Are you in the habit of staying up too late? I know I am! It’s way too tempting to take advantage of that quiet time after the kids go to bed to try and relax or check another few things off your to-do list. Sleep deprivation has a way of catching up with you though so it’s well worth trying to get to bed a bit earlier.
If you have trouble falling asleep earlier than usual, try moving your bedtime up by 15 minutes each night until you adjust. You’ll notice a huge difference in your stress level during the day and your ability to get things done.
There are so many reasons why you should go to bed earlier. Here are a few things to consider when you are tempted to stay up too late:
1. That TV show will still be there tomorrow. Are you staying up to watch TV? It’s not usually worth it the next morning. I never used to watch much TV before I had kids but I’ve gotten into the habit of staying up after the kids go to bed and catching up on TV shows. My house is rarely quiet so it’s nice to enjoy that and honestly I’m just too tired at night to do anything but watch TV. That’s probably a sign that I need more sleep right there. But we live in a connected world and all those shows you are staying up to watch will still be there tomorrow. . . . or the next day, or whenever you get around to watching them. So, sure, take some time to relax after the kids go to bed, but don’t stay up until you are completely exhausted. Turn the TV off after one show and go to bed.
2. You get a second wind at night. I can’t tell you how many moms tell me they stay up because they get a second wind at night. I’m one of them. I’m falling asleep at 8:00 but by 9:30 I’m ready to go again. Did you know that’s a sign that you are sleep deprived? Your body is trying to give you one last burst of energy because it knows you’ve got nothing left. You are running on fumes. So don’t let that second wind fool you. You really just need to go to bed. You may feel awake but lay in a dark room for 5 minutes and I’ll bed you’ll be asleep or close to it.
3. You are turning into the grumpy mom. Have you ever noticed that when you are in a really bad mood, sometimes it’s like you are watching from the outside? You KNOW that you are being a grump but you are just along for the ride and watching it happen. Being tired makes you the grumpy mom. If you catch yourself yelling or snipping at your kids, remind yourself what kind of mom you want to be. Remember that your kids are creating memories every day. Do you want them to remember you as a grumpy mom? That thought may be enough to get you to go to bed an hour earlier and hopefully start fresh the next day.
4. Your life is stressful right now. We all go through phases of life that are more stressful than others. I’m coming out of a particularly bad phase right now myself. When life gets stressful it’s tempting to spend more time indulging in guilty pleasures like staying up too late. The problem with that is, being sleep deprived leaves you less able to cope with stress. Be kind to yourself and go to bed early. Be sure and avoid things that are going to disrupt your sleep before bed to make sure you get the best chance at a good night’s sleep.
5. You deserve to be taken care of too. How much of your day is spent caring for someone else? I swear I need to put a few key phrases on repeat to save myself some time. “Don’t sit on your sister.” “Get your finger out of your nose.” “No, we are not having chocolate for lunch.” It’s okay to turn some of that care around on yourself. You’ll be a better mom (wife, friend, sister, person) if you take the time to get a good night’s sleep and make your own needs a priority.
Do you need to go to bed earlier at night? What things stop you from going to sleep earlier?
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