A step toward balance :: sleep, take 2

For the last few months I’ve been participating in Which Name’s A Step Toward Balance. Developed as a way to help us be a bit more mindful in our everyday life, the idea is to choose something every month that you want stop doing—or do less of—or something that you want more fully to realize.

The first thing I chose was meditation. I took a meditation class in February and wanted to prioritize my daily home-based sits. I’m happy to report that I continue to sit 10-20 minutes 5 days a week. Eventually, I would love to sit for longer periods of time and 7 days a week. For now, a little bit almost everyday is working.

The second month (last month) I chose sleep. I tend to stay up until 10pm and get up around 5am. And by stay up, I mean I get into bed around 10pm, but don’t actually fall asleep until 10:30pm or later. These somewhat late nights coupled with 1–if not more middle of the night wakings–makes getting up at 5am difficult and my energy wane by 4pm.

I wish I could say that I succeeded in getting to bed earlier. The plan had been to be in bed by 9pm reading, with lights out no later than 10pm. This didn’t happen. So many excuses: final season of Lost; Season 3 of Big Love finally arriving from the library; time to chat with my partner; uninterrupted sewing and knitting time; kids not going to sleep until 8pm. I could go on. Needless to say, sleep continued not to be a priority.

I will be focusing on sleep again this month. I was in bed by 9pm last night. Lights were out by 10pm. I did enjoy a chai latte this morning, but only because I had an opportunity to sit in my favorite coffee house for a bit, and not because I was tired.

I’m not sure, however, if lights out by 10pm is really the solution to finding more sleep and being better rested. As part of my step toward balance this month, I’ll also be reconsidering my morning routine, the hour at which I awake, and how much I place on my to do list. Perhaps if I don’t try to do so much in a day, I’ll feel that I can go to sleep earlier and/or not need to wake up so early. I’m also going to try to be nicer to myself when things don’t get done. There will always be another time and the only person pushing me…is me.

So…here I go again. Sleep, round 2.

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