Early to Bed, Early to Rise (and how to fall asleep)
Someone recently asked me what my secret to being a morning person was. In short, my answer is "early to bed, early to rise." That's it. No real routine, nothing overly inspiring. And if I'm really being honest.... I've never not been a morning person. I've never been one to sleep in, even in high school. If I'm still in bed by 8am, I feel like my whole day has been wasted. That's just how I roll.
The REAL secret, is how I get to bed so early ;)
Ok, again, I've always gone to bed early, so this may all just be me being a creature of habit. But I am a firm believer in a few key tricks to get quality sleep, even when motherhood, or life in general, no longer allows you to sleep uninterrupted from 9:30pm-6:30am (yeah, that was really my life for many a years).
It's not just about getting to bed early, but being able to actually fall asleep...
- Be active. Move a lot throughout the day - walk, take the stairs, stretch, twist, jump, whatever. Just move your body. ALL DAY LONG. Not just for exercise, I really mean ALL DAY. If you have a desk job, take a 3 minute walk every hour. In an 8 hour day, that's 24 minutes, it adds up. Get creative and start moving!
- Exercise. Don't think my above comment was going to let you off. Break a sweat, elevate your heart rate, tucker yourself out. This time of year makes it a little easier, as you don't need an expensive gym membership. Take a walk, play at the playground with the kids, go for a run, go for a bike ride (!!!), go swimming, do some yoga. You get the point.
- Turn your brain off. Instead of thinking about all the things that went wrong, what needs done, what you haven't had time for, things you can't control at the moment, think about ALL the great things from that day. "My daughter took great naps. I made it to the garden. I got to ride my bike. The sunset was gorgeous. Someone let me merge seamlessly onto the highway. I talked to my sister." You get the point. Seriously, just start listing every great thing that came from your day. I can almost guarantee that once you start thinking about it, you will not only find that the list is endless, but that you will drift fast asleep. Seriously, just try it.
So there you have it. Those are my secrets.