I made a decision a couple of weeks ago to work on changing some of my bad habits for the better. Namely I wanted to be the kind of person who gets up early and has short showers. At the time of writing that I wasn’t quite sure how I would go with the getting up early bit because I had a couple of cheeky kids that seemed to get some sort of enjoyment out of waking me multiple times a night and sleeping in my bed wedged right up against my back. These things combined with generally crap sleeping ability meant that I never got a good night’s rest and had a terrible time dragging my sorry backside out of bed in the morning. You can imagine my patience some days was pretty limited!
Then I got a facebook message from a friend who recommended a couple of iPhone apps that might help. I was skeptical. How could an app stop my kids getting up at night? Well, in short they can’t, but the apps helped any way. In fact I feel like they may just have changed my whole world. The first app, Red Shift (there are others like it as well) is for those who like a little screen time in the evening (and let’s face it with kids around uninterrupted screen time is only really possible in the evening). The light from smart phones, tablets and so on is said to interrupt melatonin levels which leads to poor sleep. Red Shift changes the light at night to a red light (rather than a blue one) which is doesn’t have the same effect on the body and also doesn’t interrupt your night vision. This is a good app if you need to use screens at night, but I also try to just put the screens away for a while before bed.
The second app and the one that has really changed my life, is Sleep Cycle. The idea of this one is that it monitors your movements in bed, assesses how you sleep and most importantly wakes you up when you’re in the lightest sleep phase. This means that you wake up feeling bright and ready to get up…. and it really works. It may mean that the alarm goes off slightly before your set time, but with a feeling of being rested and ready to start the day. I started with an alarm time of 7.30 and after a week or so moved that to 7.00am. I’m now thinking of moving it again to 6.30 and then reading in bed for 15 mins before getting up. This has made getting up early a piece of cake and it feels like I have hours more time in the morning, it’s wonderful! It helps that this has all coincided with Miss Three starting to sleep better herself, getting up less frequently and even sleeping through some nights (at three and a half it’s about bloody time!).
The shorter showers things has generally been good when I remember to set the timer, but if I forget I easily slip into old habits. Ah well, we can’t be perfect I suppose. I’m a work in progress.
So tell me, are you a morning person? Or a night owl? And have you managed to change a bad habit for the better, for good?