The 9 o’clock rule

So I wanted to share with you something that M and I have had to use a couple of times in the last few years to help combat stress and aid sleep. It’s something we like to call “The 9 o’clock rule”.

This came about at the beginning of 2014 when we were in the precarious situation of having signed for the new house (and paid the deposit) when we hadn’t sold our old house! This meant that if we didn’t sell our house before we moved into the new one, we would be under SERIOUS financial pressure and coupled with the general stress of house moving – the stress meter was set too high. 

M and I would chat about things endlessly, going to bed at 11, then talking some more till after midnight. Inevitably, we would wake up tired with the things we discussed whirling around in our brains. Not Good. 

Sooo.. we decided on the 9 o’clock rule, which is basically that we weren’t allowed to talk about house stuff past 9 o’clock at night, thus aiding a bit of time for our brains to de-clutter and enabling us to go to sleep with nice, calm thoughts. 

It works really well, and it certainly allowed me to sleep a bit better, as sleep is the first thing that goes out of the window when I have got too much on my mind. 

It worked all the way until we sold the house (which we did eventually) and then of course, it worked again when mum was ill. It was about this time last year when mum was supposed to having a operation for her cancer, when she fell in hospital and broke her hip, further delaying her cancer treatment. See… SOOO much stress…. the 9 o’clock rule means that we discussed and de-briefed the days happenings to a certain point, then stopped an hour or so before bed to allow us to relax. 

So I if you are going through any stress at the moment, and you feel like it’s all you talk about, then stop. Stop at 9 o’clock and go back to normal stuff. I know that both moving house and my mum having cancer were all consuming, but there was a point in every day, where I couldn’t talk about it any more, it became destructive. Learning to stop at a certain point was very freeing and helped immeasurably. 

Go on then, give it a go.. 

G x 

1 Comment

  1. 5th August 2016 / 8:20 am

    This is such a good idea – I find it really hard to unwind before going to bed, and if something happens or if I’m overthinking something I can be laid awake for hours. I might be using the 9-o-clock rule! We already have a ‘don’t go to sleep on an argument’ rule so this works perfectly.

    Tilly / lavenderlemonade.net

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