Struggling with sticking to a healthy bedtime and tired of daytime fatigue? Your mind may be to blame.


How you think about sleep and how you prioritize it in your daily life can have a significant impact on your quality of rest. If you view rest as a chore or waste of time, it likely won’t top your mental to-do-list.


But, changing your mindset on snoozing can give you a boost. Try these tips to mentally rewire your brain for better sleep and get motivated to make healthy rest a part of your lifestyle.


1. Rethink Your Perspective on Sleep 重塑你的睡眠观点

How you view rest (whether positive, negative, dismissively, or with anxiety) can significantly affect your quality of sleep. Learn to see sleep in a new light by reminding yourself of the immense value healthy habits bring to our lives.


Every minute of shuteye is precious. During sleep, your body actively restores, renews and heals. No matter what you value in life, it’s almost a guarantee that sleep plays a direct role.


Here are just a few reasons why sleep should be a top priority, according to the Harvard Health Sleep website:


It affects how you look.它影响外表。

It affects your fitness.影响体形。

It affects your health.影响健康。

It affects your brain.影响大脑运作。

It affects your relationships.影响人际关系。

It affects your job.影响职场绩效。

What are your core priorities? Is there a fitness goal you are trying to achieve, do you want to be more present for your family, or do you want to simply stay healthy? Keep this awareness in mind as you begin rewiring your mind and improving your sleep habits.


When you feel like there is too much to do in your day to make time for rest or you are struggling to put your iPad down late at night, remind yourself of the reasons why you want to sleep better.


2. Put Stress In Its Place 把控压力

Although being cognizant of the value of sleep is important, it is also essential to not preoccupy your mind with negative thoughts and stress if sleep doesn’t come easyly.


Not only can this create sleep anxiety, but researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital found that people who ruminate on stress or try to avoid it were more likely to have insomnia symptoms. Other stress-relief tactics like positive reframing, religion and venting did not increase insomnia.


If you are stressing over snoozing, try positive affirmations – replace thoughts like “I can’t get to sleep and I have so much to do tomorrow!” with statements like “I will fall asleep soon and feel well-rested tomorrow”. If you are not physically tired, get out of bed and read or relax to music in a dim room until you feel sleepy.


Other studies also found that people with higher levels of gratitude experienced better sleep. Gratitude also has real effects on sleep-boosting neurotransmitters! Remind yourself of what you are thankful for before bed rather than you to-do list or stressful thoughts.


You can also neutralize stress and sleep-stealing thoughts with relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation and visualization. Try different things to see what works for you, and incorporate these habits into your daily routine.


3. Plan for Better Rest 制定最佳睡眠计划

An evening pre-bed routine helps prepare you mentally and physically for rest. Your body and mind know that it is time to start winding down, and that sleep is soon to follow. Your nighttime routine should have a consistent pattern and timing every night, and should allow enough time to get adequate rest in.


Two hours before bedtime, you might start with a warm bath or shower. Slip into pajamas, begin dimming lights, and drop the thermostat to cool your bedroom. Start weaning yourself off of smartphones, laptops and television. Stop checking emails and Facebook, and make a conscious effort to be calm and tranquil.


Include habits that relax you and release stress as mentioned above. Try reading, journaling, listening to calm music, stretching, a crossword puzzle, meditation, a cup of decaf tea – anything that puts you in the mood for slumber. When it’s close to bedtime, wash your face, brush your teeth, and slip into your cozy bed ready for sleep.


4. Set Gradual Goals 设计阶段性目标

When it comes to sleep, small changes are often best for long-term results. Set gradual and attainable goals for getting more sleep or adjusting your bedtime and wake time. You might start by sleeping 15 minutes more per night, or shifting your bedtime or alarm 15 minutes earlier.


Think of what you hope to accomplish, and set gradual steps for getting there. You can even make it a game where you compete against your personal best, or work together with a partner for encouragement.


5. Track Your Sleep 追踪睡眠状况

For many people, tracking sleep habits and improvements toward goals can be motivating and encouraging. Use a journal or try sleep apps to monitor when you are sleeping and waking. Tracking rest can help you see where you can improve, and many apps also provide helpful insight into ways your routine affects sleep.


6. Reward Yourself for Reaching Goals 实现目标的自我奖励

We are mentally wired to enjoy and seek rewards after we do things. One study on obesity found that people who set goals, monitored progress, and rewarded themselves for changing unhealthy habits had the most success at weight loss. While obesity and sleep are different, the behavioral aspects of changing habits are similar, and links between goals and rewards have been studied many times.


Plan a few small and healthy rewards to treat yourself as you reach your better sleep goals. Think about small motivators that will encourage you. Examples might include saving episodes of a favorite show on DVR, having a small piece of dark chocolate, listening to your favorite song in the morning, indulging in a new book or new workout gear, or a spa treat.


7. Stay Consistent 坚持到底

Consistent routines and sleep/wake times are an important part of good sleep hygiene and of developing new habits, as well.


Your internal sleep clock operates best with consistency, and studies even show consistent sleep wake times with healthier body weight. When you plan your sleep schedule, pick times that you can stick to within one hour all week long, even on the weekends.


Stick with your goals and the new routine, but don’t get discouraged if you slip up for a day or two – you can always jump back in.


Remember, focus on the benefits of rest and make a conscious effort to prioritize sleep. Seek ways to deal with stress, and make better rest a reality by planning and sticking to a consistent schedule, with goals and rewards to motivate you along the way.


What encourages you to sleep better? How do you make a rest a priority in your routine?



1. 自从关于早起的话题流行起来以后,大量文章都鼓励我们把起床的时间提前再提前,仿佛一个人要是不能早上5点起床学习、工作,他就和一条咸鱼没有什么区别了。然而早起的前提是充足的睡眠,否则即便是早上成功的离开被窝,一个睡眠不足、精神恍惚的人,恐怕也不会有什么学习效率或者创新的建树。就算是《吉田医生哈佛求学记》作者吉田穗波(书评点这里),为了错开带孩子和上班的时间,早上3点起床学习,最后冲刺进了哈佛就读,她可是前一天晚上9点就睡觉的人哦,到了早上3点其实已经休息了6个小时了。


2. 在完成一项长期项目的过程中,每个人都需要给自己一点奖励。无论是逐渐调整作息,习惯早起,还是每天持续学英语,或者坚持运动以期减肥。人性是趋利避害的,是贪图安逸的。当我们主动放弃了安逸,规划自己向更高阶迈进时,就需要阶段性的给自己奖励。我就是采用每减5公斤给自己买一件小礼物的办法,从3月到现在已经减了13公斤。虽然进度不算快,但胜在持续不反弹,采用的方法也比较健康,不激进,而且成本相对较低。

3. 当计划被打乱,或者预期目标没实现时,不要抓狂,也不要自暴自弃。这一点在长期减肥过程中尤其重要,因为身体并不遵循简单的加减法规则,也许一段时间的限制饮食和运动之后,体重并没有变化,甚至还有可能出现上涨。这种时候最需要保持冷静,客观观察,究竟是时间尚短,努力还未发挥作用,还是采用的方法并不适合自己,或不适合这个阶段。从而针对性的采取行动,或者持续执行原计划,或者增加一些新的内容,或者干脆全盘取消,采取新的计划和行动。


原文:How to Rewire Your Brain for Better Sleep