For most people, the idea of getting more sleep would be a welcome treat . . . and for me that is true. But there's also a part of me that goes into a true panic at the idea of taking on this goal.
It's not uncommon for people to say to me" I don't know how you get it all done," and for me to jokingly respond, "I don't get a lot of sleep."
Except that I'm really only partially joking. I really don't get a lot of sleep.
I've never been a big sleeper. It made high school and college bearable, as I could pretty easily pull late nighters and still function well the next day at school. It also made the early days of motherhood and late night nursings not too overwhelming, as I was okay with the interruptions and still getting ready to get up and go the next morning. It's meant I'm great at last minute deadlines, and finalizing up all the little details I want to see go into any project. If I'm a little behind, I just stay up a little later and I'm still okay the next day.
Somehow though, over the last two years I've gotten to a place where even I push my own limits too far and too regularly. It might have been somewhere around the time of having a second child, and now having two kiddos to get up with at night (because even at 5 and 2 my own kiddos are also not great sleepers.) Two kiddos also means less down time during the day and more down time to catch up on at night.
Or it may have been when I took on a new grade level with different hours at school. This meant more evening times committed to working to catch up.
It could also have been about the time I decided I really wanted to see this lovely little blog grow, or when I joined my son's preschool board. Or even when my husband spent two years working second shift and I'd wait up for him (although he's now been on first shift for six months.)
Whatever it was, mostly likely a complicated mix of all of them, my normal routine started meaning I was getting even less and less sleep. I regularly function on about 5 hours, but a bad night can mean about 4. Not enough, I know. And over time, it's wearing me down.
So I know the time has come to set some better limits and to get myself to sleep. But this also means facing my fear of not getting it all done. It's a hard balance but it's time to try to even it out a little more again.
For this month, I've decided to explore what that might look like. I have two concrete ideas for how I'm going to start getting myself more on track:
1) Turn off all electronic devices at 10:30 every night. As I often spend my evenings half watching TV while working on the computer, it's easy to get sucked into the digital world.
2) Turn off the actual lights by 11:00.
For now, that's it, my two basic ideas for trying to be a little more purposeful about getting sleep. (And no, I'm still not actually tackling the how I'll get it all done piece.) I'll let you know how I do at the end of the month, although until then don't be a little surprised if it gets just a little bit quieter around here.
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