Every year, the arrival of September makes me want to get into a rhythm. Yes, even I go a little crazy in the summer and abandon routine–can you imagine?! But once the autumn comes, I get truly excited by the idea of establishing a routine.
I am going to try something new for the next couple of weeks/months. I will focus on a habit for 14 days in my own life and try to really do well with it. So in one blog post, I will share what I’m working on and how I approach it. In the following blog post, I will report how I’m doing with it.
First up is the habit I struggle with the most: going to sleep.
Respecting my bedtime
Getting enough sleep is essential for my health, well-being, and mood, yet I find it difficult to go to bed even though I know I should.
When I’ve had enough sleep, I feel happier and more patient, and I can also focus better. This is not motivating enough, however, to get me to go to bed on time (motivation is an unreliable driver of behavior). Often, I want to stay up later to watch a video, read a book, or just chill.
But if I don’t get enough sleep a couple of nights in a row, I get irritable, anxious, and unhappy. Oh, and tired. So it’s much better if I can manage to get enough rest.
Identify the problem
What is the problem, then? Why don’t I always go to bed on time? I was able to identify two issues:
1. William was going to sleep too late.
During the summer, William (my 1.75-year-old son) was going to sleep too late, sometimes at 21:00 or 21:30. Only after that did I get myself ready for bed, which meant I couldn’t get in bed before 22:30. This was happening because I let him sleep too late in the afternoon until 15:30 or so. While that was nice for me because I had lots of time in the afternoon to do stuff during his nap, it meant I got no time for myself in the evening.
2. I didn’t have any relaxing / fun / me-time.
On some days, I didn’t have any time for anything fun or relaxing. The day was full of work and household chores, and by the end I was tired but still wanted to do something nice for myself. Thus, even though it was time for sleep, I wanted to spend some time doing something fun. The issue is that usually at 21:30 I don’t have energy left for anything truly fun, and I end up scrolling through social media, which doesn’t usually put me in the best mindspace for sleep.
Find a solution
1. William goes to bed earlier (duh!).
Nowadays, I wake William up from his nap at 14:30 at the latest. He usually sleep from 12:30 until 14:15 or so and can then go to sleep around 20:00 or 20:30. This works well because I have enough time after that to shower, have a snack, and get ready for bed.
2. I try to do something fun during the day, and I listen to an audiobook while preparing for bed
I find that if I do something nice during the day, I don’t have that need to make up for a busy day in the evening. Therefore, I try to, for instance, have lunch with a friend, go for a nice walk with Jacob, or watch cool videos while stretching or exercising (my current obsession is Britain’s Got Talent!). On the days when this isn’t possible, I make sure I listen to an audiobook I enjoy or listen to nice music while getting ready for bed.
That’s my approach so far! Let’s see how it goes–I’ll report back next week!
Do you have a bedtime? Do you struggle with it, do you find it easy, or do you rebel against the idea of a bedtime? Let me know!