Rhythm of the Night

Okay, you caught me. I’ll come clean…I love my bed. While I don’t work from it often, I may or may not be typing this blog post from my bed right now. And yes, soon I will set the computer on my nightstand and take a quick twenty (ok, thirty…) minute nap. 

This isn’t a post about how working from bed is bad (which, it isn’t good, but that’s for another day). This is a post about sleep. I’ve loved sleeping for as long as I can remember. My Mom told me that when I was little I’d go outside to play and after a bit she’d go to the porch and call my name. But I wouldn’t come home. She’d get frantic, start looking all over the yard, calling the neighbors, only to finally check my room and find me fast asleep in the middle of the day. She NEVER had to tell me to go take a nap. I would happily close my eyes and trot to slumberland. FOMO is not an issue for me. 

I don’t nap every day, but I do try and get 7-8 hours of sleep. I’m an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal because mornings are when I’m at my best. Even though there are nights when I stay out late and I would like to sleep in until 9, my body still wakes me up by 7am ready to GO. I can try and fight it but it’s what my body wants. Hitting the snooze only makes me grumpy and more tired. 

It’s important for us to know our own natural biorhythm and know that we are different and it can change for us. Biorhythms are the order of our bodies; how our bodies naturally function. Not just with sleep patterns but our mental, physical and emotional activity as well.  

Think back on this past week. When did you get tired at night? When did your body wake you up? What part of the day were you most productive and what part of the day were you ready for a break? 

Take a step back and look at yourself from this perspective. Are you a night owl who does your best work after 10pm? Are you most productive in the afternoon but you read somewhere that getting things done in the morning is “more productive” when it really just leaves you staring at a blank computer screen trying not to fall asleep. Or maybe you wake up ready to go only to need a break in the early afternoon to sip some tea and take a walk. 

Understanding your current rhythms and working with them can move you into a more productive state. When you are in your highest energetic state, don’t waste that time checking emails, or returning phone calls. Structure your days so that your most mentally challenging or creative work is done when you’re at your most productive. 

For me mornings are key. I know I’m in trouble if I start doing emails, or get on social media first thing in the morning because I waste my highest energy on tasks that could be done with much lower energy, later in the day. Today I woke up, worked out, planned out my day, wrote this blog post and now I can check emails as I start to wind-down for a midday break…AKA nap.

Pay attention to your body. Pay attention to what it needs and WHEN it needs it. Your body will thank you.