Hands up if you’re tired? I really am at the moment; S has not been sleeping well since just after Christmas. She often wakes several times in the night, or will wake up and be unable to get back to sleep for several hours. A new thing for the last few days has been to just wake up at 4:30am and be unable to get back to sleep. Basically, at the moment my life is all about sleep and how to get more of it.
And so, today, I bring you six reasons to go to bed early tonight:
1 To ensure tomorrow is a good day
The other day I heard someone say that a great day starts the night before. It hadn’t occurred to me before but that’s so right, isn’t it? If you stay up drinking and partying until 3am, there’s little chance of the next day being a good day. By going to bed earlier we guarantee that (nocturnal disturbances aside) we will wake up feeling rested and start our day well.
2 To be more productive
If we are more rested, we are generally more calm and focused – and this allows us to be more productive. Apparently a lack of REM sleep can really hamper our ability to be more productive during the day. As a single parent running a business and trying to keep my house reasonably clean, I need to be as productive as possible.
3 To lose weight
There are numerous studies that show that the less sleep a person gets, the more likely they are to be overweight. Sad but true: more sleep means weight gain is less of a problem. Personally, when I’ve not had much sleep I feel like I “deserve” to have some chocolate biscuits, then. I’ll be too tired to cook so I’ll just eat junk food and drink fizzy drinks to keep myself awake and going. More than that though, there seems to be a connection between the length of time you sleep and weight gain – both too little sleep and too much.
4 To catch up on yesterday
I read an article that said that if you miss sleep one night, you can catch up for it the next day – or any day within the next 7. But after seven days, you can’t “catch up” on that sleep; those hours are forever gone, no matter how much sleep you get on day 8. If you have children – or a job – you can’t just sleep later in the mornings so the only way to catch up on missed sleep is to go to bed earlier. TV is rubbish in the evenings these days any way!
5 It makes you feel better
Studies have suggested that a lack of sleep is linked with negative thinking. I know from experience that if I’ve not had enough sleep, I feel crappy and negative and it’s a real gargantuan effort to drag myself out of that and into a positive frame of mind.
6 To get up earlier
What? Don’t groan at me! My alarm is set for 5:30 am after reading Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. I try to get up early even on our days off (when we’ve not had a complete sleep fail) – it allows me time to start my day with intention, with some exercise and meditation. Before I go into my emails or check my phone or start on my to do list, I can have some time to myself to collect my thoughts. On the days when I have been able to do this, there is a marked difference in my mood, my productivity and even my food choices.
Phil Refuelled · 31/01/2016 at 20:36
To answer the question, I’m a terrible night-owl by nature, but can’t get away with it when I’m busy – I have to go to bed early if I’m going to get up early! I can only occasionally cope with a short night! ?
Rachel In Real Life · 31/01/2016 at 23:22
After speaking to you on Twitter at the end of last year I read Miracle Morning and I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do it but I decided to try it for three weeks and if it didn’t help then I’d stop. But I do it now. It makes SUCH a difference to my day and gives me some precious “me time” which I think is so important.
Vicky Charles · 13/02/2016 at 18:25
Oh thank you for telling me this! I’m so glad you are enjoying it. We’ve had a rough few weeks sleep-wise so I gave myself a little time off. Hoping our sleep will settle down again soon!