Surprise, surprise: Going to bed earlier makes getting up early easier

Last week, I wrote about how I’m tackling my most difficult habit, going to bed on time.

For the past 10 days or so, I’ve been trying to stick to my 22:00 (10pm) bedtime, and I’m happy to report that it’s been working well! I can’t say that I’ve been in bed by 22:00 every day, but I’ve been in bed by 22:15 or so, which is pretty close.

The key really has been to wake up William from his nap at 14:30 (sometimes he wakes up by himself beforehand, of course), so he can go to bed by 20:30 at night. Then, I have enough time to do all my evening things before 22:00.

This is what I do before going to bed

I usually tidy up the living room after William has gone to bed, and I prepare stuff for the next day, if needed (e.g., packing lunch for us if we’re going to work/daycare the next day and packing backpacks). Then, I eat a snack (2 medium-boiled eggs with sea salt and 2 prunes (I love prunes!)) around 21h. We eat dinner at 18:00, so I get hungry right around 21:30, and it’s no fun going to bed hungry.

I usually listen to an audiobook while I’m tidying up, preparing, and eating my snack. Sometimes, I will let myself watch some singing videos as a treat! (This and this are my favorites!) But, as a rule, I don’t go on social media after 21:00. This has made the biggest difference. If I open Instagram, for instance, I get sucked in and literally can’t stop. So after 21h, I can listen to an audiobook or answer my WhatsApp messages, but I don’t open social media apps.

Around 21:30, Jacob and I brush our teeth and get ready for bed. We usually lie in bed for 15 minutes or so just talking and sharing anything about our day that we haven’t had the chance to talk about yet. It’s very relaxing and eases me into sleep, which usually happens around 22h or soon thereafter.

The unexpected benefit: waking up easily

This is not super surprising if you think about it, but it’s really powerful. If I go to bed on time, I find it quite easy to wake up at a reasonable time (at 6:30 or 7:00). In fact, the next habit I was going to tackle was waking up early, but now I don’t really need to do that because I just wake up naturally at that time if I stick to my bedtime.

In the summer when I was going to bed later, I was also waking up later, and I was getting frustrated. I love the morning hours, and ‘losing’ them to sleep felt like a waste. Waking up at 6:30 or 7:00 is not super early, but it’s early enough so it feels like I have the whole day ahead of me. It’s also super nice when I’ve packed our lunch boxes and our backpacks the night before, so I don’t have to run around in the morning and rush to do it before getting out the door. But so far I’ve often been forgetting to do this, so I may need to tackle this habit next time…

If you have a bedtime, do you feel that it helps you to wake up earlier? Or do you want to sleep longer no matter when you go to sleep? Let me know!

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