Making changes used to be an all or nothing thing with me, and if I didn't manage to change absolutely everything in my life 20 minutes into my decision to do so, then I gave up completely. Yeah, that's mature! As I assess what currently needs changing, I now see that every decision I make must be deliberate in order to be from authentic self. So, no more mindless living for me. That's a good decision, to live and experience every moment, fully awake.
Hmmm, fully awake...I've never been one to maintain good sleep hygiene. That's keeping good sleep habits. I think part of that issue was due to not wanting to miss anything. (...of the days that I wasn't actually fully experiencing? Oh, that's good!) And then, as I got older, wanting to complete just one more thing before going to bed kept me pushing bedtime later and later. As did bedroom issues...but that's a whole other blog!
Elements of good hygiene are:
- Get adequate sleep every night - There are so many personal benefits to getting adequate sleep, and they all outweigh folding the laundry or watching Letterman! It improves your blood pressure and maintains better control over cholesterol and blood sugar, so it's really good for your heart.
- When you sleep, that's when your body produces T-cells, which boost your immune system, so you're less likely to catch a cold or the flu.
- When it gets dark, your body produces more melatonin, which is what makes you sleepy to begin with. Sleeping improves your mental state all around, helps with memory, depression, helps you relax and makes you more alert the next day.
- People who don't sleep enough are more likely to be obese. When you're not sleeping adequately, your body can't properly use the nutrients you provided during the day to repair and nourish your body, so it goes to fat.
OK, so I'm definitely setting a time to go to sleep and get up everyday!
I've listened to some say how they can't sleep more than six hours, and I've experienced this myself, but usually, for me, it was during a very stressful time of my life. I had to get up at a certain time everyday, and I didn't go to sleep until very late, so much of the time I was getting only five or six hours of sleep. But when I'm on my own and have no place I have to go and no one to tend to, I have often slept eight to ten hours. So if I'm wanting to get up naturally, just after six a.m., then I need to be in bed by ten p.m.
This will mean I need to start preparing to go to bed at nine p.m. I'm envisioning a sleep ritual, but I don't do rituals! Hmmm, I'm already struggling with this idea. So, the ritual is for my benefit, to honor my body that deserves the rest, so that it'll be there for me tomorrow and the next day and for the next fifty-three years (I'm shooting for 100 years). That's my motivation. I'm feeling angst over it because the act of going to bed has been fraught with issues for years. But I'm here alone now, no one to tell me when to go to bed, no one to have to do things for before I go to bed, no bed anxiety to have to avoid now. I will make going to bed a very pleasant thing!
This weekend, I'll clean and de-clutter the bedroom, make the bed with lovely, crisp, clean, white sheets. I'll get pretty new curtains for the window. With black-out lining. I'll get out my little fountain and set it up in the bedroom for soothing background sounds. I'll get chamomile and geranium essential candles to keep the light levels lows and induce relaxation. I'll do Gaiam's P.M. Stretch DVD at 9:30 p.m. And I'll drink a cup of chamomile before going to bed.
OK! This is good! Now I'll go exercise and walk into town to buy this stuff so I can actually experience being tired when I go to bed!