Welcome to Day 2!
While the mornings are the foundation of our days (more on mornings coming), I have subscribed for 25 years to this thought: Your day starts the night before.
So before a great morning, comes a great night. How are you sleeping these days?
We all know by now about good “sleep hygiene”. Turning screens off at least an hour, ideally two hours before bed, winding down, have a ritual that gets you into a good place to go to sleep, the right food, etc. But are you following it.
Some of you reading this are having a blissful time with sleep (and you may be doing nothing special to warrant it) and some of you are having a challenge despite doing everything “right”. And everywhere in between. Some people I talk to claim to be doing everything “right”, but upon further scrutiny are not. We are the only ones that have the right answer for us. Use your intuition and be willing to break habits this month to just “experiment” with a new approach.
I call this my evening bookend of the day. This is my ideal evening bookend: finish eating by 7 at the latest, eat good foods that won’t disturb my sleep (I know what those are for me), I never have caffeine in the afternoons, I don’t watch disturbing tv, turn my phone off by 8, don’t fall asleep in the chair, read something life affirming before bed, write out a few gratitudes. (I really don’t drink alcohol, so don’t have this issue, but it is one of the top things that can disturb your sleep, so choose the nights you have alcohol carefully.) This month of May, during the challenge, I have added a brief journal entry to the end of my day, a short devotional reading and quick meditation before sleep. Because I am pulling out the stops for this month. Lights out between 10-10:30.
I don’t always hit my ideal, but because I have a plan and have worked with it over time, it happens more often than not. I have formed a habit with the way I end my days. Be patient with yourself.
A year ago my doctor helped me to discover that when I hit menopause I somehow became like the baby that doesn’t know her nights from days. After always being the person who never had trouble sleeping no matter what was going on or what I did, my days and nights were flipped. My cortisol was going down during the day and up at night. So if despite your very best efforts, you are still having trouble sleeping- don’t discount the fact that you may need to see a doctor or even do some therapy to help you. As my dear friend Sarah, who passed away 5 years ago taught me during her cancer journey- good sleep comes before everything else now on the list of what to do to get and stay healthy.
It is not just about the sleep, but what you fill your head with right before bed that will help you to be ready for a great next day. I always write out my schedule for the next day- I have done it for years. The last thing you watch or are thinking about before bed is the fuel your subconscious brain is working with all night while you sleep. If I watch something that is negative or violent or disturbing in any way, I am sure to have bad dreams. If you read something good, write gratitudes (your brain works on how to make more of those things you appreciate happen), write your schedule out by hand, (your brain will be peacefully settled)- and maybe it will be goodbye to waking in the night thinking about what you need to do the next day. Anyone? Your brain will already be working it all out while you sleep. Hey, it’s free, so why not give it a whirl?
Now you can see I could go on and on about this subject. I promise, not every post during the challenge will be so lengthy, but this topic deserves the space and time.
Moral: No amount of stellar high vibing will be happening without being well rested.
Coaching questions to answer (by hand) in your journal:
-What do you know you are already doing well to wind down your day before bed?
-What do you know works because you used to do it, but got off track?
-What do you think might work, but you haven’t tried it yet?
-What are you eating or drinking at night that might be disturbing your sleep?
-What other habits do you have starting with dinner and up until bedtime that may not be supporting you in a healthy way?
Day 2 Challenge:
Choose at least one thing to put into place tonight that might help you to get a good rest and set you up even better for a great day tomorrow. Know yourself, and don’t try to implement everything in one night. Do what makes sense and then maybe stretch yourself a little, since this IS a challenge!
**If you live with other people, you may have to explain to them what you are doing and why. They are used to you doing things the way you always do, and will try to keep you in your same routine, even without thinking about it. Help them to help you.