“Sleep is the best meditation” ~Dalai Lama
I should go to bed earlier. I know I should. 6:00am seems really early when you’ve gone to bed after midnight. I like to sleep. A nap always sounds like a great idea, although I don’t get one anymore. We have traded in afternoon nap time for a 7:30 bedtime. It works out nicely, except for the fact that I can’t seem to get myself to bed.
When my husband feels tired he actually heads up to bed, where I fight it exactly like my children. (Why I don’t have his discipline I’ll never know) I may be exhausted but I’m determined to make the most of my night so I say I’ll be right up, but then I get side tracked on FB or reading amazing blogs by amazing people, recipes, planners, trips…it’s an addiction. Then my mind gets so fired up that when I do finally make it upstairs I can’t sleep, so I read one of the 3 books I have going at a given time. I know. I get excited and can’t wait to finish one before I start a new one. It’s a bad habit. I’ve always done this. So I stay up. Later.
When I finally start to get tired from reading and could actually go to sleep, do I…no. I check my FB one more time and then my blog and then my email. Then it’s super late, I know I will be woken up very soon. But as I lay there replaying my day, taking up even more precious sleep time I vow to go to bed earlier.
So here I am. Again, tired. Up since 6:07am. Second cup of coffee in hand. Making myself promise to really go to bed earlier tonight!
No more empty promises! I need a plan. Where can I pick up a few hours of sleep at night and gain time during the day…Hmmm….Let me think….
What if during my girls hour and a half of quiet time in the afternoon, I join them? that should work. I will read my books or research on the web. this will model to them that yes, I actually do read for enjoyment. Reading is fun! I will save the laundry, cleaning, etcetera for other times during the day. This way in the evening I will already feel like I had that time. This should help me gain an hour and a half at night to sleep. Woohoo! Double Win, I get my rest time and they learn from me! We can ALL have quiet reading/coloring/writing time!!
#1. Have quiet time in the afternoon.
I guess I could wake up when my husbands alarm goes off. I will wakeup at 5:00am (an hour before my girls) so I can have that time to check emails, my blog and FB. Then I can go to bed an hour earlier. This is sort of a wash on sleep time, but it will help be set a consistent wake time which is important for a healthy sleep schedule. Sounds early to me…but what’s an hour earlier in the master plan right? Plus my husband might be happy to see me for a bit in the morning.
#2. Set a consistent wake time.
I will have the girls help me with chores during the day. They can help fold and put away clothes. They can help pickup their toys. At 3 & 5 they are old enough to be great helpers. I need to start setting the precedence that they will too in fact be asked to help around the house. Kids love to feel useful so this will be a good intro to when it will be required they help around the house!
#3. Set up a weekly chore routine. Include the family.
Limit screen time which suppresses melatonin production (a sleep aid) to at least an hour before bedtime. No “just one more show”…or “oh, let’s just finish the movie.” Use this hour to tidy up the house so it feels fresh in the morning. Then I will be able to relax and enjoy my coffee instead of scanning what ‘Already’ needs to be done.
#4. No screen time an hour before bed.
#5. Use this time for last-minute tidying.
I need a scheduled bedtime. My kids have one. I know it’s important. I need one. Adults should have between 7.5-9 hours of sleep. since I know I’m sleep deprived and need to catch up I should shoot for the max of 9. So Let’s see. Basic math, if I plan to wake at 5:00am, 9 hours of sleep puts my bedtime at 8:00! What?!! Nope, I just can’t do it. Ok, let’s shoot for the minimum. 7.5 hrs. That makes my new bedtime 9:30…Ugg, that sounds so early. Hmm…ok, I’ll get up at 5:30am and go to bed at 10:00pm. That’s 7.5 hours of sleep. I can live with that. I think….
#6. Set a consistent bedtime and stick with it.
Once upstairs after getting ready for bed I need a way to calm my mind. I should keep my journal by the bed (instead of my phone) and write down anything I think about needing to do or…that way I can get it out of my head until tomorrow.
#7. Journal before bed
I think that’s it. 7 steps. I can do that. Should be easy. Ok, it may not be so easy but it is doable and hopefully I’ll feel less tired!!
I will try this for the month of June and see how it feels. Pinky swear. Who else is tired of being tired?!
Other posts about the importance of sleep Sleep, Shmeep, Counting Sheep. I need to read my own posts 😉