Saturday Dec 3, 2011

The first change that you need to make in your life (and everyone in your household) is SLEEP and REST.   It seems like we are sleeping less time because we have so much to do.  Well, the number one rule is that without proper rest, you are never going to be able to give any task 100%.  That means that anything you have to do is going to take you longer to accomplish.  So STEP #1 is SLEEP and REST.  Plan for you and your household to be home in time to unwind, take baths, etc and get into bed at 9 PM or 10 PM.  You’ll hear that the necessary amount of sleep that your body needs is 8 hours per night.  So, let’s start with that….   For example, if you need to wake up in the morning at 5 AM, make sure that you are in bed by 8:30 PM (you’ll need at least 30 minutes to fall asleep if you are not used to going to bed this early).

If you have children, make sure that their time to go to bed is at least 30 minutes before the adults in the house go to bed.  Not only do they have additional sleep requirements, it will make your life easier and less stressful if you can make sure that they are in their bed and asleep before you go to bed.  The last thing you need is to be awakened by the sound of a cabinet closing just as you’ve drifted off to sleep – to find that one of your children is up getting a glass of water.  AND, a child without enough sleep is grumpy and hard to wake up in the morning!   Children who do not get enough sleep perform below their classmates at school too.  So, if you want your child to be the best they can be, make sure that they get the amount of sleep they need every night.

You need to have UNINTERRUPTED sleep to effectively rest.

If you have to wake up at 2 AM to let the dog out or at 4 AM to go to the bathroom, your body is not getting the required rest that it needs.  In this way,  you need to plan and prepare before hand.  What is going to be required to make sure that the dog does NOT need to go out to pee at 2 AM?  Maybe it is something as simple as removing his water bowl at 7 PM and taking him out for the final time that night at 8:15 PM.    Are there always going to be circumstances that come up?  Sure there is.  But, what I am talking about is YOU taking control and doing what you can to make sure that those “circumstances” do not take over your life.   Of course everyone is going to experience something like a wrong phone number at 1:30 AM, a child with a bad dream waking up at 3 AM, or a host of other “unplanned” and “unavoidable” circumstances.  Those things are going to happen – it’s life.   But for the majority part of the time, you should be in control and you should plan and schedule your family’s sleep time.

What can you expect when your body is getting the amount of sleep it needs on a daily basis?  After just a night or  two, you’ll notice that you are not as tired in the middle of the day or late afternoon.  You’ll have more energy and stamina.  Focusing will not be such a problem.   Sleep deprivation leads to anxiety and depression.    My mother always warned me about “burning the candle at both ends.”   Well, she was right!   Foregoing sleep will not get  you ahead – it will just bury you in stress and anxiety.  You’ll accomplish less and feel even worse.

Your first STEP is to determine your family’s sleep schedule based on

  • work schedule
  • time you need to wake up in the morning

Now, you need to determine any factors that take away your ability to get a full-night of uninterrupted sleep — research what you can do to help improve or eliminate the problems.   Work those solutions into  your plan.

Please email me with your “circumstances” – what keeps you from getting uninterrupted sleep at night?    My email is information (at) simplefrugallife (dot) com.

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