Struggling to adhere to your bedtime?
Finding yourself going to bed super late and with not enough time to get the rest you need to feel functional and energized the next day?
… Then this blog is for you.
My name is Jimena Ramirez and I’m a behavior change coach and the director of coaching at Body Brain Alliance.
Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:
When it comes to bedtime routines, we tend to have this idea of the “perfect” bedtime routine.
We may even be thinking about a bedtime routine that we saw someone post on YouTube or Instagram, and that is what we’re thinking that we should adhere to. We try to make our way there, and we really try to work on fixing our current bedtime routine to make it look like that…
However, I want to encourage you to start with analyzing your current bedtime routine.
Before we try to make not procrastinating on your bedtime your new behavior, we need to understand why this present behavior of procrastination is happening.
What is actually leading to that?
Take a moment to really think about what is happening right now, even if it’s not your desired behavior.
Now, you may not have paid a lot of attention to your current bedtime routine because you’re thinking, why would I? It’s not working.
However, there is a lot of value in understanding why our behavior is happening.
Behaviors are happening for a reason, even the ones that we don’t want.
They’re a way that your brain is telling you that you are trying to meet a need by doing “this thing” that you know.
So maybe going to bed late has become your go-to (default) behavior because your brain is trying to tell you something.
Maybe you have a hectic schedule, and at the end of the very long workday, your brain is trying to get some downtime. It doesn’t feel like you are getting enough between getting the kids ready for bed and then actually making it to bed yourself.
So you end up scrolling on your phone or watching TV for hours at a time…
Maybe you’re trying to unwind a bit more efficiently, but you’re finding yourself so tired and you are done making decisions.
With that really high decision fatigue, your brain is struggling to make a choice about something that would be more efficient.
When it comes to winding down, whatever it is, ask yourself:
- What may my current behavior be satisfying as a need?
- Why is it that my brain is turning to that?
Maybe it is your need to rest, or maybe it’s your need to actually let your brain wander after a really long day.
Maybe it is your need to feel like an autonomous adult that can make their own decisions after a long day where you’ve been doing things for everyone else and trying to tend to obligations.
Whatever’s happening, this is your opportunity to figure out what is going on so that we can then move on to finding ways that are more aligned and intentional that are going to help you satisfy that need while also getting the rest you need and want.
So instead of thinking that procrastination is a trait that you struggle with or that you have always struggled with…
What if we could think that procrastination is actually a cue?
It’s a prompt to consider updating your bedtime routine to make it even more personalized so it can really meet your needs.
Basically, what if your procrastination was actually trying to tell you something important?
The next thing we want to do is update your bedtime routine.
Think about how a new behavior could actually help you meet that need that you identified before? How could it be integrated into your new bedtime routine?
- Do you need to create a whole new bedtime routine?
- Maybe you only need to make a few tweaks to the one you already have?
Integrating a new behavior could also mean still doing that behavior that you’re trying to entirely cut off, but setting some boundaries and limits with yourself.
What I’m saying here is that maybe this doesn’t look like not scrolling your phone at all.
Maybe you really like looking at social media and you find that as a way to connect with others. Or maybe you really like playing on your phone.
You may genuinely enjoy that.
However, what you’re not enjoying is how you’re getting sucked into that behavior for hours at a time and then end up going to bed late.
Try Setting A Moderate Time Limit
Set a timer and start by playing the game that you like for 15 minutes, or maybe scrolling on social media for 10 minutes.
It could also look like watching that show you like for 30 minutes, or only watching one episode.
Behaviors like watching TV or scrolling on your phone, they’re not inherently bad, so they don’t need to be entirely removed from your life.
And something that you want to consider is how they could fit into the life that you want and the routine that you want in a way that is more aligned instead of in conflict.
This is a great way to get ourselves out of that all or nothing mindset.
You can still create the life that you want by including behaviors that are more aligned while also honoring the things that you enjoy right now.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to try this out and experiment.
Just because you may have an idea of a bedtime routine that you would like to follow, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the best bedtime routine for you.
That is something that I want you to figure out in practice.
Think of this as a draft that you get to update. Once you put that to the test, think of it as a test run that you’re doing about your bedtime routine.
Think about whether it helps you, serves you, and impacts how you want to feel. Is it actually helping you create that space to meet your needs? To get more rest? Then take it from there to make any adjustments.
Consider what is actually suitable for your lifestyle and your needs.
We hear a lot about bedtime routines and social media about the perfect bedtime routine. We see influencers all the time having a routine that seems wonderful.
However, the best bedtime routine is the one that actually works for you.
Join The Discussion:
We would love to know if you have any comments about your own bedtime routine, things that you have tried, and things that have helped you.
And if you try out what we mentioned in this blog, we would love to know your results with that and your experience with it. Share in the comments below.
And one last thing to remember is that the bedtime routine that you’re trying to create should start with meeting yourself where you’re at and understanding how it’s going to help you make your life better…
With less stress in a way that is truly functional for you.
Want to dive deeper into why you procrastinate? Read this blog HERE
Thank you for reading, see you in the next one!
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