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2014_03_09 Bedtime

My original intent was to start off talking about morning routines, but it was soon brought to my remembrance that the key to a great morning starts the night before. So that is where we will begin. Keep in mind, however, that once the morning routine comes into play the actual times in your bedtime routine may need to change to make sure you are getting the optimum amount of sleep.

Building a bedtime routine can be done in a few simple steps:

1. Count backwards from your wake-up time to account for the number of hours you need to sleep each night {for me it is 5-6hrs on weekdays and 8hrs on weekend}. That is your bedtime!

2. Take note of how long it takes you to wind down and get to sleep after you turn off stimulus distractions {this could be your computer, TV, radio…whatever you have to turn off to start relaxing}. Subtract that time from your bedtime and make sure that all those things are turned off by that time.

3. Take note of the things you need first thing in the morning and get the set-up before bed {clothes, jewelry, make-up, journal, devotional, etc.}.

4. Take time to do a nightly quick clean of the home so you wake up to a fresh start {wash dishes, put things away, etc.}.

5. Reserve time to spend with the Father {Bible reading, prayer, journal, silently listening to His Voice, etc.}.

6. Give yourself some personal time to unwind and decompress {my favorite is a bubble bath followed by body butters and comfy pajamas}.

As you are building the habits, you will have to keep them like clockwork. This helps to retrain your system’s reflexes. I actually use timers and alarms when I’m building a new habit or routine to keep me focused. Once the habit is firmly established you can start to let go of the strictness of the drill and let it flow more naturally.

If you are a parent, bless your children with this habit as well. If they don’t have any kind of bedtime routine it may take a while to build, but it is worth it. You deserve it and so do they. I am a firm believer that structure is what gives real freedom because it engrains all the everyday things in your heart leaving you free to explore with the rest of your time and energy.

I pray this is a blessing to your heart, home, and spirit. Shalom beloved ones!~

Surrendered to Him~
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