I am a night-owl. I am by nature a stay-up-late-to-get-it-done kind of lady. The idea of getting up early truly did not originate with me (and never would have naturally!). I like to wait until everyone in the house is quiet and do dishes, bake, play video games, veg and then crawl into bed and read for a little bit before I drift off to sleep somewhere between 1 AM and 2 AM.
That’s what I like to do. But, having my kids makes this an impossibility. They are wake-up-early-and-ready-to-go kind of ladies. They must get it from my husband who didn’t use the snooze button until after we had kids. He hears the alarm (the radio alarm! set to where only the house cat next door and he can hear it), turns it off two seconds later, and rolls out of bed. He passed it on to them and now I am doomed to a life of waking up CRAZY early, just so I can get some things done.
And needing to get up early means I need to go to bed early to avoid the mid-afternoon meltdown, crash and burn, and naps after dinnertime. And let me tell you it is hard for my body to shut-down so early (or what feels early). As we are working through setting up morning and evening routines, I decided I would lay some ground rules for myself and then create a simple list of things I would like to do before I put my head on the pillow for the night. My list is set up to help me wind down and work slowly into sleep.
Here are my ground rules: 1. Be in my bedroom by 11 PM 2. Be in bed with the lights out, attempting to go to sleep by midnight.
That gives me an hour to accomplish my simple list:
I need to brush and floss – doing that already. But I also need to start washing my face and putting that old-lady cream on my face before it starts sagging. Oh, and do something about those crow’s-feet.
2. Create a to-do list for the next day
I have found that this is the time I need to create my list. Most people would do this in the morning over a cup of coffee, but I have Bible study with my coffee and try to focus on that instead of the number of things I need to get done. Creating this list at night helps me start the day on the right foot and still be able to accomplish some things I need to get done.
3. Set a basket of laundry by the door
This is so I will remember to grab it first thing in the morning to take with me as I head downstairs to turn on the coffee maker. I can get a load of laundry started almost before I get the sleep out of my eyes!
4. Put on bed-clothes
Ok, this may seem like a gimme. But seriously I am trying to force myself to make a distinction between day clothes and bed-clothes. Since having babies and toddlers, I kind of forgot that I don’t always have to be wearing something that I could easily sleep in!
5. Read a leisure book
I truly enjoy when I take the time to read a book just for me. I usually prefer non-fiction. I sometimes mix it up with classic literature and a few modern literature favorites. Making this a priority before heading off to bed is really important to me!
I have decided to write this list out and place it by my bed or in my bathroom to remind me that it is important to me. Sometimes my day can be so hectic that I will skip everything and fall asleep where ever I land, but I usually wake up late and bummed about missing all the good stuff I could have done to end the day before.
So, what about you? What is on your to-do list for your evening routine? How do you wind down and prepare for sleep?
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