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Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Last night, Josh and I had the most brilliant idea of all time.  At least it was brilliant for us.  You are likely brilliant on a daily basis.  Josh and I… not so much.

Last night we went to bed before 1 am.

It all started with a robo-call from the school system outlining this idea that is going to vote soon on changing the school start and end times.  We chuckled as we listened, and I said, “sure, make the school day earlier.  I’d love to be 20 minutes late instead of 10 minutes late.”  You see, our family does not wake easily.  We are cranky in the morning; naturally late risers.

Later in the evening, the thought still in my head, I commented that I’d like to go to bed early.

“What do you mean by early?” Josh asked.

“Like 11 pm.  Okay, 11:30.  Or… like before midnight,” I told him.

A little bit after that, Josh proposed that we go to bed immediately.  Right then and there.  At 10:15.

What the hell?  It was an idea that rocked me more than Taco Bell creating that Dorito-flavoured taco shell.  Going to bed at 10:15?  That just may be the craziest, most creative, most challenging idea presented to me all week.  I immediately agreed.

It took us almost 45 minutes to close up shop; washing dishes, putting away laundry, getting distracted by a Key & Peele sketch, getting ready for bed.  But still.  We were in bed before 11 pm with the promise that we’d wake at 6 am and be incredibly productive.

I didn’t think I’d fall asleep that early, mostly because I have a lot of trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.  But the somnolent stars aligned, and I fell asleep quickly (it helped that I didn’t play Candy Crush at all yesterday) and stayed asleep until the multiple alarms we set around the room went off.  Yes, we didn’t trust ourselves to actually get up so we set three different alarms.

This morning, I wrote two articles and finished a third before I took the kids to school.  I then launched directly into yoga and was showered and ready to edit a manuscript before 10 am.  This never happens.

I don’t think every day would go like today if we always went to bed early and rose early.  But I think I can trick my brain into going to bed early and waking early one day per week.  I think I’m going to choose Wednesdays into Thursdays.  And then I’m going to be a machine on Thursdays, cranking through work and other productive activities.

I mean, that is, unless we oversleep.  Which is a definite possibility.

What is your bedtime and waking time?

33 comments

1 Heather { 10.24.13 at 10:49 am }

I am early to bed. I have to be, a typical bedtime for me is 9pm. Then, I’m up at 4:30am (or earlier depending on how far I plan to run or bike) to go run/swim/bike. I need to get my workouts in before work. I leave for work around 7am so I have a lot to cram in the ‘before work hours’. There are some nights where the kids fall asleep at 8, and I’m in my own bed sleeping by 8:15.

Unless of course it’s like the last two weeks, we are watching Breaking Bad from the beginning on Netflix and ripping through the seasons (we had never seen the show). This causes us to stay up until 11pm some nights. I’m a zombie the next day. It sucks.

2 gwinne { 10.24.13 at 10:52 am }

We are still in the throes of sleep deprivation. (That is, on a GOOD night, my sleep is disrupted multiple times, sometimes for an hour or more, by a toddler with sleep issues.) I get as much sleep as I can, mostly by going to bed around 10:00. This morning we didn’t get up until about 7:30 and, yeah, were almost late. I look forward to the days when I can go to be around 10:30, wake up at 6:30, spend some time doing things BEFORE children wake up. Maybe next year…

3 loribeth { 10.24.13 at 11:09 am }

I am like Heather. I set the alarm for 4:45, one snooze button hit & get up just before 5. I shower, eat breakfast (I CANNOT skip breakfast!) & am out of the house no later than 6:30 & on the train into the city at 6:45 (get to my office somewhere around 7:45). Since I’m up so early, I am in bed no later than 10 most nights, and sometimes earlier. If I try staying awake later than that, I pay for it dearly the next day. :p I was exhausted yesterday (still paying for a busy weekend) — almost fell asleep in two different meetings (yikes) — & was in bed at 9.

