I’m dreading writing up the recap for last week. Be patient, though, and I’ll get around to it . . . if I have time before bed.
Yup, that’s right. We’ve already started in on this week’s adventure: For seven nights, make a conscious effort to go to bed (and yes, to sleep!) at a more reasonable hour than usual.
“Early to rise” isn’t much of a challenge for me — even though it is. Let me explain. I’m not naturally a morning person, and no matter how I try to reset my biorhythms, getting up at the proverbial “crack of dawn” — which in my case, usually rolls around at about 6:42 a.m. — never really seems to get any easier for me. But I have to get up for work and to take the children to school, and so I do, usually even with a minimum of whining.
“Early to bed,” though . . . that is another story. I like to squeeze every last morsel out of my day, and the precious hours between my children’s bedtime and mine (which have been shrinking smaller and smaller as the children get older) are especially dear to me. So I stretch out the end of the day as much as I can, trying to fit in as much exercise, laundry, cleaning, reading, writing, hanging out with my husband, and — yes — Interwebby time as is humanly possible before I collapse in a heap on my bed for a few hours of repose until it’s time for me to start groggily pawing at the snooze button on my alarm clock.
Yet, as Poor Richard reminds us, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Grandma Mac would heartily agree. She used to fret fiercely when I and my cousins would stay up visiting until all hours during family reunions (and when we would feel entitled afterwards to sleep late into the mornings). It didn’t seem holy, virtuous, or sensible to her for us to waste so much of our consciousness on the darker parts of of the day.
She was right, though (about so many things). If I went to bed at 10:00 every evening instead of midnight, it would indeed be very sensible — and would save us quite a bit of money (I suspect). We’d have the lights on for less time after sundown, and we’d turn the thermostat all the way down to its “snuggle under the covers” setting a bit sooner every evening.
I would (I suspect) approach the coming day with more cheerfulness and use my waking hours more efficiently.
And we would (I suspect) be healthier. Not only is getting enough sleep good for mental health and the immune system, after all, but it is also an essential component of maintaining a healthy weight. I know what my kids are like when they aren’t getting enough sleep: living nightmares. Yet how am I any different? Just because I keep my living nightmare bottled up and buttoned in doesn’t mean I fare any differently than they do at heart.
Here, then, is our plan for this week: we’ll be in bed at 10:00 p.m. every evening, with reading lamps turned out by 10:30 p.m.
So, let’s see . . . this evening, that leaves me roughly forty minutes before pumpkin time to put a load of laundry in the dryer, pick up the living room, and write up last week’s (dismal failure of an) adventure. If you don’t hear from me again tonight, you’ll know why . . .