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www.flylady.net

By Marla Cilley (FLYlady)

What is it about sleep? We hate to go to bed at night, but then in the morning we can’t force ourselves out of bed. I can tell you all about this. In our perfectionism, we want to do one more thing before we go to bed, and it gets later and later. When we finally do crawl underneath the covers, our bodies are starving for the sleep we have been deprived of. No wonder we don’t want to wake up when the alarm clock goes off at dawn. I can hear you now: "Just a few more minutes."

Our children have bedtimes. We can’t wait to put them down to bed so we can have our alone time. Why don’t you have a bedtime, too? Going to bed is not difficult, if you plan for it. This is what our before-bed routine is all about — gearing down your body so you can sleep when you finally do get to bed.

Sleep is a nutrient to your body just like food and water. When you sleep, your body repairs itself. When you don’t get enough rest, your body feels like you are being tortured. Why do we torture ourselves every day by not getting enough rest? I know your excuses. There are not enough hours in a day to get everything done. This does not give you the right to rob your sleep account to pay for your too-busy schedule.

Let’s look at what happens when you don’t go to bed at a decent hour and get your rest.

The first thing that happens is we don’t want to get up in the morning, so we hit the snooze button several times. By the time we finally do get up, we are running late already. Our bodies are stressed enough since we didn’t get enough sleep, and then we add to that pressure cooker by being late and rushing. Can’t you just feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins? I am getting stressed out just writing this, because I have lived it. The next thing we do is add to our adrenaline addiction with a caffeine fix. Before you know it you are buzzing and everyone around you is walking on eggshells, because they don’t want to poke the bear.

Then you hop in the car still rushing and half-dressed. You have to run back into the house, because you forgot your keys and purse, and the stress is mounting. Since you were in such a hurry, you didn’t eat any breakfast. Now you are running on empty, and you are praying that your car is not on empty either, because who has time to stop and get gas? This is when we are pushing the limits of our cars and our bodies.

This kind of stress causes more accidents than anything. Why do we do this to ourselves every single day, all in the name of perfectionism? We need our rest, and we can’t play catch-up on the weekends to get it.

Start your before-bed routine right after dinner. Slow down your thinking by reading or listening to music. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow. Put the things you need to take with you by the door. We call this our launch pad. Now here is the most important thing to do. Set a bedtime for yourself. Yes, I know you think you are an adult now and don’t need a bedtime, but you really do. Do it for your body, mind and spirit and for those around you. Getting enough sleep will make you a different person. (Think about your children when they didn’t get their naps.)

Are you ready to FLY by Finally Loving Yourself enough to go to bed at a decent hour?