Banking sleep

I can’t remember the last time in my life I felt this well rested. As I wait for the arrival of junior, I’m taking the advice of basically everyone I have ever talked to about parenting and banking as much sleep as I can.

I’m in this weird grey zone, where I don’t have an infant to take care of, but I’m not exactly free to enjoy my weekends either. Aside from the feeling of guilt about going out while my wife stays at home because she is too tired / uncomfortable to go out, I also don’t really want to go have a big night knowing that I could be massively hung over for the birth of my child. I think the best thing I can do is bank sleep.

With that as preamble, I thought I’d provide the best tips I’ve read on getting the best sleep possible. I recognize some of these will be impossible once Junior arrives. But at least I know what they are and can try to incorporate as many of these as humanly possible.

This is a long list. I think of it as more is better – I’m not likely going to get all of these right, but the more I do the better my sleep will be.

  1. Sleep in a dark room. Pitch black is best, to the extent possible. If you don’t have blackout blinds they are well worth the investment.
  2. Sleep mask. If there is any light left in the room, or if your significant other has a habit of opening the door and letting in light, this will help.
  3. Avoid TV or phone screens for at least an hour before going to bed.
  4. Read fiction. The more nonsensical the better. Basically as far away from non-fiction as possible, to put the rational brain to sleep.
  5. White noise machine or fan. Anything that drowns out the noise around you.
  6. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night.

If you’ve never focused on the quality of your sleep before, I strongly encourage you to try it for a week. Make an experiment out of it. I’m continually shocked at how focusing on improving the 8 hours a day you sleep makes you more awake and productive for those 16 hours a day that you’re not sleeping.

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