How to get to bed early: Everyday Tip #10

Search for "sleep" on this blog and you will see what a hard time I have going to bed early.

I really do want to go to bed early, but I have a hard time getting there. I don't have insomnia -- I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow -- it's getting my head on the pillow that's the problem.

I finally figured out a trick that works for me. It doesn't work all the time, but it's enough to get me in bed earlier and earlier each day. That's all I wanted.

What I do is that as soon as the kids are in bed (do not pass GO, do not collect $200) I go into my room and I get ready for bed.

Yes, I get ready for bed at 7:30 pm. No, I don't go to bed at 7:30 -- I'm a night owl. But I've been going to bed closer to 10 PM as opposed at 2 AM. That's a huge improvement in just a few weeks.

So after I finish my nightly chores/put the kids to bed, I go straight to my room, fluff the pillows, go in the bathroom, wash my face, brush my teeth (this is important) and put on my pjs.

I start to relax almost immediately.

Sounds too easy to be effective, but it works.

I've learned that wearing fresh pjs every night is helpful. This isn't as decadent as it sounds. I sleep in T shirts and pajama bottoms -- I'm pretty sure you can collect a week's worth your favorite sleepwear as well. Getting dressed in fresh pjs is one of life's little pleasures, and it's so easy to do. Bonus points if it's laundry day and you have fresh sheets.

(If I was a filthy rich, I'd pay someone to make my bed with fresh sheets every night, but that isn't happening. So fresh pjs is the best I can do, but it's good enough.)

Also, I brush my teeth at 7:00 PM. I'm lazy, so it makes me think twice about post-dinner and dessert snacking. It has to be really worthwhile for me to get my teeth dirty again. I'm not going to lie -- I find a lot of post-dinner cocktails and sweets worthwhile, but brushing my teeth again isn't that big a deal. It just stops me from eating or drinking out of boredom.

I've realized that part of the reason I was staying up late is that I was too tired to do my bedtime routine -- so the later it got, the later I stayed up, trying to avoid the inevitable. Now, when I do my bedtime routine at 7, I enjoy it more.