In a world where counting sheep is a competitive sport, and tossing and turning is an Olympic event, the quest for a good night's sleep can feel like a cosmic joke. I am a super intense person. Consequently, I suffered from insomnia for many years. I don’t like to sleep. However, I know I need to sleep. A sleep-deprived human is no laughing matter! In this blog post, we'll explore three tips that have worked for me so far, and I promise that if you commit to it, you will have a chance to tackle insomnia making your journey to dreamland an achievable goal in 2024.
Embrace the Matinee Lifestyle: Transitioning to a matinee lifestyle might seem like a plot twist worthy of a “Support Group” but hear me out. Becoming a morning person can be the ultimate sleep hack, and who wouldn't want to wake up with the birds and the bees? You are probably wondering what a matinee lifestyle looks like. Let me explain. This means that all your activities revolve around your mornings, afternoons, and sometimes early, early evenings. For instance, for movie dates, the cutoff time is 4:00 pm, with the ideal ones scheduled between noon and 3:00 pm. When it comes to meal invites, be sure to clearly indicate that you prefer breakfast, lunch, or a farmer's dinner. Get ready to stand your ground when people try to convince you otherwise.
Transitioning to a Matinee Lifestyle:
Set a regular bedtime and commit to it, because nothing says "adulting" like going to bed at a reasonable hour. Consistency is the secret. The amount of time it will take to transition to a matinee lifestyle will correlate with your commitment to the change. Listen to your inner voice. Is your inner voice screaming I am tired of this insomnia or is it a whisper? I adjusted to this lifestyle in my 50s, and I plan to stick with it for a long while. But it wasn't until my inner voice started screaming in my brain that I could not take insomnia anymore, that my actions followed suit. Consider the benefits of embracing the lifestyle if you are on the fence.
Here is some food for thought:
Exposure to natural light. It's like joining the VIP club for photons—sunlight, the original disco ball for your circadian rhythm.
This is a big one - A consistent sleep-wake cycle: Your body will start following a schedule more faithfully than a Swiss watch on a precision mission.
Try gradual adjustments. Pretend you're a time-traveling wizard, shifting your schedule back in time. Baby steps my dear reader friend.
This one has helped me a lot. Create a calming bedtime routine. Think of it as your own pre-sleep Oscars ceremony. Wear comfy jammies, and turn off your phone, TV, and all the electronics (can’t cheat!).
Finally, set and commit to Your Bedtime. Mine is between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Sometimes I go to bed before that! Rarely do I go to bed later than 10:00 pm.
Practice Saying No To Some Invites:
Socializing is fantastic. I can tell you that I am a social butterfly. But now, I appreciate the importance of sleep. When I first started declining late invites, I was very shy about it. I believe I didn't see it as a lifestyle yet. Once it grew under my skin, I started declining late invites with confidence. Politely decline evening invitations with the elegance of a cat gracefully slipping through a narrow space. Don't feel you have to lecture when people insist. A simple answer like this is enough: "This has changed my life, and I am committed to it!" Then, be ready to redirect the invite with something like this: "Hey, let me know when you are free for breakfast or lunch."
You can also bring up the "self-care card" and explain that your body is a temple, and it's currently under renovation. A well-rested temple is a happy temple.
Let me tell you: committing to a matinee lifestyle does not mean you have to give up your social life. I am still, to this day, a social butterfly. I enjoy being around people, going out with friends for a meal, indulging in a good movie date, and, of course, savoring a solid 7-8 hours of sleep. Going to bed early is essential for waking up when I want to, typically between 4:00 am and 5:00 am. This early start allows me time to meditate, pray, write, read, and relish my cup of coffee.
I'll leave you with this:
In a world where sleep seems like a cosmic joke and counting sheep is an Olympic sport, conquering insomnia is your chance to rewrite the narrative. Embracing the matinee lifestyle might feel like a sitcom plot twist, but committing to it offers a blockbuster hit of benefits. Set a regular bedtime, dance to the rhythm of natural light, and let consistency be your magic wand.
Politely decline late invites with the grace of a cat saying, "This has changed my life, and I am committed to it!" Prioritize self-care, and remember, it's not about giving up socializing but about ensuring your well-rested temple stays happy.
As you embark on this journey, listen to your inner voice. Ask yourself if you are ready for the change. Is your inner voice a whisper or a scream? Let it guide you towards a restful night's sleep. The matinee lifestyle isn't just about setting a bedtime; it's about setting the stage for a healthier, happier you in 2024 and beyond.
Let me know your progress in the comments below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: That's the picture of my fur baby and inspirational guru snoozing. My companion for the past 15 years.