Making Your Nighttime Self an Ally to Your Daytime Self

Like many, my client, Jess, has been having a hard time getting to bed at a decent hour. Once her two kids are in bed, she feels like she can finally relax for the first time all day. Even when she knows she needs to get to bed, Jess has been staying up longer because she wants to continue enjoying her “me time.” Unfortunately, staying up too late has been negatively impacting Jess, setting up a downward cycle the next day.

When she gets to bed late, she sleeps later and misses her window for exercise (because at this time of year it quickly gets too hot for her to exercise outside). She also has been finding herself rushing around in the morning trying to get too many things done in a too-short window, which makes her feel harried and out of control. Her eating gets off track because she doesn’t have time to sit down and plan her eating day, which she previously did every morning when she used to go to bed on time. Because she’s staying up so much later, Jess is also finding she’s getting hungry again in the evening and eating more than she used to, which has caused the scale to stop moving down. All in all, getting to bed too late is not working for her!People eating and drinking outside

Jess told me that every morning when she’s in this negative cycle, she says to herself, “I wish I could remember this at night! I wish I could convince my night self that it’s worth getting to bed so that my day self can benefit all day.” I loved this idea – that nighttime Jess needs to be an ally to daytime Jess. Jess and I discussed a major hindrance to nighttime Jess getting to bed on time: her need for me time.

I reminded Jess that me time is not an all-or-nothing thing. It’s not as if she gets every minute she wants to relax and unwind in the evening or she gets no minutes. There’s a lot of middle ground. Even if she would rather have two hours of me time, one hour is certainly a lot better than nothing! And, when she sacrifices some me time in the evening (but not all me time), she’s getting an enormous amount in return. Her following day is better, and she gets to make progress towards her weight loss goals, which are profoundly important to her. Jess agreed that me time is not all-or-nothing and made the following Response Card to read every evening:

Nighttime Jess needs to be an ally to daytime Jess. Daytime Jess knows how important getting to bed on time is, and nighttime Jess needs to respect that. Even though I want more me time in the evening, it’s not an all-or-nothing thing. I can still have some me time, and have a great next day, and make progress on my weight loss goals. It’s entirely worth it to get to bed on time!

If you’re struggling to make your nighttime self an ally to your daytime self, consider making a Response Card that addresses this and start reading it every evening!

2 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    Yes, the daily reminder is key as it isn’t a thought that comes naturally when the me time arrives. Ahhh. For me, I didn’t have to think about anyone, I could do what I wanted. With Debs advice I learned before me time arrived, to think about me too! When I took care of everyone else but slacked when it came to me, I became more impulsive and whatever was before me got priority. TV- triggered eating, my phone triggered Facebook, emails, news and before I knew it midnight arrived and I would be too tired to go to bed. Eventually I would make it there. I learned If my free time was left untethered, it stole from tomorrow’s resources of energy, clarity, efficiency and time. Making life more difficult and setting up a negative cycle that was harder to break out of.
    Now, I get the best of both worlds and I am now loosing weight!

  2. Suz
    Suz says:

    I identify with this issue. I find myself saying I want to go to bed earlier and not doing it. In fact, I feel like punished and then stay up even later than usual. In the morning, I regret it. I feel better when I get rest and I know that. This reality alone does not produce the kind of response I need to live a better life.

    I am going to work on Nighttime me being an ally to Daytime me. I do like feeling rested and not feeling fuzzy. I need to pay attention to the fact I feel punished, too.

    The last part of that needs some exploration as well. It’s a journey.


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