I am a total sleep nerd. Any article about getting more sleep or better sleep is guaranteed to make me read it. I love an eye mask, a relaxing room spray and ear plugs, especially when combined with fresh, clean linen and an early night. However, ironically I’m always tired. My bedtime routine had slipped and the addition of a baby just about finished off my good sleep habits.
As I was wading through yet another treacly day, caused by too little sleep and too many wake ups, I wondered to myself just how much better I would feel if I went to bed really early for a whole working week. I mentioned it to a blogging friend and it seems she’d been having similar thoughts. We decided we would do a little experiment and encourage each other. Perhaps it would be easier to get ourselves organised and turn off the Internet earlier if we had someone watching over us. So, of course being bloggers, we automatically needed a hashtag and #5earlynights was born.
My aim was to be in bed and screen free by 9pm from Monday to Friday and have lights out by 9:30 and I was really interested to see if I would notice any differences with a decent run of early nights. So, how was it?
Firstly I did pretty well at sticking to a lights out time and I was definitely always asleep by 9:45. I was disturbed after only 30 mins of sleep by Lady M a couple of times, but only briefly as Mckdaddy took over. Obviously I knew that this could be an issue, but to my mind if I was ready for bed and winding down with a book while feeding her, then that would still be an improvement. Being strict with that half an hour of wind down time was more of a challenge. Often it is 8pm before Lady Mck is asleep and out of my arms and I still have niggly chores that need doing. That only leaves me with maybe an hour before having to go to bed. That isn’t really enough for me, but I wanted to know if the extra sleep would be more beneficial than longer evenings.
As the week went on I did find many differences in the day. I was more productive and the usual 4pm slump was definitely better. This, despite, Lady Mck having quite a tricky week on the sleep front. Mckdaddy noticed that I was up in the morning and was more helpful, rather than the usual grunting. I would be offended by this, if it wasn’t absolutely true. So, I would say that five early nights in a row really did make a difference, although I’m not sure if it was the extra sleep, which was sometimes only 45 minutes earlier than usual or simply that I was observing better bedtime habits, such as a longer screen free wind down time. I definitely came away from my little experiment, realising that perhaps my ‘early nights’ need to become my normal bed time, at least for now, the thought of which I find a little dull.
I also found that once the five nights were over, I slipped straight back to my bad habits and so I plan to resurrect #5earlynights from Monday or even Sunday night. If you think you could do with a little replenishment or your sleep habits could do with a shake up and you need some encouragement to turn off the TV/laptop/phone, then feel free to join me and see if you notice any difference. I realise that my times are super early, remember I’m still getting woken in the night. Your target early bedtime may be quite different, but we can still chivvy each other along. Let me know you’re joining in by tagging your tweets and Instagram pictures with #5earlynights. We can be boring and yet refreshed, together.