Small Steps Toward Health: The Conundrum of Sleep

I checked my blogging plan last week and wanted to laugh when I saw this week’s topic: prioritizing your sleep.

So important.

So very, very difficult at this stage of life.

After several weeks that have included only a couple nights of unbroken sleep, it feels slightly hypocritical to write about how we need to sleep. Or maybe it’s not hypocritical at all. Perhaps I am simply Exhibit A on why sleep matters. I’ve had multiple children up at night, a sick child, and had to wake up extra early for work, etc.

I really don’t know what the answer is to this one aspect of self-care. I’ve made huge strides in the past few years, but no matter what I do, this one thing is more challenging than almost anything else: how to sleep more than 5-6 hours. It’s part of why I make myself go to bed early. You never know what a night will hold. People wake up sick or have nightmares. Life happens and we do the best we can. I have found it helpful to set an alarm to remind me to go to bed. Yes, it sounds weird, but it works for me. Sometimes I need a reminder that IT IS TIME to begin my nighttime routine. I can be so good about creating routines for my kids and forget that I need one too. After the kids are in bed I begin my evening routine because I’m exciting like that. It’s kinda boring and middle-aged and mom-ish.

Oh wait. That’s who I am.

If I don’t begin my routine right away then I invariably begin scrolling through social media and piddling around my house and before I know it, it’s late and I wonder what I’ve been doing for the past few hours.

Going to bed early is currently taking so much more resolve than waking early. It takes a huge amount of discipline for me because I like the quiet of the evening. My kids are asleep and I finally have time to chill. It’s a conundrum because I love feeling rested, but I begin to feel grumpy and resentful if I never have any down time. So usually after I’m ready for bed, I’ve found it helpful to watch at least part of a show on Netflix or Hulu or read a book. I know they say that you shouldn’t have any screen time within a few hours of going to bed, but I still haven’t found a way to make that work for me. Having at least 30 minutes of personal time at the end of the day is magic that rejuvenates my soul. I’d love a couple hours, but at this point I’ll take the 30 minutes.

This week, I wish you the best as you try to rest. Here’s to making a valiant attempt to being a semi-rested mom!

May you find joy in your busy nothings this week!

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