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Tiny Bites 25: Paying Off My Sleep Debt

April 19, 2018
Tiny Bites 25: Paying Off My Sleep Debt | Tiny Ambitions

LISTEN ON: Anchor | iTunes | Google Play | Overcast | Pocket Cast

In this week’s episode of Tiny Bites, I’m diving deeper into one of the things I’ve been doing since coming home from St. Lucia to keep my slow life intact: paying off my sleep debt.

Press play below to listen to this week’s episode (I’ve removed my intro and outro music for a smoother listening experience). If you have trouble listening to it, you can use one of the above links to listen on the platform of your choice.


Do you have a good sleep routine that you love? Are you, like me, also working off some hard sleep debt? Let me know in the comments!

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Daisy April 25, 2018 at 12:49 am

    As an insomniac since kindergarten (!!), this is something that’s also important to me. I haven’t written about it yet, but I’ve also been sleeping 1-2 hours earlier in the past month and it IS making a huge difference. Like exercise, I guess it’s hard to think of sleep as something to prioritize when there are other things on our plate. Thanks for tackling this topic, Britt, and hope you feel less tired soon!

    • Britt April 25, 2018 at 7:24 am

      That’s an amazing change! I’m glad it’s been making a difference for you. I agree it’s tricky to think of sleep as something that needs to be a priority – it’s just something we have to do between everything else that’s more important.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the episode! It was a topic outside the norm for me, but I thought it was an important one. 🙂

  • Lisa April 21, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing such an awesome episode, Britt! Sleep is something I really value and am also intrigued by from a scientific perspective, so I was really keen to listen to this episode (but then again, I’m always keen to listen to Tiny Bites ☺️).

    Almost everyone I know is chronically deprived of sleep, so I would wholeheartedly agree with you that most people rarely get anywhere near 8 hours per night. I can actually proudly say that I get a solid eight hours almost all the time. My current sleep routine is strictly 9pm – 5am during the week, and about 9pm – 6am on Friday and Saturday (with some variation depending on what I’m doing on the weekend). Sometimes it’s hard but I’m very disciplined about getting to bed on time, because I know that if I’m not, I feel like crap the next day and am also rather unpleasant to be around (just ask Mr SLE, haha). People (mostly of the non-minimalist variety, that is) always have a good chuckle when I say that I go to bed at 9pm and that ‘staying up’ for me is, like, 10pm. 😛

    In addition to the health effects you’ve mentioned in the podcast, I think not sleeping enough has a huge detrimental effect on the immune system (I’m fairly certain that is backed up by scientific studies I have come across online over the years, although I don’t have any to cite). When I think of the people I know, those who are sleeping the least are definitely also the ones who get colds, gastro infections etc on a regular basis, and they also take longer than average to recover.

    So, so glad to hear that you are benefitting so much from your new sleep routine Britt! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • Jack The Dreamer April 21, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Lisa, I couldn’t help but comment that sleeping at 9pm has always been a dream of mine lol. Once adulthood hit it didn’t seem to be a reachable goal.

      I feel like going to bed around 9pm on the weekend would be tough if friends invite you out and events don’t start till 10pm? Or do you just leave events early to make that “early” bedtime?

      Just curious 🙂 How does one survive in the modern world going to bed at 9pm?!?!?!

      • Lisa April 21, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        Hi Jack! Well, this might sound weird, but it’s not really a problem for me. My husband and I are major introvert/loner types so we mostly keep to ourselves on the weekend. We do enjoy various activities on the weekend, but mostly during the day like hiking, picnicking, afternoon movie sessions etc.

        This makes it really easy to stick to an early bedtime, but on the flip side it means we are a bit hermit-like. I enjoy living this way but in all honesty would like to socialise more. Unfortunately we haven’t met any other couples here (here being Brisbane, Australia) who align with our values. Perhaps we haven’t really looked hard enough to date.

        But yes, I think for someone with a ‘normal’ social life, going to bed at 9pm on the weekend would not represent a realistic bedtime!

        PS. I’m keen to check out your blog as your minimalism/FIRE content is really of interest to me. 🙂 I am always discovering interesting new bloggers through Britt’s blog!!