My family are all night owls (they are either retired &/or don’t have the lengthy commute that I do), & they are one hour behind us. I go there to visit & I am exhausted by 9 — & the nightly card game usually doesn’t start until at least 10. By the time I have adjusted & can stay up past midnight to keep up with them, it’s time to go home again…! :p

4 Deb Roby { 10.24.13 at 11:21 am }

A really important point: our bodies heal while we sleep, yes. But.. they do the most healing 2-3 hours after we fall asleep AND from 1-4 am.

Do the math. You will be at your healthiest if you go to sleep by 11 pm.

The fact that you went so sleep quickly means you caught part of your natural wake/sleep wave… which is why you slept well and woke up completely rested.

5 Sara { 10.24.13 at 11:28 am }

I have been going to bed between 8 – 8:30 and I wake up at 4:45am. My early bedtime is due to exhaustion, I am pregnant with twins, and teaching full time. I used to stay up till 9 or 930 and get up earlier but that no longer works.

6 Erin { 10.24.13 at 11:38 am }

I love this idea. And it is my intention to do so every night. In fact, each night I make grand plans for getting up early, make a mental list of all I’ll be able to conquer, and actually get excited for it. Then it seems like I turn over and the alarm is already going off, and the need for sleep often trumps those plans. That said, on the days that I am able to drag myself out of bed, I’m glad it did it. I’ve been aiming at starting off at once or twice a week now, and slowly work up to it, alternating writing/getting stuff done and working out.

I’ve been successful twice…in two weeks. It’s a start, right?

7 Jamie { 10.24.13 at 11:44 am }

I’ve always been an early riser. I’m asleep between 9:30 and 10 pm and up between 5 and 6 — sometimes earlier. It definitely feels good when you can accomplish something before getting the kids to school! 🙂

In my ideal world, I workout and shower first thing… but that doesn’t always happen!

8 Amy { 10.24.13 at 11:45 am }

I’m in bed by 9pm and asleep by 10 most nights. I’m one of those people that need 9-10 hours of sleep or I’m miserable the next day. We’re up around 7am each morning, weekends included. My husband on the other hand, doesn’t come to bed until midnight or 1am and still gets up at 7 with us.

9 Sharon { 10.24.13 at 11:52 am }

For years, my normal pattern was to stay up late and sleep. I struggled when I had an early class or a job that required me to arrive before 9:00 a.m. In those days, my best fit was my job where I worked 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Never once used an alarm when I worked that job.

These days, I go to bed between 9:00 and 9:30 most nights, and my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. Most days, I get up just after it goes off. Some days, I snooze for 10 more minutes, and once in a while (like today), I wake up a few minutes before it goes off.

Nowadays, on a rare occasion–say, once or twice a month–I stay up until 10:00. If I’m up later than that, I’m exhausted!

10 Sharon { 10.24.13 at 11:53 am }

That first sentence should say “stay up late and sleep IN.” Grrr. . . .

11 It Is What It Is { 10.24.13 at 12:35 pm }

Now that the nights of multiple wakings with baby have passed, it has taken me a long time (as in a couple of months) to finally settle into a new normal sleeping pattern. I need 8 hrs of sleep, period. Even though the baby naps twice during the day, my day is go-go-go, so I am exhausted by 8 PM. However, if I allow myself to fall asleep (and in the last couple of months, I have routinely fallen asleep, in my clothes, before 8 which has resulted in a regular wake time of 4 AM). In order to break this pattern, I have to force myself to stay awake until 10 so that I’ll wake at 6 (or before) when the baby wakes. It’s hard and I have to really work at it (because I also will wake 1-2 times overnight to pee).

Sleep, glorious sleep.

12 Mrs T (missohkay) { 10.24.13 at 1:24 pm }

I get up at 6a on weekdays and 7a if the toddler will allow it on weekends. I try to have a stop-working-at-10p goal and go straight to bed to read til I fall asleep. This year I’ve been reading Infinite Jest which puts me to sleep quite nicely… so nicely that I’ve been reading it since January and am only 70% done.

13 Tiara { 10.24.13 at 1:29 pm }

Wait! Taco Bell makes a Dorito flavoured taco shell?!!? I swear, you have the best foods in the States!!

