I used “stash and dash” to manage my lack of sleep. Tired? Stashed it in a cup of coffee. Really tired? Added expresso. Red puffy eyes? Covered it with concealer and eye drops. Sick? Hid it with “non-drowsy” medicine. Overwhelmed, emotional? Stuffed it out of sight. For the long car ride home? Energy Shots. Concentration required? Extra Strength Energy Shots!
Every few weeks, I was practically catatonic with exhaustion. At this crisis point, I marathon-slept for 12 or 14 hours. Refreshed, I promised myself I’d get more rest, but within a day… procrastinating, distracted – one more chapter, email, article, phone call…as soon as this movie is over. I told myself I would “catch up” on my sleep “later”. The cycle would begin anew.
One day, I awakened from a “marathon-sleep” and didn’t feel rested. I became sick; one illness rolled into the next. When “stash and dash” fixes no longer worked, I started to see the parallel between sleep and my house. The chaos of exhaustion had taken my health.
One of FlyLady’s first babysteps is “Go to Bed at a Decent Hour”. I ignored this step for over a year; certain it didn’t apply to me. All my life I functioned on little sleep and always was healthy. But I needed a routine for sleep, in the same way I needed a routine for everything else. In babysteps, I stopped the stash and dash tactics that masked my exhaustion. In babysteps, I went to bed a few minutes earlier.
Illnesses became less frequent and severe. Memory improved. It’s a steadier stream of energy instead of zoom/crash. Little obstacles are met with mental clarity instead of emotional distress. Mornings became pleasant.
Going to bed earlier, a routine for rest, took me from functioning to Flying. Nothing replaces sleep. Rested and Flying, what a spectacular view of the world!