I used to wake up a bit sluggish and slowly wake up to the sweet, yet distracting, sounds of Twitter chirps.
After finding my seemingly optimal amount of sleep, mostly through trial and error 1a few things have been significant in getting better sleep –something more people than I realized seem to struggle with.
- I cut back on coffee. I only drink 1–2 cups a day now, almost always before 2pm.
- I work out 3–4 times a week and have a goal of walking around 10,000 steps a day, which isn’t too hard in a European capital. That wears me down in a good way so that I’m looking forward to sleep.
- Our room is completely dark, like a cave but with better temperature control.
- We sleep using a white noise app cranked up nice and loud to drown out any other noise.
- I don’t look at my phone before bed.
- I charge my phone, which serves as my alarm clock, on the other side of the room, so I have to get up and turn off my alarm.
Now, I sleep almost through the night, normally waking up once, about halfway through my sleep cycle. I’d love to be out cold for a solid night, but a once-a-night wakeup is certainly tolerable.
Unfortunately, in the midst of better sleep, I haven’t refined my morning ritual. We’ve been going to be early 2and that put’s my optimal-getting-up time in the realm of 5am.
You’d think if you were up 5am, likely hours before “normal” people, you’d be able to have killer mornings, right?
Ideally, yes. But for me, I haven’t been. I waste time scanning RSS feeds, checking Tweets and Facebook posts, and basically fiddling away a sweet morning of peace and quiet.
I’ve been thinking for a few months that I need to do a better job of spending my mornings. Here’s how it would ideally go:
- Spend at least 30 minutes praying and reading the Bible. To do this, I need to have my bible, journal and a pen out and ready to go near my favorite chair in the living room.
- Next, toss on coffee and breakfast. While that’s cooking, pop open my laptop to a blank text editor and write. I’ve wanted to blog more frequently, and the mornings are my prime time to do that.
- Finish cooking and eating breakfast and coffee, finish writing, play guitar for 20 minutes.
- Go work out, come home, shower, and go about the rest of my day.
So much of this depends on two things: preparation and focus. If I get distracted (looking for things I need, reading articles and tweets, etc.) my morning is shot. If I prepare the night before and have all I need where I need it, my dream morning is far more likely to be successful. I need to leave my phone well beyond arms distance away, because the rabbit hole grows deeper with every passing second distracted from what’s important.
In the midst of a holiday season, early Black Friday shopping and late nights spent with family and friends, here’s to (eventually) getting better sleep and kicking off our days with better mornings.
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