I came across the idea that it takes a big burst of energy to go from lolling around before bed to actually getting up and getting ready for bed earlier this year from a post by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. It really struck a chord with me. She wrote about it in, Epiphany: It Takes a Lot of Energy To Decide to Go To Bed.
I find this to be very true for me. It is something that I need to work on so that I can overcome the negative spiral of being tired, then too tired to go to bed, only to be exhausted the next day and repeating the cycle. Dissecting this a bit more to understand my own situation, I find several reasons that I stay up too late.
I Have So Little “Me Time”
Often I stay up late to do what I don’t otherwise have time to do day-to-day. Frankly, this isn’t a big reason, but I will occasionally stay up to read or to write; things I want to do but for which I have little time. Instead of staying up late, I need to find time for things I love to do on a regular basis during the week without staying up late to do it.
I Never Get Anything Done
This is a big one…except that staying up late doesn’t make me very effective at getting things done, nor leave me any energy to get things done on the following day. I will try to untangle my finances by entering my receipts in Quicken. I will fold laundry or load/unload the dish washer. Frankly, I stick to the mindless tasks, since being tired makes me less sharp.
I Was Busy All Day and Need to Relax
Sometimes I just want to hang on Facebook and play Words with Friends. Sometimes I want to sit down with one or more of my kids and catch up on one of their favorite shows. Mostly, I’ve found myself rushing around after work grocery shopping, making dinner, and cleaning the kitchen. Lately, I’ve found myself rushing from work to get my younger daughter to a game and then finding us slipping home after 10 p.m. There is no time for much after that, but I need a transitioning activity, but maybe “screen time” isn’t the wisest choice.
I Lose Track of Time
This usually happens when I’m on the phone with a friend or family member. Catching up makes time disappear…or so it seems. Sometimes it happens while I’m watching the news…it never ends. Usually when it starts to repeat I’m jolted into the final push to get to bed.
The problem is that once I delay getting ready for bed it just gets harder and harder to make the first step. I try to take it one thing at a time…I change. Then I tend to have a snack (a habit I need to break!). Eventually I wash my face and brush my teeth…sometimes at two separate times. Meanwhile, I play a few rounds of Words with Friends, throw a load of laundry in, or check Facebook “one last time”. Eventually the lights are off and I drift away.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and put your oxygen mask on first…GET SOME SLEEP!!