Monday, March 8, 2010

What's your sleep routine?

I'm not an insomniac, but I could be. I bet you feel that way sometimes too. And there's a very simple explanation.

We don't maintain healthy sleep hygiene.

I know, funny word. But my dad's a therapist, and it's really called that.

Now, if you're a mom, you've spent a little bit of time investing in your child's sleep habits. Our routine takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the night. It's a slow easing in to a restful night, and the payoff has been great. My family is so pleased to watch the kids and always compliments us on how good they are for bedtime.

I wish they could say the same for me. I can be utterly, completely physically exhausted and my mind races. Did I remember to dot the i and cross the t? Did I word this e-mail appropriately? Wouldn't that be a great headline for my next article?

So I talked to my dad. He reminded me of an important fact: Beds are for for two things—sleeping and ... well, let's just call it couple time.

I'm going to share his advice, because it makes such a difference in my life. You need a routine, just like your kids. The last hour of your day should be spent on non-intellectual activities. (Books are still OK, as long as you don't read in bed and it's reading for fun.)

Give yourself a break. Sleeping makes you a happier, healthier, smarter person. Routine might sound boring, but sometimes boring is beautiful.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The bomb

We had a major emotional blow up this morning. Tears, screaming, time spent in room to calm down.

Over a shirt.

I can't tell you how demoralizing that was. Normally, I'm thrilled my kids can and will dress themselves. But my older daughter picked out a shirt that a.) was too big and b.) did not meet dress code.

The fight was on. I literally had to yank it off her. And then - being in a snit - she refused other clothes. Many options were given. All were rejected.

Why does it have to be so hard to simply get ready to go somewhere?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Logging off...for now

The past two weeks have been incredibly busy. When I finally get to bed, it's more of a collapse into the mattress.

But because I've been barely able to get done what I have to, I haven't had any time to Twitter, Facebook or even blog.

And it's been wonderful.

That's not to say I'm not looking forward to plugging back into my Twitter-feed; this is more a matter of enjoying less computer time. I've become a slave to the device. And I'm not sure that's healthy. At least this past week, I've had to drive, walk and interact with others. That's been too novel a feeling.

I don't want to give up my social network sites. I simply want to harnass the technology to work smartly with my face-to-face interactions. Not overshadow people-time.

Too much thinking

It's hard to get much sleep when your brain has no off switch.

Have you ever noticed that?

We live in a culture that encourages us too worry. Commercials tell us you need a home security system or the bad man will break into your house. You need a car that phones home when you're in a wreck. The milk and meat and additives you unwittingly consumed in your school meals in elementary school are responsible for your cancer.

Psychology tells us a little bit of stress is normal—until you let it take over your life. Of course, there are plenty of times you have very legitimate reasons to worry—sick kids, financial difficulties, job instability.

Just try to temper it by dwelling on the good things, too, OK? Be thankful when the kids are healthy. When you or your spouse find the right job or all the bills are paid.

Now go get some sleep.