How to Find More “Me” Time and Get More Sleep

If you want to sleep well, don’t forget to schedule some “me” time. In fact, the more time you have for yourself during the day, the faster you may fall asleep at night, research suggests. Maybe the household chores can wait.

In a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, scientists called 102 working parents every evening for eight days at baseline and then again one year later. During phone interviews, the researchers asked the parents how many hours they had slept the night before, how well they had slept and how long it had taken them to fall asleep. On each of the eight evenings, the researchers also asked parents whether they had had enough time for their children and for themselves during the day. The more time the working parents had for their kids and for themselves on a given day, the faster they fell asleep at night, the scientists found.

While many working parents already prioritize spending free time with kids, finding a few moments to exercise or read a book can be a rare luxury.

How can you carve out a few moments for yourself to ultimately sleep better?

If you’re not using a calendar yet, get one now.

Schedule every activity, whether it’s driving kids to school, commuting to work, working or sleeping. Finally, put “me” time on your calendar the same way you schedule everything else.

Change the way you think about time.

Telling yourself that you are busy and don’t have time for anything keeps you feeling overwhelmed, notes Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.” He suggests focusing on making good use of the time you have at your disposal.

Limit distractions at work.

Alpert recommends logging out of email and social media accounts, especially when on deadline. If you have to check Facebook or Twitter, schedule their use for specific times and stick to the plan. The sooner you get your work done, the closer you get to that elusive “me” time.

Learn to say no.

Thanks to omnipresent smartphones, computers and social media, people may constantly text or message you for help with a work project or a sick pet. While you may be tempted to say yes to every request, don’t forget to take care of your own needs first.

Looking to make the most of your “me” time for better sleep? Try meditating. This article shows you how.