Experts love to talk about sleep. And I know you’ve probably read your share of the advice too. Sleep is such a precious commodity that experts might as well be telling us all how to make gold out of tap water or how to make cheeseburgers as healthy as spinach. But the single piece of advice I’ve read over and over and over is to sleep on a schedule. My go-to resource, Greatist says the same thing, “Establish a regular bedtime routine. Find activities that help you wind down before bed, and stick to the same sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends.”
I’m not exaggerating at all when I tell you that my sleeping schedule is totally erratic. I don’t go to sleep at any particular time. Sometimes I go early; sometimes I’m up late working or watching tv or reading. And I usually get out of bed based on obligations. If the kids need me up or I have work that has to be done when it’s quiet, then I get up. Otherwise, I’d sleep until I wake up on my own. See? Erratic.
So, my first step toward consistent and quality sleep is to set up a schedule. Thinking it through, I’ve given myself a 10:30 bedtime. This gives me plenty of time to get my work done and include my brush-my-teeth and wash-my-face routines before bed. And each morning, I will get up at 6 a.m. Jason’s alarm for work goes off at 5:50, so rather than trying to sleep through his snooze buttons and getting ready, I might as well get up and going that early. This gives me time for 7.5 hours of sleep each night.
If I’m honest, it feels strange to schedule myself to sleep less than I might otherwise would. And thinking of getting up that early on the weekends isn’t such a happy thought. But if my sleep quality improves, then it will be a fair trade.
Do you sleep on schedule? How much sleep do you get?