Thursday, July 23, 2015

To Do List: Sleep

This month I have been spending quiet a bit of time thinking about the changes I'd like to make in my life to be a happier, relaxed and a more productive version of myself.

Since high school, my Dad has been giving me a little piece of advice (among many) that I have failed to realize the importance of until recently. "Go to bed by 10 o'clock!", he would say, right when I was about to ask if I could watch just one more episode of Friends or some other t.v. show. I was never doing anything productive during the last couple of hours before bed, but for some reason I just never wanted to go to bed by 10 pm. Of course at the time I was young and my body was able to adapt quiet well the next day to the messily 5 to 6 hrs of sleep.

Fast forward 15 years later and my body isn't so adaptive anymore. Most nights I'm dying to hit the bed by 10pm... if only I still didn't have half of my 'to do list' pending! Just like I know I should exercise and eat well for better health, I also know that sleep is equally as important. On days when I'm extremely tired and sluggish, I'm always telling myself... "After today I'm going to make it a point to go to bed early". However, the importance of sticking to my bedtime and getting enough sleep never shows up on my 'to do list'.  Until now....

I read this quote a few days ago. I've always wanted to be a morning person, but I've come terms with the fact that I'll never be the person who wakes up at 5am and goes for a morning run!! However, recently, I've had a lot of changes happening in my professional life and I've grown tremendously because of them. I want to continue to work towards not only achieving but exceeding my goals and dreams.  In order for me to be more productive in all aspects of my life, both personal and professional I need to get in the habit of waking up earlier than I normally do. Usually, I don't go to bed at a decent time, so I snooze my alarm several times before I finally get up and rush out the door at the last minute. In order for me to change this and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day, I obviously need to get plenty of sleep the night before. Why are parents always right?! grr...

So, I'm making a few small additions to my 'to do list' in hopes of forming a habit of getting to bed at a decent time so that I get at least 7 hours of sleep. This is definitely a work in progress and by no means have I been in bed on time 100% or even 50% of the time yet. But having these few items on my 'to do list' makes me consciously aware of importance of sleep on a daily basis. I'm hoping this in turn will help me get ahead start on waking up feeling refreshed and re-energized the next day in order to make my dreams come true!

Here are the new additions to my To Do List:

Set an Alarm

Not a wake up alarm, but a "Time to Get Your Beauty Sleep" alarm. I plan on setting this alarm at least 40 minutes prior to my bed time every night. Thirty minutes (10 mins of cushion) allows me enough time to make sure I've packed a decent lunch for the next day and taken a relaxing shower prior to hitting the bed. It serves as a reminder to wrap up whatever I'm currently doing and make my bed time a priority!

Tea Time

Sometimes I'm in such a rush to hit the bed that when I'm finally laying there, all that's going through my mind is the list of things I didn't get a chance to finish today and the list of things I need to get done tomorrow. So, I've decided to add a little 5-10 minute cushion to my "Beauty Sleep" alarm to account for my nightly "Tea Time".

After a take a shower and I warm up a cup of tea and just sit and relax for 5-10 minutes. My current favorite is the mixture of the Samurai Chai Mate and Cha Ven Thai Tea from Teavana. The mixture of the two smells incredible and it's just really smoothing to sip on. This is my time to reflect on my day and or just clear my head and simply stare at the wall. Sometimes, I'll rub my hands and feet with my favorite aromatic lavender lotion and just get into a relaxed state of mind. This is not the time to make my 'to do lists' or worry about tomorrow's agenda.

Eat Breakfast

My usual breakfast consists of having my Keurig set up ready to brew my coffee as soon I come down the stairs, quickly grab a granola bar (if that!) and head out the door. This usually results in me feeling quiet hungry before lunch time rolls around and also feeling a bit 'blah' during my mornings.

My favorite breakfast consists of either oatmeal (this one is my fav) or scrambled eggs with light cheese. I'm hoping that by adding breakfast to my to do list, it will also motivate me to get to bed earlier so that I give myself enough time to sit down and eat instead of rush out the door. This helps me achieve two goals: getting enough sleep and eating healthy!

There are a few items I'd like to add to this list, however I've decided that for now I'm going to stick with these three easy items. I find that adding too many new items on my 'to do list' at one time usually results in failure for me. Hopefully, these three I can handle.

So far, I'm happy to report that I've made great progress with sticking to my tea time and eating breakfast. However, I'm still hitting that snooze button quiet a bit once it's time for me to get my beauty sleep. Baby steps I guess...

Do you have any tips for getting enough sleep?


  1. im an early riser usually but i dont know what i do in the morning, i never have time for sit down breakfast..tea time right before bed sounds very relaxing..also i know i spend wayyyyy too much time on my phone right before bed which interferes with my sleep.

    1. I wish I could be an early riser. I can definitely relate to wasting time on the phone... I use to be really bad about checking it before going to bed and checking it first thing when I wake up too. Changing that habit has helped me a lot... although I get tempted every now and then.

  2. I think this is one of Gretchen Rubin's tips - but set a bedtime alarm. That way when it turns whatever time you know to get into bed and go to sleep!

    But you're not the only one who stays up later than she should!

    1. Yup! I got the idea from Gretchen, however... I realized that setting a bed time alarm wasn't working for me because I kept snoozing! haha. I had to set an alarm just to get in the mind set that I need to be in bed soon... this gave me enough time to wrap things up.

  3. I wish I had more tips for getting more sleep, but I always end up sleeping so late and then wake up early! I like that you have an action plan, I'm sure it'll help with the mornings.

    1. So far the action plan is helping... the hard part is trying to stick to it! :/

  4. I'm so glad you shared this, because it is something I struggle with so much, especially lately! I never wake up feeling rested (or on time, for that matter,) am always rushing in the morning, and a lot of times don't sleep well at night! It really is the most frustrating thing in the world for me. I think having a nighttime routine is a great idea, I need to commit to making that work for me. I also did the nighttime alarm for a while (from the Happier podcast, right?), it seemed like half the time I was out somewhere at 10pm (that's when mine went off too) and it got annoying :/ but it is a good idea! Good luck!!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

    1. Yeah same here! I would find myself out around my bed time too. I think the bed time routine helps because it gets me the mind set to start to wind down. Can't say it's worked 100% of the time, but it is helping for sure. Committing to it is defintely the hard part... it's like an exercise program! haha