A good night's sleep might be considered a little but boring in comparison to burning the midnight oil for work or a personal project, but the truth of the matter is that a decent bedtime is one of the fundamental components of good long-term mental and all round health. Sleep deprivation was used as a method of torture during both world wars for a reason, perhaps a reminder to anyone who is trying to navigate the fast-paced modern world we live in. If you’re a busy person, and especially if you are bound to a 9 to 5 job, a decent bedtime matters because it affects whether you start your day off balanced, or slightly off center.
“There’s No Enough Time in the Day”
... and “I’ll sleep when I die” are two common expressions that in my opinion do more harm than good when someone lives by them. Sleep is fundamental to maintaining good mental health, and getting enough of it should never be understated. No matter how important a project might be, and how much Silicon Valley likes to promote being the quickest, fastest and best at what you do, driving yourself into burnout or going through a depressive spell simply because you’re not getting enough shuteye is never going to be worth it. Ever.
The Benefit of a Consistent Bedtime
Starting your day off balanced requires going to bed at a consistent time, and waking up at one too. When you end up watching Game of Thrones (again!) until two in the morning, it throws off the start of the new day and you may end up making decisions while being off center throughout the day. This can snowball into a series of bad choices related to the food you eat, how you handle interpersonal interactions and it can often derail any progress you are making relative to your personal development. A consistent bedtime, and switching off all devices at least an hour before, as well as waking up seven (ideally eight!) hours later each time, will compound the benefits in your day.
Getting Started With a Good Bedtime Routine
If you’re wondering how to go about it, start off with a non-negotiable bed time of 10pm every night. Ideally, popping into bed thirty minutes earlier to start to decompress is the best option. Depending on your morning commute, you may want to get up at 5am for an hour of “me” time, which should include lemon/lime water, a mindfulness activity (like writing down a few things you’re grateful for), as well as outlining a few of the key things you want to tackle that day. You will start the day off on the right foot, and no matter how it ends up playing out, knowing that you’ll be in bed at 10pm that night will be reassurance that a reset is right around the corner.
Getting serious about a decent bedtime, and establishing a good morning ritual to start your day off in a more balanced way, can be the key to a sustainable wellbeing practice. If you have any questions about how to go about this, or need a bit of extra encouragement, I’m more than happy to make some time for a coaching session to put you on your way.