Recently, I had one of those days. I felt like George Constanza—every decision I made was wrong. I would have been better to just do the opposite of my inclinations. I made one misstep after another. After several miserable hours into the day, I realized it all started by me staying up later than I should have the night before.
That may sound a bit over-simplistic, but I know it was the first domino to fall and set off an embarrassing chain reaction.
What The Heck?!!
I stayed up late the night before, vegging out to a movie. No crime but I woke up really tired. I laid in bed past my alarm which I usually don’t do. Short on time and energy, I undermined my normally energizing morning routine by condensing and rushing through it.
I determined what I needed was a change of scenery—I’d scooter to Starbucks and do my morning writing there. I don’t write well at Starbucks but I was sure today would be different.
I arrived to find Starbucks filled—no tables. So I decided to scooter seven miles to another one. I took what should have been a faster route even though I knew it was under construction. Bad choice.
When I finally arrived at the other Starbucks, the line was long but I endured and found a table (Mobile Order hadn’t been released yet). The music was too loud and the nearby conversations were too animated. Writing felt like swimming through mud. By the time I had to leave, I had nothing to show for my time. Only frustration.
All because I made a poor choice the night before and didn’t get to bed early enough. That one decision sabotaged my decision-making ability the next day.
You’re probably laughing at me only because you don’t want to cry. You’ve had those days also and for probably the same reason.
We Need Great Sleep—And Plenty Of It
You can’t overestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. Most Americans are sleep-deprived. Sleep impacts our attitude, mental focus, decision-making, weight loss, and physical healing. So, it’s essential we get to bed early enough to give ourselves the sufficient amount of sleep.
Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Determine your bedtime based on when you need to get up to get your day started right. Remember, you will never be at your best for those you love or your vocation if you start the day rushed.
Set Yourself Up For Good Sleep And A Good Day
Getting to bed on time is important. But there are some other things that will help you get the quality of sleep you deserve.
- Wind down before going to bed. You can’t just go, go, go right up to when you jump into bed and expect to fall asleep quickly and deeply. Begin to wind down and relax at least an hour before bed. Dim the lights. Soft music. Perhaps read a bit. Take a warm bath or shower. Cut the screen time—TV, computers, and smartphones—at least thirty minutes before bed.
Get things ready for your morning routine. Get your water, tea, and/or coffee set up. Set out your exercise clothes. Have your Bible or other books and journal available. Prepare tonight so you can hit the ground running in the morning.
Prepare your environment. Set the thermostat to keep your bedroom cool. Make your bedroom as dark as possible—consider wearing an eye mask. Listen to white noise either from a sound machine or a smartphone app.
Set your alarm and mental attitude. This determines when and how you’ll awake. How you wake up is just as important as when. Don’t go to bed dreading getting up. Choose to go to bed with a positive, optimistic attitude expecting a fun day ahead filled with great potential. When the alarm goes off, smile and get out of bed.
How you start your day determines how you will finish. Starting your day actually begins the night before. Make good decisions tonight to enjoy a productive day tomorrow. Pleasant dreams.
Question: What do you do to make sure you get to bed early enough and a good night's sleep? Share your answer in the comments below.