It’s impossible to talk about the day’s routine without mentioning the night before.
I used to be a night owl. About ten o’clock I would get a second wind and want to start working on all of the things that I didn’t have time to do during the day. Going to bed at midnight was the norm for me for many, many years. Sometimes I stayed up later.
After I became a mom and my sleep diminished, I still didn’t go to bed early. In fact, having a baby made me want to stay up even later. Suddenly the night hours were the only time I had to myself. It was quiet, and I could think more clearly. I had time to read and feel inspired, And besides, why should I go to bed if I had to wake up in two hours anyway to nurse the baby?
Every morning I would be groggy and slow. If I had to be somewhere on time in the morning, then I would stress out and feel embarrassed for waking up late. I was at odds with the day and other people. It’s hard to be a night owl. Everyone tells you it’s better to wake up early, and it seems like no one appreciates the things you did while everyone else was asleep.
One night I stayed up until two a.m. working on my own thing only to be woken up at five with a sick kid. It was a difficult day, and I was woefully unprepared.
I also wrote my blog posts at night so it wouldn’t interfere with my family. Then one day I tried writing a post during the morning instead, and I realized that it only took half the time! What did that say about my productivity at night? Maybe staying up late wasn’t as helpful as I thought.
There is a big difference between alertness and productivity. I had tons of ideas, but I wasn’t truly, fully able to act on any of those fresh ideas late at night. What good is inspiration without action?
I started going to bed earlier. It didn’t feel natural; I had to choose to do it.
Some say to gradually set your alarm back a few more minutes each morning to wake up earlier. I went cold turkey and started going to bed and waking up early. If you wake up early for a few days in a row then you’ll be tired at night.
Practical tips are to exercise, avoid caffeine, and have a nighttime routine, but you probably know that already. You just have to decide that it’s worth it to try it for a few days and see for yourself.
Even now, I don’t wake up bright-eyed. It takes me ten minutes or so to get going in the morning… but getting out of bed isn’t painful like it used to be, and I’m ready for the day.
If it’s good for your kids to go to bed early, then why isn’t it good for you too? Be your own mom and tell yourself to go to bed.