May 12, 2015

Forty before 40: I don’t need to sleep with the TV on!

When I was writing my Forty before 40 list, I tried to make sure I incorporated things in all parts of my life. It’s easy to write a forty item list of things to buy or places to visit, but adding items that didn’t really cost me anything but effort and time were a little more difficult.

When Big Daddy and I were married, we had one tv. It was an old one handed down from someone and it weighed about a million pounds, but it worked and it was free so it was good. We hooked up a cheap VCR and, for a while, didn’t even had cable. We watched movies and watched the few channels we could get off of our Apartment’s antenna. In time, we took advantage of a Target clearance deal and bought a little tv for our bedroom. It may even have been black and white.

Before Big Daddy and I were married, I would fall asleep to the TV every night and I’m pretty sure that part of my pregnancy induced insomnia was due to the inability to fall asleep to the tv. From then on, we had a tv in our room. Sometimes they were small and sometimes they were crappy and they were always cheap, but we always had one. When we moved to our new house, we invested in a flat screen and hung it on the wall and I continued to fall asleep with the TV on.

Big Daddy started wearing a fitbit to bed and found he didn’t seep very well. I admitted to being surprised. He always seemed to me to sleep well, but it he was showing lots of periods of wakefulness and, when I thought about it, I woke up a lot of mornings feeling less than rested myself. Big Daddy suggested we learn to sleep with the TV off and I was defensive. I’m such a picky, picky sleeper that the idea of removing one of my sleeping tools left me feeling a little grumpy, but after another morning of crawling out of bed exhausted, I knew he was right. The TV had to go.

Now, I plug my phone into a dock next to my bed and listen to music all night. I’m waking up feeling more rested, which is a good thing and I don’t NEED the tv to fall asleep anymore and, in fact, make it point to NOT use to fall asleep on “school nights”. Friday and Saturday night I sometimes turn it on as a “weekend treat”, but mostly, I look forward to turning off the lights, turning on the music and sleeping in the dark.

Turns out, I LOVE sleeping in the dark. My next goal, though not written on my Forty before 40 list is to stop using my phone 30 minutes before I want to sleep. Research suggests using your phone too close to bedtime can affect your sleep as well.

What have you done to help secure a better night’s sleep? Would you give up your tv or phone to get it?

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