Do you struggle getting to bed on time?
I did for a long time, but even though my life is a struggle at the moment, I’m still doing better than ever before.
I credit two simple ideas for my success.
1. Don’t eat one hour before bed.
It’s tempting to enjoy a small indulgence while the house is quiet and little eyes are in bed, but eating always means more time than you think. There’s prep and clean-up and worse, your metabolism gets going again and you’ll start waking up right when you should be winding down.
When I eat I always stay up later than planned.
I don’t eat after 8pm, which means no eating after the kids are in bed. Sometimes I stuff in a piece of chocolate at 7:59pm, but fasting after 8pm has given my productivity and sleep habits a surprising boost.
2. Realize that the day is over after dinner
I used to dream of all I would get done in the evening after the kids were in bed. During the bedtime routine I’d get antsy, waiting for the moment I’d be free to get some work done.
It would drive me crazy if bedtime ran longer than usual, as I saw my productive evening slipping away before it was even started.
Even if I did get some time to work, I’d get too involved and go to bed much later than planned and set myself up poorly for the next day.
Finally I made the mental shift that the day is over after dinner. I don’t imagine I have time for projects or self-indulgence. I just wrap things up and prepare for the next day.
I motivate myself with the promise that if there is some extra time I can do something for myself, but usually with the house tidied up and the next day planned, I’m just as happy to fall into bed.
Yes, I miss having some evening time to myself, but I wasn’t really getting it anyway, and I’ve been much more at peace since I decided evenings weren’t often going to be productive.
Ironically my evenings are more productive now because I do the things that must be done before the next day, rather than procrastinating because “I have all evening.”
An early bedtime makes an early wake-up possible, and I am addicted to early rising now! I’m currently going crazy because sickness and circumstances make it not a wise choice, but I can’t wait to get back to those peaceful morning minutes.
As always, remember that you’re the leader. Give these ideas a try, but don’t feel bad if you find it’s not a good fit for you and your family.