Are you addicted to “to-do” lists? Do you have one for everything - work, groceries, housework, school, and even your family vacation? At the pace most of us live today, it is no wonder task lists have become so invaluable. They are a great way to plan ahead of time to make sure nothing is overseen or forgotten. However, according to some experts, they can be a real nuisance when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
People who go to bed without having finished their lists for the next day can find it difficult to fall asleep. In fact, these individuals typically have a hard time relaxing because they are trying to mentally finish their lists once they are lying in bed. To prevent this from happening, make your to-do lists early in the evening, and put them away in a desk drawer. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment and allow you to relax before falling asleep.
If you have tried putting your lists away but are still unable to quell your worries long enough to fall asleep, try a little trick called the “20/20 method for sleep”. Here is what you need to do:
You have been lying in bed for 20 minutes and simply cannot fall asleep? Get out of bed. Go and sit in a calm area of your home where the lighting is dim and where there are no distractions such as a computer or a television. This will help relax your busy brain. After about 20 minutes of quietness, go back to bed. This cycle can be repeated two or three times, but anything beyond that will simply leave you exhausted. According to Dr. Ralph Downey, an expert in sleep medicine at the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, this method is better than staying in bed and forcing yourself to fall sleep. So go ahead and try it, because we all know how frustrating watching the clock can be!
Many of us like the structure making to-do lists brings to our daily lives. However, these lists should not become sources of stress that get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Making to-do lists is good, but sleeping well is better!