As always with early nights, some are more successful than others! I have been reading a lot lately about the benefits of sleeping more and how crucial it is for us.
I thought it would give me a boost both for my general wellness and productivity to get to bed earlier. Added to that, I had also noticed that I had been slipping into later and later bedtimes, with my wife going the same way.
So, to commit to a change, I kept a diary of my consecutive early nights before work (and posted them on Instagram at the time if you don’t believe me!)
Day 1 – Sunday: Bedtime: 9.55pm
I had the idea to get back into an early night routine late on Sunday evening.
I really felt like I was losing a lot of energy and focus from going to bed late and needed to get back into a good routine. A few months back, my wife got me into sleeping early and being in bed before 10pm.
Not only did I feel great for going to bed early but I had more energy, felt more productive in my work and more positive all around.
Day 2 – Monday: Bedtime: 9.52pm
I have to be honest, I didn’t feel that good on Monday morning, probably because I still have a lingering cold and partly because I have just started teaching on a new course at my work. The anxiety was a bit higher than usual so it didn’t help.
Hence, the early night didn’t do much for me here – I had other things going on in my life and an early night wasn’t enough on its own to change that.
I suppose my point is that I am sure the early night did some good, but it did not majorly help me in any way.
Day 3 – Tuesday: Bedtime: 10.11pm
I was a bit annoyed with myself for breaking the 10pm barrier (my goal prior to starting was to be in bed before 9pm!)
Another thing was that I didn’t sleep too well
Day 4- Wednesday Bedtime: 9.52pm
Well, the 9.52pm mentioned above is a bit misleading – out of all the early nights mentioned here, this was actually the latest!
I was in bed at the time mentioned but, being married to a mature university student, my wife was late going to bed as she had a deadline for some of her work.
This meant I got comfy and read a book but didn’t really get to turning the light off in the bedroom until 10.50pm as she was a while!
Day 5- Thursday Bedtime: 9.52pm
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I had my best night’s sleep on Thursday.
I had an evening out with my wife and my wife and my father. I didn’t feel good for having 2 beers (a rare occurrence these days!) the next day but my sleep quality was fine.
Says a lot about the next day – Friday was a public holiday this week with it being Good Friday. Added to that that was knowing that the Easter Monday was a holiday, too, so the thought of a 4-day weekend probably helped. Even so, it’s something to remember – a relaxed mind should help sleep quality!
Lessons Learned from A Week of Early Nights Before Work
Much to my surprise, I made it through the week with a pretty constant bedtime but it didn’t give me all the results I expected, or those I had hoped for.
For example, several mornings I woke up feeling pretty groggy and not with it. I certainly didn’t feel like I’d had much more sleep than usual, mainly because I had been tossing and turning all night.
Also, I struggled to sleep at all well on Tuesday night, despite having a good pre-sleep routine and no caffeine or any other stressors. I would recommend not working on any projects in the 90 minutes immediately before you plan to sleep.
I am doing a part-time masters (focusing on workplace health!) and sometimes I end up working on the computer until just before 9 or 10pm. This is because I really feel more awake than usual by doing so and Tuesday night was no exception.
In future, I will try to get all my stuff done early and give myself plenty of time to wind down. Getting into bed early is no use if you are carrying a lot mental and emotional energy with you!
Another thing I need to remember: taking time out from work can benefit you in terms of reduced anxiety and sleep quality. If I remember this, the rest of my Masters should be better! That’s a big ‘if’ 🙂
- No Sleepless Nights Blog by Ethan Green (great resources on breathing and snoring, as well as sleep apnea)
- Sleep by Nick Littlehales (I have the audiobook – free for a first time Audible user!). PS – Here for UK readers!
- Model Health Show Podcast, by Shawn Stevenson (highly recommended!)
How about you?
Now I want to hear your tips from having early nights before work – have you done it often? Do you struggle to get to bed on time? Let us know in the comments below!
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