So I started off the deployment with a decision: when I am tired, I will go to sleep. And it turns out that the best way (for me) to make that happen was to do my unwinding in bed. If I’m out in the living room watching TV or doing something online, then I have to convince myself to get up and get ready for bed when I feel tired. And then when I get in bed, I reach for my phone and do it all over again, even though I just checked every app 5 minutes ago! But… if I am in bed reading or browsing with my phone, and I start to feel tired, I can just roll over and go to sleep. I also know people ho set an alarm to remind them to go to bed and stop their winding down activities. It cuts out a lot of wasted Internet time, and helps you stay functional.
If I am tried, I am not at my best. Everything gets to me. I’m not very patient. I yell more. I’m just not a very nice Mom. But when I am rested, I can actually handle this deployment life. I can laugh at the horrible things that go wrong, spend time with my kids, and answer each of their million questions at least 3 times in a row. I need sleep. My family needs me to sleep. So it’s kind of important to get enough every night and not get behind. Apparently it also helps you grow and makes you beautiful, so there’s that, too.
Maybe you’re a new mom, laughing at the idea of going to bed early and ever getting ‘enough sleep.’ I know. I have been there, too. It seems to make sense to stay up for that midnight feeding, and just go to bed after. But you know what? If you go to bed before that, you can get in at least an hour of sleep before that feeding. And sometimes the baby will surprise you and actually sleep longer! So I eventually learned to sleep when I can, regardless of the baby’s anticipated schedule. So my challenge is for you too, exhausted new mom. (And hang in there, it really does get better! I have 4 young kids, and after 7 years of almost continuous nursing, they finally all sleep through the night. It’s amazing!)
So, with that said, it is definitely time to follow my own advice and get to bed. I’ll just leave you with this question: what is your biggest time-wasting habit at night? Or do you have a method to shorten your winding down ritual?