I am in bed between 9:30-10pm on work nights & 11pm or so on the weekends…I wake up weekday mornings at 4:30am so sleeping in until 7am on the weekends is luxurious for me!

I have always been an early bird & always enjoyed being the 1st one awake after a night out with friends…I love the peace & quiet of mornings.

14 PNG { 10.24.13 at 1:30 pm }

I wake up at about 6:15. I am still breast feeding our toddler 1-2 times a night which means I need to be in bed by 10:30 to get enough sleep. I work full time and need minimum 6-7 hours of sleep to make it.

15 Geochick { 10.24.13 at 2:42 pm }

I’ve always been a morning person and get to work early type of person. Between. 9:30 and 10pm for me and up around 5:30-6am. I don’t typically have time to do anything but get ready for work and get Baby X ready for daycare in the mornings

16 Catwoman73 { 10.24.13 at 2:53 pm }

OMG- I haven’t seen 1 am in AGES! Typical bedtime for me is 10:00 pm, but I’ll be honest- I’m often asleep on the couch by 9:00. When I work day shift, I’m up to 5:00 am, otherwise I get up at 7:00. And I rise with a smile- I LOVE the morning!

17 Pepper { 10.24.13 at 2:55 pm }

I should – and sometimes do – go to bed early (10pm) when I’m really tired… but frequently stay up till 11pm (even when I’m tired) watching silly tv with my husband. And then I get up at 6:45 so I can shower and have a few moments to get it together before my daughter wakes up between 7 and 7:30am. This has been my “new” routine for the past few months and it is amazing how much better I feel throughout the day. Just getting up at a set time and getting ready rather than waiting to be awoken by my daughter’s singing and then rushing to get us both out the door is worth giving up those few extra minutes (which I never thought I would say!).

18 nonsequiturchica { 10.24.13 at 2:57 pm }

I am not getting as much sleep as I should in the third trimester (especially with the frequent bathroom trips), but we try to go to bed around 10-10:30 and we wake up at 5:50am.

19 GeekChic { 10.24.13 at 6:31 pm }

I don’t sleep much anymore due to pain issues (usually no more than 2-3 hours a night). I go to bed between 2 am and 4 am these days. Work doesn’t care when I come in (or even if I come in) so long as the work gets done but pain usually gets me up around 6 or 7 am.

Before I got sick again I was a night owl with my natural schedule having me in bed at around 1 or 2 am and waking up just after noon. I could get up in the morning (kind of had to in the service) but it wasn’t natural for me.

20 vablondie { 10.24.13 at 7:21 pm }

Bedtime is generally 10 PM, and I am up at 5 AM on work days. I am usually up by 6 am on the other days because our pre-schooler is an early riser. He is probably like that because of my schedule. I have to be out the door by 6:25 to be on time to work @6:45. (I have to be close to work because of call response time.) I suspect child wakes up that early so that he can see me before I leave for work.

21 Laurel Regan { 10.24.13 at 7:40 pm }

My schedule has totally changed since I started working from home part-time. My job doesn’t start until 11:00 a.m., so I find myself going to bed later and later (and, of course, sleeping in later and later) every day. I’m naturally a night person – it’s just that I never had a schedule that would allow it until now. I must say, I like it better this way!

22 Battynurse { 10.24.13 at 8:19 pm }

I go to bed usually between 4am and 9am, depending on if I worked. Work nights I get up at 5:20 pm. The rest of the time I get up whenever I want.

23 Queenie { 10.24.13 at 9:05 pm }

I can’t believe you guys stay up that late on a regular basis! We’re in bed by 9 or 10. I’m up at 5:30 or 6, and my husband shortly thereafter or whenever the baby wakes up. She’s our early riser–usually no later than 6. 🙂

24 Kasey { 10.25.13 at 9:04 am }

Ohh I go to bed sooooo early in comparison. I am normally in bed by 8pm and asleep by 8:30 or 9pm depending on if I work the next day. If both Rob and I have to go to work on the same mornings I get up at 4am, if not I get up at 5am. Even days off Im pretty much ready for bed by 9pm.

