Sleep - 5 reasons to go to bed early tonight
Two weeks ago I came back to Paris after the Christmas holidays spent with my family in Italy, and I was seriously sleep deprived, which made me grumpy and moody. I had spent most of the holidays going to bed at 1 or 2am because of family gatherings or simply watching TV ( I don't own a tv at home so that's the only time I update on the current shows, and every time it reminds me how good is that I don't own one !) .
I knew I had to reset a good routine to gain my energy back, so I set myself a little challenge, to sleep at 10PM for 3 nights/week. I wanted a goal that was achievable, flexible because my schedule often changes and realistic so I actually keep up. And only the second week in, I feel amazing. my head is clear, and by sleeping from 10 to around 6AM I can enjoy the best hours of the night to sleep and really wake up feeling refreshed.
It may not seem like a big goal but one of the reasons why it was important and challenging for me is that it questions my relationships in a city where social engagements start very late, dinners at least least 8pm and being back home before 11pm is quite hard.
But I am committed to keep it up as much as possible and at the beginning of each week I select which days are more suitable for an early night, which usually fall between Mondays and Wednesdays, are you joining me ? Let's keep each other's accountable!
As a result of this commitment, I am becoming a sleep geek, I was browsing through the local library website to put my hands on all the books talking about sleep and I'm ready to dive in , but in the meanwhile I wanted to share some benefits that I noticed in my own life :
1. Sleep is the magic pill
I've always been convinced that sleep is the most underrated magic pill to solve all my physical, emotional and mental problems. Do you have a bad skin day? You're stuck in your head and overthinking an issue with someone? Or you're facing a big decision and have no clue which direction to take? Muscle pain from exercising after a long break? Or feeling moody and sad ? Chances are that a solid 8 hours sleep will fix most of these problems , give you the solution you were looking for or make your skin look more refreshed than any expensive cream could ever do !
2. SLEEP IS A POWERFUL HEALTHY BOUNDARY
Healthy boundaries allow you to focus on what's really important for you. Having boundaries on yourself and towards others is not a limitation but on the contrary a source of freedom because they channel your energies on what really matters instead of spreading them around random commitments that make you feel depleted.
All of us have dreams and visions to accomplish, they give us a purpose to get up every day and work on them and they will not look the same as your best friend's ones. We all have 24 hours in a day and we want to make the best use of them, and feeling like you cannot work toward your dream because you feel exhausted after having slept too late, how frustrating is that? At least for me it is.
For example looking back at last year I had weeks with too many social engagements, and while they were all fun and with lovely people I sometimes felt exhausted and in the morning my mind felt too slow to get quality work done which could have led me closer to my long-term vision while the extra party didn't add huge value to my week.
Our priorities, weather is a new entreprise we created, becoming a mum or starting to exercise are truly important to us, and feeling fresh for them is a form of respect toward ourselves.
And if you are afraid your relationships will suffer from that, be creative with your time and meet people for brunch or a breakfast meeting instead of a dinner one, or go exercise together or share a new creative hobby that it's more relaxing and enriching that an after-work drink !
3. YOU ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF EARLY MORNINGS
Have you ever heard people saying that the hours before midnight are worth double time? I really feel that, because when I sleep at 10pm I get up around 6am feeling much more refreshed than sleeping the same amount of time but going to bed after midnight.
And the result is experiencing the beauty of the world early in the morning, when it's quiet, the air feels fresher and no one is around. It also makes me feel like time is expanded and I have a full day ahead to accomplish my goals with ease.
Also my mind is more awake and clear and the work I do in the morning is much more efficient and high-quality, does it happen to you as well?
4. YOU CAN CREATE INDULGENT EVENING RITUALS
When you head to bed early, it means that you can close your work day a bit earlier because you have accomplished more life and work tasks by dinner time, which creates a beautiful window of time to wind down before bed time.
This "extra time" is an occasion to really switch off and create an evening ritual to spend time by yourself or with your loved ones. I love to see this ritual as an occasion to pass from the masculine energy or working, errands and goals to the feminine energy of slowing down, exhale and connect o your body.
How do this ritual look like ? It's up to you but some ideas are :
- Close your laptop and switch off all technology if possible, so you can read a book or do some creative activity
- Light up some candles and put dim lights to communicate to your body that the night is coming
- Move very slowly while preparing dinner, don't worry you'll probably take the same time to prepare it but it'll feel more luxurious and pleasurable
- Take a hot shower to clean off whatever happened during the day
- Go for a meditative walk or change environment so your mind focuses the attention elsewhere than your unfinished to-do list
- Awake the senses by using incense, essential oils , perfumed candles ...
5. YOU LEARN TO FALL ASLEEP FASTER
If you're anything like me falling asleep may take some time because the mind is still racing across your to-do list and the body is tense from going around a loud and busy city.
And it doesn't matter at what time I come home, I personally cannot simply jump into bed, I need some time to wind down and get into the mood for sleep. Which means that If I'm home late, I'll be in bed extra late .
So by setting an early bed time routine, I have more time set my body in sleep mood, and even if it takes longer for some reason, it'll never be very late which feels comforting .
Some of my favorite ways to fall asleep faster are :
- Lavander essential oil on the pillow
- Meditation of course , I'm currently using the app Calm which also contains bed-time stories
- Keeping a journal to write down all the worries or ideas that come up while in bed
So here you have my 5 amazing reasons to go to bed early, and if you are not an "early" person , I hope you still found some of the tips useful for you and maybe you'll give a try to an early night tonight ? Share your own tips and resources for making the best of your sleep time below , I'd love to learn more !
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