Welcome to the Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge! Over the next nine weeks I’ll be focusing on each of the nine Tranquility by Tuesday rules, one week at a time. I invite you to spend some time during the week thinking about how you might make the rule into a habit. How would it work in your life? What challenges would you anticipate? How might you deal with those challenges?
Rule #1 is to “Give yourself a bedtime.” I chose this as the first rule for a few reasons. First, it’s important to get enough sleep! Since many adults have to wake up at certain times for work or family responsibilities, choosing a reasonable time to go to bed may be the only viable option for ensuring adequate sleep on a given night.
But beyond that, having a regular bedtime gives structure to the day. Most of us are aware that days have a beginning. We’re a little fuzzier on the notion that each day has an end. To be sure, the new parents and shift workers of the world may not sleep continuously overnight. Still, for most people, a regular bedtime shows just how much time a day contains. Most of us have somewhere between 16-17 waking hours each day. It’s a lot of time, but not an infinite amount of time. When we know the shape and size of our days, we can figure out what we want to do with that time in a more rational manner.
Anyway, I’ve been doing reasonably well on giving myself a bedtime. When I tracked my time last week for the 2023 Time Tracking Challenge I was excited to see a close-to-straight line across the top of my log for bed, and a correspondingly straight line along the bottom for waking up. But no one is perfect. Yesterday I did not get to record my next round of Before Breakfast episodes all day due to workmen being in the house making noise, and then I was shuttling kids around. Everyone finally got quiet a little after 10 p.m. So I started recording then, and finished around 10:40 p.m. At that point I was a little desperate for some decompression time.
So I read for 40 minutes and turned the light out at 11:30 p.m. Oh well, 7 hours of sleep is doable (I wake up at 6:30 a.m.). But at least that was a conscious choice to blow through my bedtime, rather than having it happen accidentally.
What time do you wake up in the morning and how much sleep do you need? According to that calculation, what time should your bedtime be? Do you need much wind-down time before getting into bed?
Photo: Bed at the old house. Trying to find a photo of a bed sent me down a rabbit hole of looking at 2020 photos, and then showing the 3-year-old pictures of himself as a baby.