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.

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