Today I want to rant about something you might find a little odd: Feeling tired, and why I celebrate this feeling instead of trying to fight it.
First, let’s have a little chat about circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm refers to our internal body clock. It’s the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle that runs in the background of your brain and rotates between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s responsible for your going to bed at night and waking up in the morning. It doesn’t sound really exciting, because it’s just a normal part of life, but I find it fascinating.
I think we can all agree that feeling tired is not accepted in society as a good thing.
"There’s work to be done, people, there’s no time for sleep!"
The first person to start yawning at the party is considered a wimp.
Wake up man, the night is young!
When someone says goodnight and starts up the stairs for bed we’re usually begging them to stay.
One more episode! C’mon! Don’t quit on me now!
Why do we do that? Why is going to bed seen as giving up? Why is the tired person always considered the loser? We go to sleep every single night, and yet we still act surprised when our first yawn of the night appears.
Ohhh why am I so tired? We ask ourselves.
Because that's what happens at night! That’s life, baby. And there is NOTHING wrong with it.
GOING TO BED EARLY IS NOT GIVING-UP
I have to admit, I used to be one of those people. I used to laugh at the person who went to bed early. I had terrible sleep habits for years, and I used being a night owl as an excuse to avoid going to bed because my brain was plagued with anxiety and racing thoughts as soon as my head hit the pillow.
My dear friend, Meagan, who is also family, is an early-to-bed person in my life. She’s also a kindred nap buddy. Meagan is up early for work every morning, and she values her sleep. She always has, and she gets it. It wasn’t until I changed my sleep habits that I understood how much better going to bed is than staying up late every night, yawning and forcing my eyes to stay open.
Meagan has this thing she does that I’ve always found hilarious. When we’re all together and it’s getting late, at some point she’ll get up and leave the room. We would assume to get a refill of wine, or to use the bathroom. Twenty minutes later, when it’s obvious she’s not coming back, one of the newer people in the group will suddenly notice and ask, “Hey! Where did Meagan go?”
One of the regulars will answer, She went to bed. She does that.
Can you blame her for sneaking away to go to sleep!? For sure someone would have tried to talk her out of it if she had announced it.
Well, I’m off the bed, Goodnight everyone! I can hear the groans now.
NO! STAY! Some would plead.
COME ON! LET’S HAVE A NIGHTCAP! Her dad, my partner Jake, would say.
The sneak-away-from-the-group-to-go-to-bed is now one of my favorite party tricks. I’m the one sighing happily in bed upstairs while everyone downstairs is trying to find something to do that will keep them from falling asleep on the living room floor.
A NEW OUTLOOK ON GOING TO BED EARLY
I say in my website bio, The people in my life would describe me as always up for a dance party, but also the first one most likely ready for bed. That is absolutely true. Meagan has some serious competition these days.
So, the next time you’re yawning and it’s evening, I want you to understand this very important fact: Your body needs rest, and feeling tired is healthy.
I want to tell you about another person in my family, who will remain nameless to protect his innocence, who was seen making himself a black coffee at around nine o'clock one night. When I asked why he would drink coffee so late in the evening, he responded with, Because I’m feeling tired.
I want to challenge you, if you’re one of those people who fights feeling tired with caffeine, or another episode on Netflix, or propping your eyelids open with toothpicks, STOP FIGHTING IT. GO TO BED.
You are not a weirdo for listening to and honoring your body. Stop seeing going to bed as a sign of weakness or completely giving up on life.
I’ve come up with a little saying I use when I’m faced with groans as I head off to bed, and feel free to use it too.
I need my beauty sleep if I’m going to stay fabulous!
CHOOSING A BEDTIME THAT WORKS FOR YOU
What time in the evening do you start to feel sleepy? I’m not saying you have to crawl into bed at that time, but it would be the perfect time to start your evening ritual. Dim the lights, get in your cozy pants, grab a book or any other activity that relaxes you.
Honour your body’s way of telling you it’s time to wind-down. Make it an enjoyable routine because it’s going to happen whether you’re ready for it or not.
Sleep isn’t for the weak. It’s quite the opposite. And I challenge anyone who believes otherwise to prove me wrong.