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Sleep Tight

Jessie- Enjoying a last bit of summer vacation on the coast of Maine

I’ve written several times in blog posts, either here or as a guest on other blogs, that I am an enthusiastic planner and goal setter. For many years I’ve spent time once each looking over my resolutions and plans for the year and bringing them down to weekly and daily courses of action. Every year I buy a planner to help me to stay on track and to achieve those things I most want to accomplish.

This year I have been using a planner by Ink and Volt which I adore. The one feature that has been more useful to me than all the others is the monthly challenge. It is a page used to state a habit or skill you would like to work on for the month with a place to  write a note to yourself about why you feel like bothering and a daily check off area to mark if you manage to achieve what you set out to do.

In July the habit I decided to work on was getting 8 hours of slep each night. My husband has been remarkably sleep deprived for quite a long time and I wanted to be supportive of him making a priority of turning in early. I thought if I went to bed early enough to accomplish my goal he would feel he had to do so too and that it would do him a world of good. What I hadn’t realized was that more sleep was just what I needed myself.

For years I had no time to hear myself think until after the children went to bed. I would squeeze out a couple of hours for reading or knitting or movie watching after they were asleep. This wasn’t so bad when they went to bed at 7:00 or 7:30 but as they stayed up later and later themselves, I did too. As a result, for the last several years, I’ve managed on five or six hours of sleep every night and I thought it was enough. That is, until I made a habit of sleeping for eight.

By the end of the first week in July I felt like a different woman.  I popped out of bed with energy I hadn’t felt in years.  I wasn’t as likely to find myself looking in the refrigerator for no good reason. I was more productive with my work.  It was marvelous. By the second week I didn’t even feel guilty about lazing about in bed for so long every night. By the third and fourth I was astonished at the change in my life. I was awake fewer hours each day but each was more enjoyable and productive.

Now when I don’t get my eight hours I feel it. I even attempt to take a nap to catch up if need be. I’m not sure how I managed for so long on so little. Even after a couple of months I am astonished by how much better I feel and how little appeal just one more chapter or another episode of any given program on Netflix has in comparison with a full night’s sleep.

Readers, do you ever get enough sleep? Do you wish you could squeeze in a another hour or so every night?

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