Saturday, March 7, 2009

The 10:00 bedtime experiment

In an earlier post, I wondered how my life would be affected if I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. every single night for a week. Here's a rundown of how it went:

The kids and I just returned from a ten-day trip. We are exhausted. I head to bed around 10:45.

I'm still tired from the trip and from trying to catch up on everything, so it isn't too hard to get to bed by 10:30. However, getting to bed by 10:00 appears to be impossible.

As evening rolls around, I am completely focused on getting to bed by 10:00. After I've finished making the necessary preparations for the next morning, it's 9:45. I still haven't had any time to relax or hang out with my husband, who tries to peer pressure me into staying up. I stand my ground, but still find 45 minutes worth of stuff to do before actually landing in bed. Then a stack of magazines on the nightstand beckons. I turn out the lights around 11:00, right before hubby comes to bed. He is asleep before I am.

At 10:00 we are munching popcorn and watching the most recent episode of Lost. Still, we're in bed by 11:00 and I fall asleep almost immediately.

My husband is out of town for the night, which would seem to present the perfect opportunity for an early bedtime. However, usually the opposite is true. Without his positive influence, I tend to stay up later than ever. Generally it happens like this: I make plans to be extremely productive, but instead end up eating cookies and watching reruns of Scrubs. Tonight is no exception. I fall in bed at 11:55.

By this point I have given up on the 10:00 bedtime experiment. We watch a movie and hit the hay at 11:00 p.m.

Other than giving you a glimpse into my fascinating and glamorous life, I'd say this experiment was pretty much a failure. Since I didn't get to bed by 10:00 p.m. on even one of the nights, it's impossible to say how my life might be affected if I did so five nights in a row. On the other hand, by focusing on an earlier bedtime I did manage to make it to bed before midnight every night, which is a step in the right direction.

I guess I should just aim for 10:00, be happy if I'm in bed by 11:00, and hope my kids will sleep past 6:00 a.m. Then, there might be some hope for that coveted eight-hour stretch of sleep.

No comments: