This week in the Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge, we’ve been focusing on Rule #1: Give yourself a bedtime. Committing to go to bed at a set time, unless you have a good reason not to, boosts energy and gives days more structure in general.
If you’ve been aiming to observe a bedtime over the last few days, now’s the time to reflect. How did it go? Did you get into bed at your bedtime over the last week? How many nights? How far did you shift the time on the weekend? If you didn’t observe a bedtime, what happened? If you did, did you see any effects?
I have been doing OK at it. The 3-year-old has been having trouble going to sleep, which seems to push everything later. But while I’ve never been in bed, lights out, before 11 p.m. over the past week, it’s generally been not too much after that. My latest night it was partly because I finished my puzzle (my 1000-piece puzzle of Jane Austen book covers) at 11 p.m. At least that was some effortful fun, right? Tonight I definitely should go to bed on time as the weekend won’t provide great opportunities for making up the debt (one child needs to be on the bus for a competition at 7:30 a.m….)
One Tranquility by Tuesday project participant said Rule #1 was the “least sexy but most useful” rule. It is common sense. If you need 8 hours of sleep, and you need to wake up at 6 a.m., then the fact that you need to go to bed at 10 p.m. should not be surprising. But knowing and doing are different things (hence the social media meme… “I’d do absolutely anything to get 8 hours of sleep!….except go to bed 8 hours before I need to wake up.”). The point that’s often missed is that aiming to skimp on sleep does not actually create more time. People tend to crash and make up the sleep somewhere else, which may not be a good time for it. Better to get the right amount of sleep every night than live through cycles of exhaustion and then your body substituting sleep for other activities.
If you aimed to give yourself a bedtime this week, please let me know how it went!
Photo: Not a challenging puzzle, as you could tell instantly where any piece would go. But I enjoyed seeing all these covers.