If you remember my goals from back in October, one of the things I wanted to do was get more sleep. Having a child changes your sleep schedule; really, just getting older in general changes your sleep. We get busy with work, school, kids, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle… one of the first things we sacrifice when life gets busy is sleep. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Between wanting to exercise and get blog work done every morning before Allison gets up, I was waking up at 4:00 AM and going to bed between 9:00 and 10:00. According to my Fitbit, I was only getting about 6 hours of sleep; it’s not bad, but the recommended amount is 7-8 hours. Knowing the benefits of more sleep, I knew something had to change.
Starting October 1st, I committed to getting one extra hour of sleep every night to see how I would feel. My main reason was my health; I work out 5-6 days a week and eat as healthy as I can, and lack of sleep can hinder my progress. I also wanted to see if it would improve my mood, as I started to get really snarky and impatient. It’s been one month, and here’s what happened:
I had more energy throughout the day.
Most days I did pretty good with waking up at 4:00, but usually in the afternoon around 2:00, I just started to drag. I’d make another cup of coffee and then get the shakes right before dinner because caffeine and hunger don’t mix for me. I’m not saying I cut out my second cup completely; a few times this past month I just grabbed some because I love the taste. But I found when that 2:00 drop was supposed to hit, I felt pretty good and didn’t really need the extra caffeine.
I changed my priorities.
When you have less time to work with, you really have to prioritize and decide what’s really important for that day. Honestly, I’m still working on this and trying to remind myself why I decided to get more sleep in the first place. I work from home, while Allison sleeps and during our quiet time after lunch. I estimate I have about 4 hours a day to fit in as much as I can now, and while that seems like a lot, I can’t help but wonder where all the time goes!
My first priority is to make sure I get a workout in 5-6 days a week. Because of my limited time, I’ve had to shrink my workouts to a half hour or less, which means cutting out some of my 45+ minute videos. When Allison’s in school this can probably change, but for now, I have to squeeze in what I can and make sure I actually do them instead of convincing myself I don’t have time to work out.
My second priority is getting my post for the next day finished by the previous morning. I’m trying so hard to get ahead and have a few days worth written out at once; I do well at the beginning of the week, but by Thursday I’m scrambling to catch up. Then there are the little things that come with it, like promoting, scheduling, and other behind-the-scenes stuff that I need to focus on, too, and that’s what takes up the most time.
My third priority, one that gets put to the side a lot, is maintaining the household; keeping it somewhat clean and organized. My house isn’t a pigsty by any means, but I feel like just the bare minimum isn’t enough for me anymore. That’s why one of my goals for this month is to commit to a 10-minute cleaning session every morning and a 10-minute pickup every evening.
I noticed an improvement in my mood.
I’ve been feeling my patience grow more and more with each passing day this month. I hit a snag with being sick and just wanting to lay around all day, but now that it’s cleared up, I feel more motivated and just ready to face whatever the world gives me. Allison’s been less whiny and has been throwing less fits (but not completely gone, she’s still a toddler), and I feel that’s because I’ve been calmer and have been approaching her tantrums with more cheerfulness and steadiness. I’m just in a good place right now, and I love it!
Seriously, if you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, I cannot recommend enough that you try either going to bed an hour earlier, or waking up an hour later. Just that difference for me has changed my days completely and I love how I’m feeling. If you have any tips to share to get yourself in bed earlier or how to manage your time, please post in the comments!