I was raised believing that 8 hours sleep was necessary in order to process all the daily events in my life. Anything less than that would mean I that my memories would get clogged.
“Your brain’s filing cabinet will look like someone misfiled,” my father would say. So off to bed I went, confident that my head’s filing cabinet would serve me well at my next school test.
I was probably 12 at the time – the age where I always wanted to stay up later (and later). I’m a sucker for what seems like common sense and it has roots in my youth, obviously.
Now that I’m bordering on old, my views on sleep have changed dramatically. I get so much more done by getting up really early. The place is quiet and work seems to fly off my fingers.
It wasn’t until I was about 50 that I started getting up early and it took some training, I can tell you. I determined that if I was going to find enough time to do my job, work on my blogs, have a house clean enough to live in, have clean clothes, care for the pets, cook great meals AND have time to meditate and have fun with friends, I needed more hours in the day.
Anyone can get up early – all you need to do is set the alarm, but that doesn’t always make you productive OR happy. I don’t know about your bathroom but when I step out of the shower I’m smack dab in front of the mirror. I know it’s going to be a good day when I open the shower door and see a big smile on my face. That’s just the beginning. It’s important to keep up that positive energy feeling throughout the day.
I start by a quick walk with the dog. This helps him start his day and I love being outside thinking about nothing in particular for 20 minutes or so. Once I get back I drink a large glass of water and then meditate for 5-15 minutes. Why 5-15 and not 15 or even 20? Sometimes 5 minutes is enough. My entire body is relaxed and I make a definite intention as to how I want my day to go. I’m convinced that we get what we plan for so I plan for good things every day.
Do you use a schedule or a list to segment your day? I never used to do that because I knew someone who did that and she drove me up the wall with statements like, “oh, can’t continue this conversation now, it’s time to knit for 20 minutes.” I used to “argh” and say I’d never do that. Times have changed and while I’d never tell someone I had to stop because talking with them interfered with my schedule, I do think a schedule helps me to get everything done.
When I recognize that I’m getting sluggish during the day, I take a break to recharge my brain’s batteries. I go for a walk, have a nice cup of tea, play with the dog, soak in the tub or smell some peppy essential oils and then I’m ready to get back into my day. Like a lot of people, 4pm is when I need a boost.
Do you give much thought to your sleep patterns? Do you wish you had more hours in your day to get it all done?