When the sun comes up early I can get up early. Woah its winter time. That is not so much the case. My body loves being on a regular sleep schedule but the winter is disastrous to it. After day light savings time I am never quite the same until we switch back again. Right now I am aiming to get up between 7:30 and 8am but that is even a struggle with the light being so dim. And then on the other end, this is the one time of the year I have the time to stay out late with friends. How do I ever get enough sleep?!?!
This year, as part of my goals/plans/aims for 2017, I gave myself permission to nap. I forgot how good it is to nap. On days that I have done a good amount of work and I plan to stay out later, taking a nap around dinner time has been nice to give me the extra energy to stay up later. I used to be a long napper, 1-2 hours was my minimum for a nap. I am getting better now by setting an alarm and allowing myself only to nap before going out so I have a reason to stick to my schedule and get out of my house.
When I am waking up in the morning on a day after a nap I work hard to get up when I intend to. This keeps my sleep schedule consistent and I will then be tired enough in the earlier evening to go to bed when I usually do rather than staying up late as I did the previous night. That might sound a bit confusing but trying to keep a good sleep schedule in the winter has always been about getting right up in the morning and committing to consistency. When I lose my flow, it can take up to two weeks to get back to sleeping well. And who really wants to wake up when it is dark outside? No one, really.
Lucky for me, the sun is starting to wake up earlier now that we are past the winter solstice. As spring edges even closer, I am encouraging myself to continue to get up with the sun. This means a little earlier every day. This will be great when the sun is getting up at 6am. I will be so productive! It will be a challenge however when the time change comes again. I am already planning for it (March 12th). We have some time people but by then we will all be happily waking up to the sun at 6:30am so the sun shift back to 7am wont be to challenging.
I am excited for it to start to get warmer. Last spring I did a good job of getting up and going for a walk for a few weeks. This felt great to me and I have already done it twice in 2017 but it is so cold. I come back home and feel refreshed and invigorated for the day. I hope that I can keep it up this year. It has also been a great way to get into some new books by listening to them through audible.
Sleep is challenging for so many of us. Next week I will talk more about how to encourage that annoying waking up before the sun. Until then, if you are interested in more support around your sleep schedule, I recommend checking out my book A Beginner’s Guide to Wellness. Join TDH newsletter and get the first chapter to download free.