My nighttime routine has been off kilter for the past few months. To counter some bouts of insomnia, I've been going to bed earlier, figuring if I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep right away, I'd still have more time for slumber. As a result, the evening hours have been crunched -- it seems like once we get through dinner and whatever activities we have for the night (and the activities are plentiful with the boys, as always, especially through the winter), there's barely time to get the dog out for a walk.
One blessing of this is I haven't watched as much TV lately. I gave up on "Gotham," which had devolved into almost the same story every week. But on the minus side, my evenings feel rushed, as if I'm just waiting for bed to roll around. No writing. Barely any board games with Ben, which had been a regular occurrence through December. And it really hadn't helped the insomnia -- I'm not getting any more sleep than I had before.
So what's my solution? After avoiding screens before bed, setting up a "relaxing" bedtime routine, resisting taking the dog on longer walks when it's later, and limiting the stimuli that I thought were keeping me awake, I'm going back in the opposite direction and simply doing what I did before: playing video games, sitting on the porch writing (spring has obviously helped this), watching TV, and staying up past 11. I need to work the board games back in as well. I think I swung to far toward other things to help me sleep that I was overthinking it. I'm probably calmer when I get the wind-down time that I was used to. And I was never an early-to-bed person anyway; it's sort of one of the reasons why I'm falling asleep and then waking up soon after.
Again, spring and the upcoming summer will help. I love working on my porch, and after the long winter, it's good to have my "office" back. Instead of fearing time after 9, I'm going to enjoy it again, just like I had for decades.