Tag: #troublesleeping

One More Minute

I’m tired today, but I also know why.

To know is revolutionary. Knowing where I messed up allows room for improvement in that area, and there’s always room for improvement. The simple fact is…I overslept.

I know how much sleep my body needs. It runs with optimum capacity of 7 hours sleep. Looking back on my life, it varied and could run on less when I was younger. The body knows what it needs. All it asks is we pay attention.

Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

What you just read was written yesterday.

It’s a new day and I’m not tired. It’s 7:30 am and I’m listening to it rain as I type. My goal is to publish at least one post a week, and Wednesday’s at 9:00 am work best. I woke up an hour ago and sat up to drink from the water bottle beside the bed. Soaking up this morning stillness, offering up gratitude for a new day.

It would have been easy to stay in bed and listen to the rain, but I didn’t want a repeat of yesterday. My body naturally woke up after 7 hours sleep and I know the key to success. Get out of the bed. If I lay there telling myself, ‘One more minute’, I’ll fall back to sleep and wake up an hour later feeling tired. That’s not a good tired.

This all started month’s ago while creating simple habits. I was tired of disappointing myself by putting things off. Laying in bed in the morning was one of them. I knew if I laid there long enough, the inevitable would happen. A simple habit is just that. Placing my feet on the floor and butt out of bed is relatively simple.

What a difference it makes waking up before dawn and watching the day begin. I get to start the day instead of oversleeping and falling into the day that began without me. My mind is clear, the body is refueled, and I think this is the first morning post I’ve written with no coffee in my body, which is terrifying.

Coffee will appear soon enough. I just wanted to share this special part of the day. I’m going to tag this post and schedule it for 9:00 am, so I can keep that promise to myself. I encourage you to give your body the sleep it needs, but not one more minute.

This is part of what seems to be the never-ending series of how to get a good night’s sleep. You can read them in order here:

1. A Good Night’s Sleep

2. Know Your Flow

3. Mama Knew Best

Know Your Flow

To prepare for sleep, I chose to halt the flow of day into evening. Work was one of them, which was mentioned in the previous post, and we’ll dive deeper into working from home soon. Today we’ll keep walking toward a good night’s sleep.

Photo by Pietra Schwarzler on Unsplash

You know my love for coffee, and the coffee bar was always flowing, until I got serious about a good night’s sleep. It didn’t take long to realize coffee was making me restless in bed. It was tough to admit, but my mind is fueled by coffee, so it would not relax if I drank it late in the day. I would lay in bed and continue thinking just like it was morning.

Now, I stop the flow of coffee by 2:00 pm and sometimes before noon, which is instrumental in a good night’s sleep. I’m learning a good night sleep takes discipline and saying no to the flesh. One day, my daughter offered me the rest of her Chocolate Cold Brew after 4:00 pm, and sadly I poured it down the drain.

Life will tempt you on your journey. Walking out to the mailbox, this was waiting.

Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription

Normally, I squeal with excitement when Blue Bottle arrives. A month ago, I would have raced into the house and started the kettle for a Chemex. My excuse would be, “I haven’t tried this blend before!” It’s tempting to give up a good night’s sleep, but when we know better, it’s time to do better.

I watched my actions as the morning coffee flowed into afternoon and then evening. When it became night, I felt trepidation because I had crossed my boundaries that day and wasn’t sleepy. I hadn’t had a successful night’s sleep in months and I don’t believe we’re supposed to dread going to bed!

There is a flow to this life, and being mindful of what flows into my day and at what time is an intricate part of having a good night’s sleep. Coffee now has a slow flow and a stopping point.

Maybe it’s not coffee for you, but if you’re having trouble relaxing your mind to fall asleep, there’s something in your body from the day that thinks it needs to stay awake. Know your flow.

Quiet is Good

My life is quiet. I created it that way on purpose.

Some people cannot embrace the quiet. They have to stay busy. The stillness of life is a beautiful thing. Have you practiced just sitting in it?

Sometime last year, I took all the apps off of my phone that made noise. I have an undying love for Google, so the Google family of apps stayed.

My phone may be quiet, but my mind is not.

I’m always thinking, and this was disturbing my sleep. It would take so long for my brain to shut off, I started dreading bedtime. Plus, I would wake up the next day tired from trying to get some sleep!

I tried a lot of things to prepare my mind for bed.

My daughter recommended Melatonin, but that just knocked me out. This is the same daughter that told me, “You look tired.” I longed for a good night’s sleep. That feeling of drifting off to dreamland.

The other night, I laid in bed and listened to my breathing. In my mind, I heard my Yoga instructor say as if to remind me, “It’s all in the breath.”

I’ve been practicing Yoga and meditation all year.

I’ve been doing both of them wrong.

Yoga was a form of exercise for me, but that is not it’s main purpose. That is more like a fringe benefit.

I could never get my mind quiet long enough to meditate. Guess what? I’m not supposed to. It’s okay to be mindful of your thoughts during meditation.

thoughts

This is when I tried Headspace for 10 days straight.

My daughter mentioned I was ‘sighing’ a lot, but it wasn’t a sigh. It was controlled breathing. I was sorting through my thoughts with each breath.

Two nights ago, guess how I fell asleep?

By counting my breath. Just being aware of my breath, and counting each inhale and exhale.

I felt myself drifting off to sleep. Quiet is good.