It is time for the first challenge of 30 to get you on the right track by taking baby steps to increase your energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.
As a reminder, each month this year we are going to have quick easy challenges that focus on one area of life. We, as individuals, as a couple and as a family have found that we do not function well, nor are we able to be a thrifty frugal couple without getting many priorities in line. That starts with the practical and healthful quick things you do each day.
So, the very first thing that we are going to encourage everyone to do is to……
Set a bedtime that is the same each day of the week and be strict about sticking to it!
Only allow rare exceptions/events/emergencies to interrupt your bedtime.
So you may be saying to yourself, “we do have a bedtime – this will be an easy challenge!”
Well, we too thought we had a real bedtime for many years. But in the end it was a “let’s get to bed by approximately this time.” But we would often be way off with the time and allow excuses like housework, projects and many other things to trump the need to stick to a normal bed time.
Then what we ultimately experienced was a body that is functioning at a much lower capacity than it could, difficulties getting to sleep as our bodies were confused, and just a tired sluggish feeling all day. Sleep is one of the most vital needs to living life – why not make it as good as it could be?
Besides, medical experts across the board agree that going to bed at the same time every night, including weekends, is vitally important to avoid many health issues and overall good health. You can see information from doctors everywhere on this topic, but we will also direct you to Dr. Mercola and this article he wrote about bedtime.
So, by setting and sticking to a bed time, you will not only gain more energy naturally, a more lively functioning mind and body for efficiency during the day, but you are improving your general health at the same time.
Don’t take this challenge lightly, take it seriously so that you can enjoy and reap the results of consistency in a few weeks!
In addition, like we mentioned before, the challenges that we are going to be presenting this month build on each other. A normal bedtime is needed for the rest of the challenges.
We started going to bed at a normal/regular time in 2012 and our lives changed so much from this one little trick. We kinda got off the bedtime bandwagon when November hit and struggled to get up and function each day (that’s the way those holidays seem to go – ugh!). So we are committed to it again in 2013 and encourage you to join us!
So with this challenge, you may have it in the sack already, but here’s a few things that has helped us get to bed on time:
- We stop watching TV around 1-hour before we go to bed. We may be like you and have a few shows each week that we like to watch. But instead of relying on the television schedules, we actually own a Roku and have access to Hulu on this device. We have talked about the Roku before and how it saves us loads of money and eliminates the need for cable, but then you also decide your TV schedule.
- We don’t use electronics in bed, like tablets, smart phones, etc. They are over-stimulating and they keep us from getting to sleep.
- Have a routine (we will be talking more about this as the month goes on too).
- Both Alex and I need time to “unwind.” Neither of us are able to jump in bed and fall asleep right away. With that, we actually get in bed 30 minutes before “lights out” to unwind. We typically read, do crossword puzzles (from a book, not electronic :)) or sudoku, etc.
- We keep the temperature low at night. We keep ours around 65 – 68 degrees. It is proven over and over that a cooler room helps you sleep better. Plus…it saves you on your heating bill!
- Wear socks. Since we are lowering the temperature, our feet are vulnerable to get cold and keep us awake, so we keep them covered.
- Make it as dark as possible. When we were committed to following a normal bedtime, I bought darkening shades (they happened to be on clearance at Walmart last winter, so they may this year too) as this helps to darken the room even more.
- We invested in comfortable bedding and pillows. This is one area where spending money is wise. Your sleep is vital to your living, invest in what you need to make it comfortable. You can make up the cost of it with more daily efficiency 🙂
- Sometimes we will drink hot sleepytime tea or use lavender essential oils to help us get to sleep if we are struggling.
- Finally, we go to bed together. If you are married, this is a very HIGH recommendation! Husbands and wives should not got to bed at separate times. It is a time that just the two of you can talk about your hopes and dreams or at least the days’ ups and downs to encourage, pray, cuddle and continue to develop a strong relationship and focused time of communication. Don’t let gaming, TV, computer time or any other factor take those precious moments before you close your eyes away from your relationship with your spouse.
So…now is the moment of truth, will you do this challenge and share with us what your current or even “new” strict bedtime is that you (and your spouse if married) are committed to keeping?
We would love for you to leave a comment below and answer the question on our poll!
With that, our bedtime is 10:30, which means that we are ready and in bed by 10 pm to “unwind” so that we can actually fall asleep by 10:30.
Finally, one fun and new thing we will be doing this year is having Facebook groups for each month’s challenges. This first month we have our Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Group HERE. We highly encourage you to ask to join so that we can communicate and encourage everyone. It is intended to be a small and intimate group as we develop relationships with our readers, talk back and forth and ask questions! We are excited about this new avenue and hope you will find it encouraging too!
Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there!
Photo Credit: since we are talking about baby steps this month, the picture of the sleeping baby was just too cute to not include. Thanks to Pregnancyandbaby.com for the photo!