      • Lisa April 21, 2018 at 11:46 pm

        Hi Jack! I just typed a reply to this but somehow lost it in cyberspace when I submitted it (Britt if it comes up twice obviously please feel free to delete this one! Thanks!). Poo 🙁

        Anyway 🙂 My main point was that for me, going to bed at such an early hour on the weekend is actually really doable, but that’s only because my husband and I are very introverted kind of people. We like to get out of the house on the weekend, but mostly during the day. That makes it very easy to be at home for an early dinner and bedtime. However, it also makes for a fairly hermit-like existence. So far we haven’t met any other couples IRL here in Brisbane (Australia) who align with our minimalist/environmentalist/anti-consumer way of thinking, but one of my longer-term goals is to change that! But yes, for someone with a ‘normal’ social life, going to bed at 9pm is definitely not realistic!

        Looking forward to checking out your blog as your minimalism/FIRE content is really of interest to me. 🙂

        • Jack The Dreamer April 22, 2018 at 12:47 am

          lol, thank you Lisa! I hope to keep publishing good enough content that’s valuable to keep you interested 😀 (Britt please excuse me as well, didn’t mean to “poach” Lisa to my blog lol. She came of her own accord! Right, Lisa?)

          Lisa, you bring up a very good point. Technically, one could always hang out with friends on the weekend during the day as well. I’m near NYC, so there are always tons to do during the day that one need not be a night owl.

          Do you notice if being able to wake up earlier at your 5am time has helped you become more productive? (asides from the productivity of getting 8 hours+ of sleep lol).

          I’m wondering because I notice that my writing deteriorates when I’m pulling ‘all nighters’ to publish a blog post, versus typing them up when I’m ‘fresh’ in the morning.


          • Lisa April 23, 2018 at 1:19 am

            Haha Jack, don’t worry, no coercion here! I am always discovering great new blogs via Britt’s! 🙂

            As for your question – yes, absolutely! I find myself feeling very fresh, energised and mentally active in the morning. Keeping up such a regular schedule all week also makes it a lot easier when Monday morning comes around! 👍Having said that, I’ll stress here that this is only in my own experience. I know some people really thrive on an almost nocturnal schedule. Being an early bird is just the way I am, I think!

          • Jack The Dreamer April 23, 2018 at 2:04 am

            Lol thank you for that. Isn’t there also something like early birds live longer than night owls? Agh! The trade offs 😂

          • Lisa April 23, 2018 at 2:18 am

            Quite possibly! Oh, and they always get the worm!

            Pleasure chatting with you here on TA, Jack. 🙂

          • Jack The Dreamer April 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

            Likewise, Lisa! 😄

    • Britt April 21, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      Your routine sounds so lovely!! If I can stay awake past 11:30 on the weekend, it’s a miracle.

      You’re right about sleeps effect on the immune system – I totally forgot about that one. I also notice that anecdotally in my own personal circle. The people who don’t sleep enough get sick way more often. There’s only so much our bodies can do to protect us if we aren’t able to recharge them the way they need to be in order to function optimally.

      I’m glad you liked the episode, Lisa! It seemed like a topic that was a little outside what I normally talk about, but, is also something I feel is integral. So I’m glad you appreciated it!

      • Lisa April 21, 2018 at 11:54 pm

        Thanks Britt! It’s definitely one aspect of my routine that I’m really pleased with. Having said that, it’s not easy to achieve, which is why I can really relate to the process you describe in this podcast episode. In order to maintain this kind of schedule, I need to be really focussed in the afternoon and early evening before dinner in terms of uni work and my blogging and other leisure activities. But the compromise (for want of a better word) is worth it.

        Yep definitely enjoyed the episode! It’s always nice to do something a little different from the standard. Plus, I don’t think you could possibly come up with a blog post/podcast that I wouldn’t enjoy, Britt!

  • Jack The Dreamer April 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Britt! Great podcast episode 🙂

    If you think about it, removing the intro and outro music is also noise minimalization?

    While I don’t have a particular night routine to mention because it’s roughly the same as winding down with a book, I’ve noticed a post wakeup morning routine to be beneficial to sustained energy and awakeness during the day.

    Like when I first wake up, instead of checking twitter and Facebook, I’m working on doing nothing. Just slowly waking up. Then meditating after that to set forth good intentions, vibes, and self affirmations for the day.

    Then I check social media lol. Seems to help 🙂

    • Britt April 19, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks, Jack! You’re right – it is noise minimalization. And if it makes for an easier listener experience, I’m all for it.

      Your morning routine sounds lovely. I’ve also started shifting my routine from checking social media to reading blog posts. I find it less overwhelming in the morning. I personally prefer to meditate at night so I save that for when I get home from work.

      Thanks for listening!

      • Jack The Dreamer April 21, 2018 at 11:10 pm

        Np! Ooo, good idea too. Reading blog posts versus the immediate false urgency of social media. Hmmm…

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.