The 9:00 Diet

900 diet

One of the tough challenges of being a grown-up is learning self-discipline. With more years as an adult than as a kid now under my belt, you’d think that self-discipline would come more naturally, but sometimes it’s still tough to say no to myself. I’d much rather indulge my sweet tooth than bypass the ice cream aisle at the grocery store–but I do it {most of the time} because I know the consequences of one too many pints is not being able to fit into my clothes.

I’ve typically been an early-to-bed, early-to-rise sort, but lately I’ve found myself pushing my bedtime back bit by bit. Unfortunately, that has an adverse affect on my need to get up early the next morning, particularly on those days when I’m going to my fitness boot camp. I still manage to drag myself out of bed in time to get to camp, but the battle seems tougher when I’m running on less and less sleep.

So I’ve decided to put myself on what I’m calling the 9:00 diet. At 9:00 p.m., I’m turning off the TV, putting my smart devices away, closing the kitchen and heading to bed. That doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily fall asleep then; I’m planning to spend a half hour or so reading before lights out. Even though I may not be tired at 9:00, I need to take the time to wind down and let my body and mind shift into rest mode. Of course, there will be some nights where I stay up later, but this is more of an intentional choice rather than a hard and fast rule that I have to shut down at 9.

I’m curious to see how much of an impact this will have on my sleep patterns; I have a feeling that the more I practice shutting down early the more quickly my body and mind will recognize the “wind down” signals, which will hopefully lead to more restful sleep and will help me wake up more refreshed. We’ll see how this experiment goes…

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