Staying Up Too Late?? Hard Time Going to Bed ALONE??

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No snug­gles, no warm body, no oth­er pos­si­ble bed-time activ­i­ties, no…nothing. C’mon sin­gle friends (and ESPECIALLY sin­gle entre­pre­neurs) you know this drill. When there is no one to go to bed with, and you don’t have a J.O.B., so you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to get up at a par­tic­u­lar time, some­times it’s hard to get our­selves to actu­al­ly go to bed. Sure we’re tired, but with noth­ing urgent (or com­fort­ing) draw­ing our bod­ies to slip into our sheets, some­times it seems eas­i­er to stay up too late…way too late. There are more emails to check, there are TV shows to watch, videos to edit, blogs to write, snacks to eat, glass­es of wine to drink…and end-of-the-day solace to be enjoyed. You worked all day, went to the gym, made your sales calls, wrote your blog, ran your errands, and man­aged your com­pa­ny. Now it’s late, there’s no one around, and it’s almost like find­ing anoth­er day in your day. A time that’s just for you. It’s too late for the phone to ring, it’s far too late to make out­go­ing busi­ness calls, and you find your­self drawn to do just a few more things before bed. This could be emails, and work relat­ed “stuff”, this could be your TV, what­ev­er it is, it’s keep­ing you up TOO LATE.

Don’t lec­ture ME”, right?? You know that with a great night’s sleep you get up ear­li­er, have the ener­gy to get to the gym, and have more focused ener­gy for your busi­ness and your life all day. And although you know this…the mere knowl­edge of this doesn’t always get you to bed at a decent hour. So what’s the solu­tion?? In my expe­ri­ence it’s two-fold: a sys­tem, and some trick­i­ness. Let’s talk about a sys­tem first, then we can get “tricky-with-it”.

The sys­tem:

Choose a time that you’d like to go to bed, if there are no “exten­u­at­ing” cir­cum­stances. Obvi­ous­ly there will be times when a big project needs to be com­plet­ed, or you’re out with friends, or you’re hav­ing an all night chat-a-thon with a new beau (or cute girl). I’m not talk­ing about those nights. I’m talk­ing about the oth­er 90% of the time, when you’re at home, in your nor­mal rou­tine.

Choose a time when you close your computer/work for the day. This is most eas­i­ly found by rewind­ing the clock from bed-time. Let’s say you’d like to go to bed by 12. Per­haps you’d like an hour or two of television/unwind time, which rewinds us to 10:30 PM, 30 min­utes to have a snack and/or glass of wine (10:00) and 30 min­utes to straight­en up the house, or do mis­cel­la­neous tasks (9:30 PM). Great! Now, at 9:30 PM, shut down your com­put­er, put away your work, and walk away from your desk. That’s it. You are DONE for the day with work, and all oth­er even remote­ly work relat­ed activ­i­ties. Now you get to enjoy your evening rit­u­als.

Stick to your rit­u­al. (For the most part) Do what you want to do, have your snack, drink your wine, watch that show on Hulu, med­i­tate, do your sit-ups, load the dish­wash­er, set out your gym clothes…whatever. Do it, and ful­ly enjoy it. Then with the clock strikes “bed-time”, we’re using 12 PM in our exam­ple. Get up and go to bed. Yes, I know, I hear you…stop your clam­or­ing. “It’s not that easy,” you say. I know. You’re right. That’s where the trick­i­ness comes into play. Read on…

The Trick­i­ness:

I total­ly get that you can fol­low all your cute lit­tle rit­u­als, and close your com­put­er, and do your evening stuff, and look up at the clock at 11 or 12 (or what­ev­er your bed-time is) and say…”but I still don’t real­ly want to go to bed, I know I ‘should’ go to bed, but maybe one more show, one more Face­book post, one more what­ev­er.” Because you still don’t have any­thing draw­ing you into your bed, oth­er than your tiredness…but we’re entre­pre­neurs, we’re war­riors, we can work through tired, it’s not all that big of a deal, right?? We can total­ly be 98% if we get at least 5 hours of sleep, right?!?

The “trick” is sim­ple. Find one last enjoy­able draw to get you into bed. My per­son­al trick is a real­ly amaz­ing FICTION book. I’ve tried self-help books, busi­ness books, and the like, they don’t seem to work as well for me. When I’m in a real­ly good habit and flow of going to bed on-time, some­times I can use a good busi­ness or per­son­al devel­op­ment book, but I the “trick” that real­ly does it for me is a great work of fic­tion with char­ac­ters I con­nect with. Then, when it’s bed time, I get to brush my teeth, wash my face, and find out what’s been going on with Har­ry Pot­ter, Jemi­ma James, Anna, Ruth, Eliz­a­beth, Stan­ley, Ben, etc. So I lay in my lux­u­ri­ous bed, already proud of myself for get­ting to bed on-time, and I read for a bit. With­in 30 min­utes or so I’m ready to go to sleep.

It’s that easy.

So, for all the sin­gle men and women, or the cou­pled men and women, out there who are going to bed too late, and who are caught in an end­less cycle of not enough sleep, try a sys­tem AND a trick. Let me know how it goes by com­ment­ing here on this blog. I can’t wait to hear all about it!!