It happened again. Once more, eleven had rolled around, and this night owl finally crawled into bed. Thing was, it was a school night. I dreaded the 6:00 wake-up call by my clock radio. I knew I needed more rest, but how?
We’re all busy, probably too busy. We work hard. We play hard. We have obligations.
And to our detriment, sleep falls to the bottom of the pile.
How do we stop the slide? At the Haynie house, I knew we had to make some changes. Here’s five ways I’ve found to work for gaining more sleep.
Know What Sleep is Best
Everyone is different in terms of the amount of sleep they need. I’ve put sleep quantities into three categories.
- Great sleep – This is the amount of sleep that leaves us feeling rested and refreshed.
- Okay sleep – This is the amount of sleep that allows us to function, though we tend to fall into bed at night quite weary.
- Can’t function sleep – In this sleep zone, we can’t function well at all and feel like we’re moving through a world made of molasses.
For me, I need eight hours to fall into the great sleep category, six to seven to be in the okay sleep category. If I get below six, then I can barely function and can only continue with one night of this kind of sleep.
Take a Sabbath
God put the Sabbath into our lives for a reason. For most of us, regardless of whether we go to church, Sundays tend to be a day that’s different from the others. We slow down, change up the schedule. For many of us, worship comes on this day. God designed this day to rest.
When Sabbath rolls around, Steve and I usually attend early service, then Sunday School. When we get home from lunch, we try to keep it slow and mellow. Naps. Maybe some yard work because for us, that’s more of a recreational activity. I write, and if we feel like it, we’ll do something for exercise. It’s a far cry from our weekdays and Saturdays.
I know some of us, especially pastors, doctors, and nurses, may work on Sundays. If that’s the case, then a different day of the week may suit as a Sabbath.
Start the Week Right
Resting on the Sabbath can set the tone for the rest of the week in terms of when I get to bed. If I go to bed at eleven on a Sunday night, I’ll do the same for the rest of the week.
I think we all fall into that trap. We need to figure out what time we need to get to bed, then enforce that time.
Turn on a Night Light
I’m not talking about a light you plug into the outlet of a bedroom. Instead, I’m talking about a computer.
I’m a writer in my off-work hours, and I usually work up to the time when I go to bed. Windows 10 has a feature where I can set a time when the screen, normally glowing with blue light, will start emitting the longer wave lengths of warm light in the red range, which is meant to encourage sleepiness rather than stimulate. I’ve set that time at nine o’clock, and under normal circumstances (see below for not-normal circumstances), that’s my time to close up shop and spend time with Steve and the pups.
Face it. Life sometimes gets in the way. Big changes happen. New baby. New job. New puppy. Each creates a different schedule that can throw us for a loop. At the Haynie house, getting Clyde the Basenji at eight weeks has thrown a major wrinkle into our lives in many ways, one of those being a disrupted sleep schedule. BC, or before Clyde, we’d begun going lights out at 10:30. Now, we’re back to our night owl tendencies. Once Memorial Day weekend hits, we’ll be turning it back once more to 10:30.
We need to persist, to be aware of the changes and to accommodate those changes, all the while shifting back toward a schedule that works better for us.
Sleep’s important. We all need it. And while in today’s world it may feel impossible to get our needed rest, it is. We need to be aware of what we need, to implement ways to get needed rest, and to persist when changes happen.
Question: What ways do you make sure you get more rest?
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