School is starting for me tomorrow. I start out so well in the beginning with my morning routine. Getting up, getting ready, eating breakfast. But then as the school years goes on, my routine is less and less of a routine and more of a morning mourning of having to get up and face the day! Does this sound like you? Check out this blog post from the healthy happy blonde. She had some great ideas for establishing and keeping a morning routine. It got me thinking…
I got really fired up after reading her post and decided to come up with my own morning routine. But as I starting establishing what I wanted to put into the morning routine I got to thinking…a good morning routine has to start with some nighttime routines that can make my morning routines successful! So I backed up and thought about what sabotages I am putting on myself at night that’s causing my morning routine to be so nonexistent. Here’s what I came up with.
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1. I’m working to late into the night
A teacher’s work is never done. You are either grading papers, getting lessons ready or finding ideas for something creative to get your student’s attention. It just honestly never ends. And you never catch up! For every step you take forward you go back two more. I find that I work at school till 5, come home become a mom for a few hours, and when my kids go to bed, I am back to teacher mode. To many nights of that and any routine is thrown out the door.
This includes my phone, computer, kindle or TV. It has been proven that screen lights cause your brain to think that it is still light outside and keeps your internal clock from recognizing it’s time to sleep. I find that if I am not working on my computer I am either watching TV or surfing my phone. My brain never gets the message it’s time for bed, and when I am finally ready, I can’t sleep.
3. My Phone as an alarm
Because I use my phone as an alarm it stays next to my bed or under my pillow. This is a problem for a two reasons. One, If someone texts or sends a notification, even if I am drifting off to sleep, I am awoken by the phone light or the sound. Of course my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to check. Second, it’s to tempting to reach over and look at it, especially if I can’t sleep.
4. Eating before Bed
I hate to admit that I do this a lot. I am a nervous/stressful eater. If something is bothering me I tend to want to eat. If I stay up to late I tend to become hungry again and want to eat right before I go to bed. If I had a regular bed time I think I would significantly decrease this if not get rid of it all together.
So…What to do about it. I looked around on Pinterest and combined a few ideas I saw, and this is what I came up with…
1. Set a bedtime and a wake up time
First it suggested you figure out how many hours of sleep you might need. For a person my age is suggested 6-8 so I decided to go right in the middle and settle on 7 hours. So if my desired wakeup time is 5:30am, my desired bedtime is 10:30.
2. No Work after 8pm
Like I said earlier, a teacher’s work is never done. Whether I stop working at 8 or 11 I will still have work to do tomorrow. I need to give my brain a breather. Honestly burnout and exhaustion are all that comes from working to hard and to long.
3. Reading before bed
Reading is something I love to do and it relaxes me. It’s the place I go to be someone else for awhile. It’s nice to schedule time to do something I love. I don’t have to feel guilty For not taking care of all the other things I always need to be doing. It’s the thing I’m suppose to be doing and nothing else.
4. No Electronics after 9:00pm
This is the one I believe I will struggle with the most. I love to watch TV almost as much as I love to read. Almost. A lot of times it becomes a noise filler. I am not even really watching it or listening to it. I just like the company. As a compromise I decided to give myself music. Something to relax by.
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5. An actual Alarm clock
There is a couple good reasons for a real alarm clock. One, if placed across the room it causes me to get up and out of bed. Two, no more distractions from notifications or text messages. My focus will be on bedtime and restful sleep.
There you have it! I’m four routines away from restful sleep! I’m gonna rock this school year!