25 Ana { 10.25.13 at 9:31 am }

I’m an early bird—ideally in bed by 10, though sometimes stay up way too late hanging out with husband (who gets by on MUCH less sleep), and up 5:30ish with the toddler and/or to work out (we takes turns, one of us gets the kid, the other works out). I do best with 8 hours of sleep, but can get by on 7. I also have frequent night time interruptions from either kid, myself needing to pee, etc… so in truth I rarely wake up well rested these days. If I’ve had two nights of 8 straight hours, I feel like I can conquer the world!

26 deathstar { 10.26.13 at 2:06 am }

I haven’t slept well since before our son came into our lives. BUT I LOATHE GETTING UP IN THE MORNINGS WITH THE BURNING HEAT OF THE SUN. Seriously, unless I’m getting paid mucho dinero to go on set and have my makeup done, I would really really rather not. So how do I really feel, you say? I go to bed around 11pm if I’m lucky, but usually 11:30 or 12 and up by 7:30 if all goes well. I hate going to bed early as well. I pretty much have to be super exhausted, super mad or super sick to go to bed before 10:30. I’m a cranky ass bitch without a coffee in the morning but I fake it for the kid’s mental health. I’m basically a night owl who can think of nothing better than to wake up without no people around and not speak to anyone until after 11am. Then I will be magically transformed into the happiest woman alive with a zest for life, chattering away like a magpie.

27 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.26.13 at 4:28 pm }

I sometimes benefit that as an east coaster you are also a night owl :-).

Congrats on new-found productivity! I wonder if such an outlandish plan would work for me.

28 Jessie { 10.27.13 at 12:45 am }

I can’t fall asleep before midnight unless I’m sick. Unfortunately for my sleep needs, pregnant does not equal sick. It tends to often be about 1 at the earliest when I get to bed. When we have the kids, I have to get up at 6:45 to get them to school, and I have a weekly client that insists on 8 AM appointments. Other days, I get up as late as possible before my first appointment. :-p

29 Tracie { 10.27.13 at 4:03 pm }

Last January I started waking up at 5am. Which was HUGE for me, because my natural, preferred waking time is about 10am. But you know what? The 5am has been awesome. I get SO much work done in those few hours before the rest of my family wakes up. That is…when I don’t slack off and sleep in. Because that does still occasionally happen. I love your idea to start with doing it one day a week. That is a very doable goal.

30 Ann Z { 10.27.13 at 4:23 pm }

If left to my own devices, I would go to sleep around 2 am and wake up around 11 am (actually, if left to my own devices, I might sleep for a few days straight, first. I love sleeping). But I have to be at work by 8:30, and it’s a 40 minute drive each way, so during the week, that just doesn’t happen. And on the weekends, well Zoe is strangely enough, a morning person. She’s always gotten up around 6 or 7. It was a revelation to me when I realized that I could actually get things accomplished in the morning on weekends. I had always slept through weekend mornings, but now, we can get things done, do swimming lessons, hit the library, and bake something, all before lunchtime. So I’m pretty much a 10:30 – 11 pm bedtime and a 6:30 – 7:00 am wake up person now. I’d rather sleep in, though.

31 Rebecca { 10.28.13 at 3:26 pm }

In bed by 2300 hrs and up by 0430 hrs.

32 Justine { 10.29.13 at 12:39 am }

This has been a recent topic of conversation for therapy. Because I have HORRIBLE sleep habits. I fall asleep on our couch any time between 11 and 1, wake up any time between 2 and 4, sometimes putter around a bit, crawl up to bed and wake up again at 5:30 or 6. I’m working on it. Maybe you’ll inspire me?

33 Amy Elaine { 10.29.13 at 4:01 pm }

I hope you are not too appalled at this – but I go upstairs around 8pm, read for an hour, and turn off the lights by 9pm. On days I have to work I get up, very reluctantly, at 6:45am and get out the door by 7:20. I have to use a light on a timer to turn on at 6:45 so that I am tricked into thinking it is light outside when it is not. I. hate. mornings. and I. love. sleeping. On days I don’t work I sleep as long as possible – my dogs usually nuzzle me awake by 8pm though. Darn pets.

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