Thursday, October 24, 2013

Set a Bedtime Alarm

How often do you become so engrossed in a task--whether work or play--that you suddenly realize it's way later than you intended to go to bed?  Where did the evening go?  Now you've only got six, five... four(?!?) hours to sleep, and no time to unwind properly?

I've spoken before about the importance of shutting down electronics before bed, but if you want to have time to shut down and begin to wind down for sleep, you've got to recognize that it's bedtime 30 to 60 minutes before you actually intend to sleep!

For this reason, I often keep a "bedtime alarm" set, so that on weeknights, my phone will remind me, "Hey, it's almost ten o'clock; you might want to finish what you're doing and start getting washed up and ready for bed." In case you were wondering, my bedtime alarm sound is crickets. Thank you, iPhone.

  This is my little trick to make sure I get my eight hours in. It may seem silly, but why?  It's just a friendly (self-imposed!) reminder.  You can "snooze" it if you need to, but it's just a little tap on the shoulder to let you know what time it is, and that, if you intend to get eight hours of sleep, you need to start getting ready for bed now.

I'd turned it off for a while, because it had helped me get in the habit of getting in bed earlier, so I no longer needed it.  However, last week, I had a LOT to do, and began staying up very late to get it all done.  It's taken its toll; I've been feeling tired and hazy.  That's why I'm going back to my trusty bedtime alarm to help me get back on track!!

Prioritizing sleep is important to me, and I hope to you, too.  If I get any less than seven-to-eight hours of sleep, I'm not myself the next morning.  By having a bedtime alarm, even if I'm in the middle of something, I have a reminder that it's getting late and I ought to wrap it up and hit the sack.

I dare YOU to set a bedtime alarm to help remind you to get a full night's sleep! 

How do you decide when to go to bed?  Do you have a nightly routine? 


  1. I sleep like a TODDLER.
    winddown routine and all :-)

  2. Interesting idea! We are usually watching tv before bedtime, so when the show is over, it's time for bed, but sometime we realize it's 10 minutes into the late news and we are still up!

  3. What a smart idea - I like the focus of rest & recovery and using electronics to help make it a little easier!

  4. This is genius! I'm going to try it this week especially since I have to wake up at 3:30am for my runDisney races next weekend!

    Alec @


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