When reading up on bedtime routines to write Nighty Night, I didn’t expect to become sleep obsessed . . . And yet, my daily habits now revolve around that oh-so-sacred shut-eye.
While my nighttime ritual is far from perfect—I have yet to even try drinking a digestion-promoting tea after dinner, don’t always strictly adhere to no-screentime 1 hour before bed (i.e.: writing this post within an hour of hopping in bed), and still struggle with eating dinner later than I’d like—I am much more mindful of how I spend my time leading up to bed each night. The one big change I’ve made (which actually didn’t even make my bedtime rituals list!) is implementing a set bedtime.
For years I’ve been told and read that having a set bedtime is necessary for setting your body’s circadian rhythm. Let’s face it though until I became a mom, my evening habits and hours of sleep logged each night weren’t even a blip on my mind’s radar. I slept just fine and caught enough zzz’s without any sort of real routine. I knew how far back I could push my bedtime without interfering with getting up for work the next day. Even during pregnancy, while friends struggled with insomnia and/or frequent wakings, I slept soundly.
Nowadays, however, my days (and nights) revolve around caring for a mini human. After a year of wearing the mom hat, I’ve learned that as loving as my mini man is, he doesn’t care a single ounce about how well slept I am from day to day. He needs what he needs, regardless of the time of day or night. What he doesn’t know is that my sanity, happiness, and ability to be at my best for him hinges on how many hours of sleep I get each and every night (even if those hours aren’t uninterrupted). While I look forward to the days of getting quality sleep once more, the overall number of hours is my focus right now.
And so, this mom now has a bedtime. 10 pm. I recruited my iPhone to help keep me mindful and accountable. It’s sort of ironic to use technology to help with sleep when limited screentime is a factor. The ‘bedtime’ feature though is pure gold. I have it set to alert me 1 hour prior. It’s a great heads-up for me. My time between once baby goes down and when I need to be in bed is limited, so it’s easy to get caught up in working, spending time with my hubs, catching a sweat sesh, or hanging out on family dinner nights . . . So the little buzz on my Apple watch and alert on my phone are wonderful.
While there are still tweaks to be made to my bedtime ritual, making this one change so far has made a whole world of difference for me.
You can expect more from me on the topic of sleep as I continue to balance marriage, baby, freelance work, life, and sleep. Oh, and I just began a new bedtime routine with my little guy, in an attempt to lessen his nighttime waking. Yup, I am very much sleep obsessed over here.