{Project 52: Stay Awake} Sleep

{Project 52: Stay Awake} Sleep



This post is the first in a year-long series called Project 52: Stay Awake, where we’re posting a weekly prompt to encourage you to travel on your own Awesomely Awake journey.

I like sleep. I do.

But, I also have so much to do — things I have to do, things I want to do — once my girls are in bed that I often find myself staying up far too late.

So when I asked about your own sleep routines on Facebook, I touched a nerve.

Apparently, I am not alone.

Most of us admitted that we stay up way too late causing us to sleep way too late in the morning.

Or, worse … not feeling our best all day as a result of little sleep.

It’s true, the very first and most important way to Stay Awake and live mindfully while being more present to those we love is to get enough sleep.

When my little girls were babies, I often went to bed at 8 p.m.

Now that they are older and things are easier, I stay up later. But I know that my perfect sleep is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

I know my limits. I don’t stay out late, even when I go out with girlfriends.

I’ll be a grouch the next day.

Your sleep challenge is to be intentional with your zzzzz’s.

Figure out what your best sleep is and stick to it. I’m planning to do that myself, which means I may have to spend less time doing other things like reading blogs or cleaning the house.

Original Photo by tsmall on Flickr
Original Photo by tsmall on Flickr

{Project 52: Stay Awake} Week One is about Sleep. Take a photo of your bedtime rituals, your kids’ bedtime rituals, books you are reading before bed, how you like to sleep, where you sleep or even what you are doing instead of sleeping … anything related to resting your weary mind and body.

Photo tip from Beryl:  Set Your Photo Intention Before you Pick Up a Camera:

Usually I have a particular goal in mind when I’m about to take a photo. For example, the type of results I’m hoping for will be different when I’m about to take a photo that I want to frame and hang on our walls vs. when I’m just capturing our everyday snapshots.  Think about your own goals and intentions with each weekly theme presented during these 52 weeks.

Some weeks you may be inspired to plan an entire event or outing that will scream for photos with a high quality DSLR, other weeks you may just grab your iPhone or cell phone on the fly and take images in the moment — ones that you’ll pop directly into our Flickr group or onto Instagram (try tagging those photos with #stayawake).

This project is all about staying present in the moment, releasing pressure, and taking consistent photo memories to document your life. Set the right intention for you.

Now, tell us about your own bedtime ritual. Do you have one? If you were to create the perfect evening for yourself, what would that include? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

PHOTO CREDIT: Beryl Ayn Young

Meet your fearless Project 52: Stay Awake leaders:



Shawn Ledington Fink is a writer and mama as well as the creative force behind the blog Awesomely Awake. She leads a peaceful movement of happy, mindful parents who are trying to change the world. She is an Abundant Mama of two little girls in first grade {yes, twins}. You can follow her crazy, awake and amazing adventures on Instagram by following awakeshawn.




beryl aynBeryl Ayn Young is a wife, mama, teacher, and photographer who offers photography lessons to nourish the mind, body, and soul over on her. Beryl believes in lifelong learning, photographic healing, and a glass half full perspective. She teaches and provides photo coaching aimed at teaching you how to improve your camera skills and cherish life’s journey. Check out her site for more information on her courses. Connect with Beryl over on Facebook, she’d love to meet you! Follow Beryl on Instagram.

33 Responses to {Project 52: Stay Awake} Sleep

  1. I love this first intention! Right on time. My daughter has been experiencing trouble with her sleep ritual. Thanks for the inspiration to intentionally create a more fitting routine/ space. :)

  2. This is a big one for me. I find myself staying up way too late and then giving less than my best to my daughter the next day! I need to figure out my perfect sleep!

  3. I always thought that I was a night owl until I found out how blue light exposure in the evening can muck up your sleep patterns. I stopped watching TV after 8pm and dowloaded f.lux for my computer (changes the light your computer puts out from blue to red) and suddenly I was going to bed at 10pm instead of midnight. Makes me a much better person and I have so much more to give to my family when I get proper sleep.

  4. My sleep routine? Staying asleep for at least 8 hours! Boring, I know. Ideally, it would involve a great book, a warm bath, and an evening chore-free, worry free, and stress-free!

  5. I have not been sleeping well at all, its simply terrible. I sleep for a maximum of two hours and then I awake and can't settled back down. Ugh! I've decided to start taking Melatonin to help overcome. It's good to see that I am not alone. Wishing us all a good night's sleep tonight.

