Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bedtime as a Virtue

The habit of getting to bed on time, at 10:30, has eluded me. I know it's important to get enough sleep, but I'm never tired at 10 PM. I've been inspired to look at this a different way, though: I've begun to see going to bed on time as punctuality.

Having waited for hours--no exaggeration--on Thanksgiving dinners at relatives' houses, having waited on my ex-jerk to show up to pretty much anything, having carried a coworker who'd often get to work 20 minutes late and then spend ten minutes making her breakfast, I've had enough. I admit that I often run a few minutes late. (I'm usually on time for work, but I do take PTO or a short lunch if I'm more than a few minutes late.) But now I'm inspired to change.

The Art of Manliness site ran an article a few years ago called The Importance of Punctuality. Being on time, it says, shows integrity, dependability, builds self-confidence, and assures you're at your best.  George Washington was a stickler for punctuality, the article says, and waited for nobody. A follow-up article lists reasons why people run late. In my case, I tend to overestimate what I can get done in a certain amount of time.

Another problem is that I'm wide awake at bedtime. I've always been that way, even when I was a kid with no computer or video games, didn't watch much TV, and went to bed at the same time every night. I'd often lie awake until midnight. Nevertheless, I feel better the next day after lying awake than staying up until midnight.

Therefore, I can't rely on feeling tired as a sign to go to bed. I have to go to bed at a certain time, tired or not, because I'll feel better later. It's like other habits most sensible people have: eat good food and take your vitamins before you get sick. Save money now before you have an emergency. Maintain your car before it breaks down. Maintain your reputation before people start seeing you as a flake. Go to bed at a reasonable hour before you end up exhausted. Do these things, and life isn't likely to be a series of calamities. Emergencies will happen, but you'll be better able to take care of them.

My goal is then to start getting ready for bed at 9 and plan my evenings better. 

8 comments:

Gwen said...

I am trying to make a decent bedtime/sleep a better priority. I know how key a component it is for my health, and emotional fortitude. Sorry you struggle to fall asleep. I'm usually lights out within 5 min. :)

Lori Miller said...

I'm a night owl--I have to be very tired to fall asleep right away. I wish I could sleep in the afternoon more often. I sleep like the dead then.

Galina L. said...

I am not perfect when it comes to going to bed in time. Recently another problem got added - I started to have hot flashes, or rather LC stopped helping on a hot flashes front. I used to sleep like dead too, but that thing keeps waking me up several times during night. I am going to a hormonal specialist today.

Lori Miller said...

I hope you get it resolved.

Galina L. said...

It should be resolved with a proper dose of hormones. It is life that we have to re-adjust our self-care from time to time as we are getting older.

Lowcarb team member said...

We often under estimate the importance of sleep or rest. Possibly if we think about it too much the situation can get worse. I find I'm at my best if I can get 8 hours sleep / rest.

I can still remember my mum saying to me "it doesn't matter if you do not get to sleep immediately, the fact that your body is resting is also important". Was she right ? Well I like to think mums know best !!!

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

I think your mom was right, Jan. Just being in bed by a certain hour helps me feel rested.

Nancie Anne Frazer said...
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