Sleep Science: Setting the Ideal Hour for Your Daily Pauses
Our days are busy. Which means our minds are busy, too. From the moment we wake up to the moment we hit the pillow, our brains are buzzing with waves of information. We’re so stimulated that it can be hard to turn it all off when we try to sleep. We unknowingly take the stresses of our day with us to bed, which our minds respond to in the form of insomnia, nightmares and interrupted sleep.
We’re always setting new intentions in the morning. “Today I’m going to start my job hunt,” or “today I’m going to get going on a new diet,” etc. We exhaust ourselves during the day that by the time we go to bed, we’re usually too tired to work on our nighttime intentions—an equally important (and often neglected) piece of the puzzle for a more productive life.
“Setting your intentions at night helps you head to sleep with a clear picture of what you want tomorrow to look like. Without a plan—we often have a hard time getting where we want to go. Nightly intentions are a great place to start.” —Colleen, CEO of Prezence
As we fall asleep, our minds are transitioning over from a “conscious” state to a “subconscious” state, which is a prime time to set intentions. Our subconscious mind is where we store our memories, experiences and skill sets—aka the perfect place for our ambitions and goals to live. The more we use our subconscious mind, the more our goals will be top of mind throughout the day.
Rather than using these precious moments of sleep transition to dwell on the stresses of the day prior, focus on what your hopes are for the future. We suggest journaling, to start (we’ve got an article about the benefits of journaling, by the way). By putting pen to paper about what you want in life, you’re turning your energy into something tangible, which makes you more likely to dream about that subject. To put it simply, the more you think about your goals (awake or asleep) the more likely they’ll work their way into reality because they’re constantly top of mind.
If you have trouble holding yourself accountable to set these intentions, try setting daily reminders for yourself using the Prezence app. With our “Daily Pause” feature, you’ll have built-in reminders that train you to revisit your intentions each day in a quick, efficient way. Plus, there’s a journaling piece, so you can look back on your journey along the way.
When it comes to healthy habits, especially sleep, our bodies love routine. Make a point to go to bed around the same time each night—your mind will start to anticipate sleep better which will make it easier to fall into a subconscious state. When the world is quiet and you’re slowly sinking into your mattress, dedicate a few moments each night to really think about what you want for yourself. As you connect your inner being to what you truly want in this life, you’ll begin to see clarity about situations in your life that once seemed more complicated.
Sleep is a powerful machine, and with the right tools (and patience!) we can turn sleep into a time where we recover from the day before, while looking towards the possibilities on the horizon.