Time Management and Getting Enough Sleep
- Category: Self-Help
Questions about how to manage time and get enough sleep at night are coming up in the my Forum. I'll respond here since this issue effects many people with eating disorders and demanding lives.
Getting yourself into bed at a reasonable time so you sleep enough hours to repair and restore your mind, body and spirit is important any time, but especially in recovery. Here's how to make this happen.Pretend you are the good mother of the child you are. You need to wake up at a certain time and have a morning schedule so you can get to school on time with energy, mental alertness, and look forward to your day. Breakfast, clothes, brush teeth, get homework together, lunch in lunch box and... talk, giggles, kisses and hugs. The child then goes off to school, confident, happy and prepared for the challenges to come.
Night time. At a certain time say, 8:00. p.m, the day stops and the night routine begins. Bath, talk that winds down the day, giggles, kisses and hugs, pjs, water, brush teeth, a last pee, pick out books, into bed, read stories (or make them up), sing a couple of songs, more water, another pee, more kisses and hugs, maybe music on low, sleep.
It's a gradual building up in the morning and a gradual winding down at night.
How can you make this happen for you as an adult?
Your eating disorder mind does two things: it says, "I want it NOW," and it says, "I'll get to it later." So activities that require a gradual layering are met with frustration because you can't do them in an instant...like lie down and sleep. And activities that require timely action, like respecting the time to change from one activity to another get postponed .... like stop action and move to sleep preparation.
Give yourself a time for ending your active day and starting your sleep preparation. You might begin with a prayer or meditation or reading a poem or petting a cat or brushing your hair or standing quietly in a favorite place in your home or garden.
After you've bathed and brushed your teeth, get into a clean and cozy bed. Cuddle with an animal - stuffed or alive. Read what works for you as a gentle bed time story. Maybe it's part of a novel or a short story. Maybe it's a children's story.
When you finish your story or are too sleepy to continue, turn out the light and let yourself drift off.
Drift off means just that. You don't like rigid waiting to sleep, as if you were daring sleep to come. You don't pour over all the things you need to do or didn't do, or did badly. You don't reawaken hurts, losses, worries, fears. Your sleep preparation, like tending a beloved child going to bed, soothes you, calms you, loves you, cares for you, separates you from your worries. It brings you to your gentle, cozy place where you drift, like slow moving billowy clouds, to a restful sleep.
Give yourself a chance to develop this practice Develop it gradually and keep at it. You'll grow to treasure this time, and you'll get wonderful gifts of energy, serenity and mental alertness.
Will you do it? Let me know how you put this into your life and let me know what changes you start to see in your waking day.