Photo by Chris Carzoli on Unsplash

Now for something a little lighter. (That was punny. You’ll see.)

If you’re like me, you might have trouble peeling yourself off the couch when your nightly pandemic social time (AKA copious amounts of television) ends and it’s time to go to bed. I know some people have found success setting a bedtime alarm, which is just like it sounds: when your bedtime alarm goes off, it means you stop what you’re doing and get ready for bed.

But I don’t like alarms much. Fortunately, I found something better: putting my lights on a timer.

I went out of town a few weeks ago and put a living room lamp on a timer so that it was on from around dusk until 10pm. When I got home, I didn’t bother touching the timer because I normally turn that lamp on when I settle in to watch my stories anyway.

When that lamp clicks off at 10pm, it sends a message that the living room is no longer open for business (you don’t have to go to bed, but you can’t stay here). I noticed that I wouldn’t start a new episode of a show if it meant that it would end after 10. Sometimes, I even turn off the TV around 9:45 and then scritch my dogs until the lamp turns off, signaling to all of us that’s it’s time for bed.

It’s really the same concept as the bedtime alarm, but I prefer it because it’s more of a gentle nudge and it’s a sensory clue about what needs to happen: lights out.

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