Last night, I practically fell asleep in the Big Girl’s bed as I was tucking her in. A little later, the Big Man proposed watching a TiVO’d episode of The Shield.
I wavered. I love The Shield; I wanted to hang out with the Big Man; 9:30 p.m. seemed a ridiculously early hour to go to bed; and I knew from experience that if I started watching, I’d wake up.
On the other hand, I felt very sleepy.
Why does it often seem more tiring to go to bed than to stay up? Inertia, I guess. Plus the exhausting pre-bed work of taking out my contact lenses, brushing my teeth, and washing my face.
I decided to head to bed. Because I went to sleep at 9:30, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. I spent ninety peaceful minutes working while my family was still asleep, and had a lovely, productive start to my day.
Too often, though, I choose to stay up, and then pay for it the next morning.
According to one study, a bad night’s sleep was one of the top two factors that upset people’s daily moods (along with tight work deadlines). Another study suggested that getting one extra hour of sleep each night would do more for your daily happiness than getting a $60,000 raise.
I have a lot of tricks I use to help myself get to sleep. But sometimes the most important trick is to remember to get into bed and TURN OFF the light.
At the same time, I did violate my happiness-project rule that, if possible, the Big Man and I should get into bed at the same time. But I knew there was no chance he was going to bed at 9:30.
The great blog LifeTwo dedicated this week to the pursuit of happiness. There’s a treasure trove of information there – all about how to be happier. Be careful; once you start reading, it can be hard to stop. Topics include “From Happy to Happier,” “Hedonists and Rat Racers,” “Pleasure and Meaning,” and, one of my very favorite subjects, “The Importance of Goals.”
Considering doing your own happiness project? Join the Happiness Project group on Facebook to swap ideas, strategies, and experiences.
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