When I told my then boyfriend (now husband) not to call me after 8 pm because I’d probably be in bed, he was a little bit shocked. We were 18 and 19, had just be set up on a blind date and when he called me at 8:15 one night, I was already in bed. He thought I was joking, and probably a little strange being an 18-year-old girl in bed that early on any given night. I need my sleep, though, and that has not changed in the past 15 years. I need my sleep. It makes me nicer, for one, and it also helps me be more productive.
Now that we’ve been married 11 years and we have four small kids, I need my sleep more than ever. I am not a night person. I’m a morning person, and I need at least 8 hours sleep or I cannot function. And when I say that I cannot function, I’m not exaggerating. Less than 8 hours sleep and I drag all day long to the point that I need a nap and I cannot keep my eyes open. It’s a curse, but I get great sleep and it has helped me in so many ways.
Believe it or not, sleep is important. It’s one thing I will not sacrifice in my life. I will not give up sleep for a night out. I will not give up sleep for something else. I will not give it up, because I need my sleep if I want to be successful in every aspect of my life. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up in any number of places. Good sleep makes for better productivity in every aspect of life. Very intelligent, educated people agree with me; even though it seems like common sense to me. When you’re rested, your body is better. Your mind is sharper, you retain more information, your memory improves and you are more capable of learning. All these things work together to create a more successful life as a parent, as a person and at work. It’s the most surefire way you can guarantee success. You’re well-rested and ready to tackle the day, and you can make anything happen.
Unfortunately, sleep is the first thing that many people sacrifice when it comes to getting things done. If they don’t have time to do things, they don’t sleep. I’m here to tell you that the more sleep you get, the more time you have to do things. How does that work? That works because you have more time to be productive when you are rested. You’re just smarter, faster and more intelligent when you are rested. If you don’t believe me, give it a try. We can tell you exactly how to prosper in every aspect of life simply by following our amazing sleep tips and seeing how well better sleep enables you to function.
One of the best ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep is to turn things off. Turn off the television, the lights and all the things that distract you when bedtime approaches. An hour or so before you are ready to turn in, do something that helps you to wind down and relax rather than something that encourages you to tune in or focus. A nice warm bath is always relaxing, or some time with a good book. You can also spend some time being intimate, because that really does relax you more than anything else.
Make it dark
You might feel you sleep better when you have some lights on, but your body has a difficult time producing melatonin – so important for sleep – when the lights are on. Turn them off, make it dark and get comfortable. It’s the best way to train your body to recognize bed time, too, so it usually does help more than you might imagine.
Put it away
Now that you’ve turned everything off and you’ve made the effort to make your bedroom as dark as possible, it’s time to turn off your electronics. Sorry, friends, but this means your phones and your iPads and computers. No more work, no more text messages, no more social media browsing. It’s bed time and you don’t want that kind of stimulation keeping you awake.
Make it a habit
It’s not going to be easy to get to bed earlier than ever when you first begin, especially if your regular nighttime routine is one that keeps you up late. The more consistent you are, however, the easier it will be to get to bed at a decent time and make up for lost sleep each night.
Create a routine
Routine is habit, and habits are hard to break. That’s why we are so in favor of creating good habits. Go to bed around the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. We have a wonderful habit in our home. Twins to bed at 6:30, big girls to bed at 7:30, we shower and are on the couch for a little downtime by 8. We have a glass of wine, we watch something on television or we go sit on the deck if the weather is gorgeous and we visit. By 9 or 9:30 at the latest, we are in bed. We rarely deviate and we set the alarm for the same time every morning. It’s not difficult to get up when you get a good night’s sleep, and we always feel so good.
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