Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. – Benjamin Franklin
I am a morning person. My prime hours of operation are approximately 7–11 AM. I’m not sure if I was born a morning person, but from the dawn of my humanity I remember being woken up by my mother singing at the top of her lungs and—in the worst possible move a parent can make—ripping the covers violently off and sullying the warm cocoon I had been snuggling in mere moments before.
Somehow, after years of this conditioning, I actually got used to waking up early and (please don’t tell my mother this) I came to like early mornings. I started feeling like I could get more done if I woke up early. Dare I admit this? I get up early on weekends so I can accomplish more things! Oh, where did I go astray? How is it that I actually prefer waking up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to go running rather than sleeping in?
A quality life requires adequate resting time.
But…in order to be such a sunny morning gal, I have to get to bed at a reasonable hour. This has its ups and downs. I love the feeling I get from a full night of sleep. I feel refreshed and happy. I feel like I could run 15 miles and not feel tired. I could salsa dance all day and night! Sleep not only gives me energy, it is very important for all sorts of reasons. It keeps me healthy physiologically, and—literally—it keeps me healthy mentally. So when I say I feel refreshed and happy, I mean it actually lifts my mood. It also lowers my risk of getting heart disease, improves my memory, and gives my body time to heal.
Life is short! Sleep when you’re dead…!?
Unfortunately it means I might miss out on some nightlife. I don’t know how some 9-5ers do it, but I see Facebook posts all the time of people who are going out on a Thursday night to a party that starts at 10:00 PM. I just can’t do it.
It’s not fair! Well, actually, those people aren’t being fair to their bodies. I’m the one doing myself the favor. The hour or so I’m going to miss of drinking and dancing will be to my advantage when I can actually remember the guy I gave my phone number to at the sensible hour of 8 PM. If I’d stayed up until midnight I might have forgotten his dreamy eyes and ignored his call later on…right? Please, just nod your heads.
Sleep… Oh! How I loathe those little slices of death. – Author Unknown
The bottom line is clear: I’ve got to hit the sheets before I accumulate a sleep deficit. I know that I have to say NO sometimes to evening fun, climb into bed at a reasonable hour, and let the Sandman do his thing.
It may not be the most entertaining activity in the world, but it is important to consider your sleep needs and your sleep environment. One way to make it a little more fun is to creatively enhance your sleep environment. This link has some great suggestions for fancying up the place where you spend a third of your life (or at least you’re supposed to). Take some time and put the effort in. Remember that this is purely a selfish action, and you’re worth it.
If you have the means to take a vacation where you can sleep away your stress and be completely away from those exciting social temptations for a few days, do it. I’m serious. I write this advice from a beautiful beachfront hotel room at the Oregon coast where I slept for 10 hours last night. And yes, it was totally worth it.