This talk by Matthew Walker has significantly shifted some lifestyle priorities at our house.
Actually taking sleep seriously has an interesting impact on how one lives an entire day, but it especially informs the attitude one has about evening routines.
A few weeks ago, I set alarm to remind me to turn off lights and screens a few hours before going to bed. So I’m now reading, writing, or simply conversing by candlelight in the later evening hours.
Before trying to sleep, I am intentionally spending a few minutes ‘freeminding’ — commiting to writing any outstanding items, to-dos, or ‘open loops’ that are left swirling in my brain at the end of the day, until there is nothing left but quiet.
In the end, I’m growing convinced that sleep is truly the cornerstone of a disciplined and intentional life. If I am not ordered in my sleep hygiene, there is much less chance of nurturing order anywhere else.
It is also interesting how ‘counter-cultural’ these new habits feel. We, as a society, have developed a set of normative ideas about sleep (or the lack thereof) that work against us at every turn. Reclaiming sleep feels like a momumental first step in reclaiming so much more as well.