Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. Chapter 3 Getting the Sleep You Need 85 Setting and Following a Sleep-Wake Schedule Busy lives can make it difficult to fall asleep on time. After you get home from sports practice or another after-school program, you may still need to finish your homework. After you finish your homework and relax with a book, you may be falling asleep late. The next night, you may not have any after-school programs and not much homework, meaning that you get to sleep earlier. Having an irregular sleep-wake schedule like this can mean that you get an inadequate amount of sleep. As with any health behavior change, getting enough sleep starts with understanding where you are right now. Start the process of getting enough sleep by tracking your sleep habits for the next week using a chart similar to the one below. After a week, look at your log to review your sleep-wake cycle. Are you going to bed and waking up at consistent times each day? Are you getting 8–10 hours of sleep each night? If not, it is time to set a sleep-wake schedule. Remember, the sleep-wake schedule you set has to work for you, and this option may be different from what works for a friend. If you discover that you need to fall asleep earlier, start by adjusting your bedtime to five minutes earlier than usual. After you are comfortable with this new bedtime, set it another five minutes earlier. Once you are comfortable with this new bedtime, set it yet another five minutes earlier. Do this as many times as needed to get to your goal bedtime. Another way to increase your total sleep is by gradually setting your morning alarm clock five minutes later each week. Five minutes may not seem like a huge deal, but over time it adds up. Writing down your sleep-wake schedule and discussing it with someone who can help you follow it is likely to make you more successful. Review your progress regularly in following your sleep-wake schedule and make adjustments to your schedule as needed. BUILDING Your Skills Your Skills Sleep-Wake Schedule Sleep-Wake Schedule Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Last night, I went to bed at: Last night, I fell asleep around: This morning, I woke up at: Total number hours slept: Notes about the day: (include mood, activity level, naps, etc.)
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