself to go to bed earlier than normal — it simply won’t be ready to shut down for the day. All you’ll do is toss, turn, and stir your brain into overdrive thinking about the excitement of the following day. Stick to the normal time and go through the same ritual you go through every day to prepare for bed.
It works great for children who are too excited to sleep (maybe not so well when Santa’s coming however!) We do it all the time when we want to get them to think about something other than whatever is getting them all excited. But, did you know that it also works wonders for the adult mind too? It’s true. Slip on some soothing tunes, read a book, work on a jigsaw puzzle. Give yourself something to do that will get your mind off the exciting day ahead of you.
There is something cathartic about putting pen to paper and writing out what’s on your mind. More importantly, there’s something about the process that literally takes your thoughts off your mind and leaves them on the paper. It’s a great way to clear your mind any time something is weighing heavily upon it. However, when you’re overly excited, it’s an even better tool for helping you find your own sense of calm.
Any stimulant, for that matter, should be avoided – so skip the sugary and caffeinated drinks before bedtime. The last thing you want is for your brain to have jittery fuel that’s likely to keep you up even later. You should avoid caffeine at least four to six hours before going to bed, according to WebMd. Consider drinking caffeine-free hot cocoa or chamomile tea instead. Just remember that you don’t want to drink too much or you’ll have a different reason to be up all night.
Little things like these can make a huge difference in not only the amount of sleep you get before your big event but also how well you’re prepared to face any challenges that arise the following day.
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