I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sleep.
I'm not sure that I have full-blown insomnia, but I definitely have some sleep issues. For a long time now I've suffered from back pain, and certain sleeping positions exacerbate it. I have difficulty 'switching off' my brain when I go to bed, hence the increased interest in planners and bullet journals and to do lists in the last couple of years, in the constant hope of trying to organise my thoughts. I probably don't go to bed as early as I should, and I do like to have a lie-in, but years of getting up early for work (and then getting up early with my son) mean that I'm an early waker, if not always an early riser. I crave sleep, but at the same time, I dread going to bed in case I have a bad night where I can't sleep. I rarely ever allow myself to sleep during the day, even when I can barely keep my eyes open and a nap would probably do me good (obviously not while I'm on childcare duties). To sleep during the day seems like a waste of precious time. I go to bed late because I feel like I have so much that I want to do, so much to cram into my evenings. Yet I know that sleep is good for me, and allowing myself to have a nap or an early night isn't self-indulgent, it's self-care. But I still don't give in to it.
I've been reading a few articles about good sleep practices, and one thing that they all advise is to get up at the same time every day. I mentioned in my last post that I'm trying to do this. For someone who likes to have a sleep in on a Saturday morning, this doesn't seem to make much sense, but apparently, in the long run, it helps you sleep better and feel more refreshed. I only work two days a week, but on those two days I have to get up at 5am. So that means that for the rest of the week, my mornings have to come in line with that, and I need to get up at 5am every day.
It's not easy! If I was having a lie-in, it would only be until about 7am, because Little Hare is usually awake by then, which means I am too. So you wouldn't think that getting up a couple of hours earlier would be that hard. But I am missing that lie-in! Getting up when you know you don't really need to is tough.
Getting out of bed is the hardest part, especially at this time of year, when the house is cold, and it's so dark outside. But actually, once I'm up and dressed, it's nice having a couple of hours of peace and quiet. I can do things like blogging, internet shopping, reading, crochet, things that I don't get chance to do during the day.
When I worked full time I used to daydream about getting up for work, but then realising that I didn't have to go, like if I'd accidentally got up on Saturday thinking it was Friday. Sometimes I'd think how lovely it would be to be able to go back to bed, but other times I'd think it would be nicer to stay up. That's how I'm trying to feel about these early mornings. For a lot of people, we only get up early because we have to, usually to go to work. So I'm trying to enjoy the feeling of being up early and not having to go to work.
As I said, it's hard at the moment because it's still so dark outside. Dark mornings have never bothered me much, but lately I've found that I'm really craving the daylight, more than I ever have before. I want to come downstairs just after 5am and see the sunrise! I want to be able to get up without having to turn any lights on. I know it will happen eventually, as it always does, it'll keep getting that tiny bit lighter a few minutes earlier each day. In the articles that I've been reading they suggest that a good way to wake yourself up on a morning is to expose yourself to daylight as soon as possible, for example, sit outside with your morning cup of coffee. That's not an option for me yet! But I'm really looking forwards to when I can do that.
Of course, it's not just about getting up at the same time every day. It's also about going to bed at a sensible time, and then hopefully falling into a deep restful sleep as quickly as possible, so that you can wake up feeling refreshed. I'm still working on this, but I feel like that might be for another post! For now, I'm just going to try and keep up with the early mornings, and look forwards to my first al fresco cup of coffee!
Do you have any sleep tips you want to share? I'd love to hear about them if you do.
Bye for now xx