  6. My sleeping patterns are all over the map, from being nearly narcoleptic (sp?) to occasional bouts of insomnia- I often feel tired, but when the kids are finally in bed, I feel I can RELAX- and once I find the quiet, I fight sleep to stay up and enjoy it, reading, sewing or cleaning up little messes or just finally watching that movie I've been dying to see. This will definitely be a challenge for me to nail down, but worth it if I could because on those occasions when I get true, good, deep, extended (in my world extended means more than five hours) sleep, I feel amazing.

  7. I used to stay up late 'working' on the computer then I got pregnant with my fourth child and exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks… then I decided there would be no more after dinner computer time for a while and interestingly I didn't seem to get any less work done when I just spent a few hours on the computer in the afternoon!

    Two years later I try to stick to that plan with only occasional evenings online… now I am reading books again (I know!) and sleeping better if not longer. It's win win.

  8. I used to be an 8hr sleeper but these days, getting at least 5hrs of zzzs is almost a luxury. This is primarily due to change in work schedule as I am now working at night. And sleeping during the day is not as easy as it seems. My bedtime ritual would consist of making the room as dark as possible, then I read a bit until I feel sleepy. At night, when it's my son's turn to sleep, I read to him 1 or 2 stories then I tuck him to bed. Photos are up in the Flickr grp and in my blog as well. I have to learn to take nicer photos, though. (Blog link: http://everydayrhythm.blogspot.com/2013/01/project-52-sleep.html ).

  9. my routine is computer time and taking baby to nurse in bed…a perfect night is having fun with family then collapsing with exhaustion of having so much fun.

  10. I struggle with insomnia. I seem to be built to be a night owl–I've struggled my whole life with trying to sleep earlier in the night. When I do, I almost always wake an hour or two in, unable to sleep any more. My body has enjoyed it's "nap." So I've given up on trying to sleep before 11 or midnight, otherwise I end up in worse shape. I have found that a routine does really help. Most nights I climb into bed and read for a while, to help my brain shut down.

    • thanks for the suggestion Heather…I too struggle with insomnia…one doctor said it happens when you get older and told me to take benadryl…i would rather drink wine….but i will try reading…

  11. My routine is get kids into bed and asleep, then watch some tv, computer work and then reading before sleep. Usually not enough sleep. I love this first intention – getting enough sleep and being able to be present the next day, for my kids, partner and work would be ideal!!

  12. My husband and I have a routine. He puts the baby down to bed and I take all night/early morning feedings. I usually go to sleep around 8 or 9 while he is busy with the baby, early enough to insure that I get a couple good hours before the baby wakes up. I should mention that I am out of work on leave and he is already back to work. Well, the baby has started to sleep through the night (most nights), so I have been sleeping from 8pm-6:30am. It's been great but I feel bad for my husband, like he could use the down time, but if I stay up to put the baby to bed and then he has a bad night I could set myself up for a very sleepy following day. So, I am getting enough sleep now, but I feel a little guilty about it.

  13. I shall now switch off my phone & re-instill my no electronics in bed rule. I have been up late on my phone reading about being a better parent then am too grumpy & tired toput these things into practice. My intention for this week will be to sleep more. My goal for tomorrow is to be kind, to myself, my husband but especially my daughters.

  14. As a mom who works nights, and 7 on, 7 off shifts, sleep often comes a a dear price (missing family events and fun with the kids) and is tough to come by on some days. I am so thankful for a spouse who will cover when he can see my grouchies coming on and lets me have my 8 hours to get me back on track!

  15. My bedtime routine helps me unwind so I go to sleep easily and quickly. I am also in the unfortunate habit of staying up too late, sleeping late and then feeling bad about it but I do fall asleep easily :)
    Every night, whether a weeknight or after a big night out, I have a shower just before bed to wash away the day and go to sleep fresh and clean. I try to make my shower relaxing as well as functional and I often listen to an audiobook in the shower which helps my mind to switch off from everything else.
    Now my challenge for myself is to get up each morning at the same time and go to bed when I’m tired- not after I’ve done ‘just one more thing’.

  16. Sleep routine? I have a one year old and an almost five year old. And they are both wired for sound. No matter what type of routine I try, if they aren’t tired or we mish the baby’s “window” we’re screwed. Plus baby girl still wakes up lots and sometimes the older one too. So I would LOVE more sleep.

  17. I try to stick to a routine. I am normally in bed by 10 pm. My daughter goes to bed about 730-8. I normally watch one show after she goes to bed, I clean up the kitchen a bit pack up for the morning and then take a shower. I may read or crochet for 30 mins then out with the lights. I have realized that I may need to move the dogs into another room, they wake me up at night. I am up by 540am and off to work by 615am. This will all change wehn number 2 arrives in August.

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Shawn Fink - Abundant MamaFrom Our Founder

I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »
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