DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m having trouble managing my sleep schedule, and I have a real issue with staying up late, sometimes when I have work in the morning, and sometimes when I just want to watch more television. When I don’t sleep enough, I wake up exhausted and grouchy. I work in a coffee shop, so often I have to get up early.
Today at work, one of my regular customers asked me how I was doing, and I gave an honest response: I was tired. We talk all the time, so it was fine that I told her the truth, but other customers gave me looks that said they couldn’t care less and I need to be on my job and get them their coffee. I know how little time people have in the morning for their coffee before work. I can’t afford to flake out with my customers. My boss has made it clear that the morning rush is the most important time of the workday for us to be on top of things. What measures should I take to better myself? -- Sleepless Night
DEAR SLEEPLESS NIGHT: It is time to get your priorities straight. Right now you are allowing distractions to derail your future. You know that you cannot effectively stay up all night watching TV or doing anything else when you need enough rest to function in the morning. Face the facts. Tell yourself that you will go to sleep at a particular time. Set an alarm 15 minutes before your bedtime. Then set alarms for when you must get up. Give yourself time to awaken fully, eat, get ready and get to work a few minutes early. Train your brain to support your needs. That’s when it works.