I am must say,’I’m tired.’ about a hundred times a day. I think it all the time, and it especially comes to mind when I am faced with a decision that needs will power, like trying to resist that extra snack, “oh go on, I’m tired today, I deserve a treat,” or deciding whether or not to reply to that email, “I’m too tired to face that.”, or when I am contemplating getting the hoover out, “I’m tired. I’ll do it tomorrow”.
The cause of my tiredness is quite simple. I am a mum to a daughter who is wonderful in lots of ways but she is an horrendous sleeper. Wouldn’t nap regularly in the cot until she was one, wakes up two to three times in the night but is still wide awake and ready to take on the world at 6am…
Without a doubt the lack of sleep has been the most difficult thing about being a mum for me. And before you start, we have tried numerous tactics to improve things, some of them have helped, some haven’t, none have completely worked. Orla is just a bad sleeper, that is how it is. I too, was a bad sleeper as a child, and to be honest I still struggle dropping off now, even when I am tired, I find it really hard to turn my brain off and fall asleep.
The good news is that Orla is getting better, we now can have about three to four nights in the week where she does sleep through, which is bliss but it still means that three to four nights a week I am having broken sleep, and that does take it’s toll.
So, here is my recent revelation. If I can’t control having unbroken sleep and if I can’t sleep in later in the morning, then I need to go to bed earlier. I know, groundbreaking, eh? I don’t know why I haven’t accepted this basic truth earlier, apart from the fact that sleep deprivation really does slow down your thinking and I have a Netflix addiction that has me watching Zombie TV shows till midnight.
I find it hard when I am happily watching telly to drag myself up and off to bed. It’s just too much effort! But when I do go to bed early it is so wonderful! One night last month I went to bed ridiculously early, like nine o’clock. It was a cold night, I had a cold, Rob was out and I just wanted to get warm. So, I went up to bed, turned on some fairy lights, lit a scented candle and settled on the bed with a glass of wine (dangerous), a hot water bottle and a pile of magazines.
And do you know what? It was absolutely lovely. By 9:45 I was so relaxed that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I quickly brushed my teeth, turned off the lights and went back to bed and fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow. I can’t remember if Orla was up a lot that night or not, but I do remember how much more rested I felt the next morning.
A couple of times since then I have gone up early again, not always with wine, but often with something to read, and each time I have had a better night’s sleep and felt more with it the next day.
So, I am making a decision. I am going to make an effort this week to go to bed early. Unless I am out of the house or have people round, I am going to be in bed for 9:30pm. I am going to read and then go to sleep. And I am going to see if going to bed earlier helps me to feel more energised throughout the day.
Because there are some other changes in my life I would like to make. I would like to eat a bit healthier and I’d like to do a big de-clutter in the house. But I know I need more energy to get on and do those things, so I am going to really focus this week on improving my bedtime routine and then hopefully I will stop muttering “I’m tired” to myself and instead start saying, “Let’s do this!”
That’s my plan anyway! Anyone else have good tips for going to bed earlier, then let me know!