Monday, March 4, 2013

The Happiness Project - Vitality - SLEEP -21 Days and Counting

My Quest for Inner Calm and A Higher Level of Happiness

Month 1 - Vitality (Boosting Mental and Physical Energy)


Sleep is a BIG issue in our house!  My husband could sleep through a tornado, could nap 8-10 hours a day, and takes night time very seriously.  I, however, am a night owl!  I play catch up at night (dishes, laundry etc...) and watch all my recorded programs that I miss throughout the week or work on a project (sewing, craft stuff, photography or artsy type stuff).  

Our Children's Sleep Regimen

In our house, my husband and I from the beginning enforced early bedtime and strict nap schedules.  My husband felt that it is one of the most important things that we needed to give our children.  

I have been asked a time or two... "How do you get your kids to go to bed so easily?  or I love when our babysitter tells us... "the kids wanted to go to bed and went up to bed without any arguments and were asleep by 7:30 pm." 

I read somewhere that sleep aides in intellect in children.  Their little brains are in overdrive, working a thousands times faster than an average adult.  Absorbing everything around them, learning to communicate, learning everything for the first time of their lives.   Their brains are running a marathon everyday and it is important for them to shut it down and recharge their brain batteries frequently.

So I have made it a point to develop good healthy sleep patterns early on.  We had nap schedules and they begin the night time process at around 6:30 and are in bed no later than 7:00-7:30.  There is no getting out of bed unless to go the bathroom.  We didn't encourage any co sleeping nor allowed for them to come into our bedroom at night for bad dreams.  

I know it sounds harsh however, I have heard nightmares from parents that have developed terrible sleep habits early on and are paying a hefty price of sleepless nights and no privacy.  I want my children to learn healthy sleep patterns as well as be able to operate to their fullest on a fully charged brain.  (ADD a similar equation to cell phone battery life) 

NOW... as far as my sleep goes.  I need lots and lots of help.  I stay up way past my husband.  After I finish up picking up and settling down from the days events... I begin watching television programs roughly around 9:30.  I don't officially begin my descent until around 11:30.  I know that I am the type of person that I cannot watch any high action or suspense type of movie prior to bed time because my brain goes into overdrive.  Restless sleep or insomnia til at least 2 am.

Forget crawling into bed and watching television.  MY husband is adamant that when it is bedtime... lights are out, the room is completely dark, it's cold and very minimal clothing.   We have had some heated arguments over television watching in bed.  He encourages me to go to bed when he goes and he says that I NEED a good nights sleep and my bedtime routine is completely wrong.

SO after reading the first few pages of "The Happiness Project" By Gretchen Rubin... she details her first few nights of early bedtime, establishing a new bed time routine... it was rough at first but she realized after the first few weeks ..she felt more energized and got up early to incorporate exercise.


Bedtime:  9:00- 9:30 pm
No television after 9:00 pm
Reading a Book 1 Hour Prior to Bed
Shower/Bath prior to bed to relax and begin shutting down


Obtain new healthy sleep routine
Feel more energy
Get up early to exercise

Wish me lots of luck!!!!  First step is admitting "I have a problem!"  Second Step ... DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Third step:  One step closer to a higher level of happiness and inner calm!

Courtesy of Happy Mommy Blog

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