Update: On Dozing and Hard Truths

by Elizabeth on December 19, 2012

It’s been a little over a week now since I decided to give myself a bedtime.

I know.  That sounds like I’m eight years old and whining that I’m not tired.  (Which is actually probably closer to the truth than I want to admit.)

But seriously…had to be done.

The initial reports are mixed.

Most days, I’m glad to report, are going okay.  I’ve been able to hie my sorry butt to the bed all days but two.  (One weekend, with husbeastie, and one where I was just wired, for no apparent reason.)  Most days, I’m up at or before the alarm at five a.m..  The day I went to bed an hour late, I actually woke myself up almost exactly on time, one hour later.  It was weird.  And kind of cool.

I’m finding two problems so far:  I either wake up way too early and have to force myself back to sleep, which means I’m grouchy when the alarm goes off, or I fall asleep too early.  I’m sure it’s my weird metabolism, but if I eat dinner before about 7 p.m., I’m asleep in the chair a half-hour later.  If I can make it through the digesting fatigue, then I’m fine, but sometimes, I can’t.  Changing when I eat fixed that almost immediately, which is both awesome and weird.

The ugly truth:

Days that I exercise, I sleep better and have way more energy.

Dammit.  I hate when the experts are right.

I’m not even talking about get-out-there-and-sweat exercise, either.  Just walking does it.

Aaaand there goes my last excuse to be lazy.

The good part:

I’m way more productive when I sleep.  Which I already knew.  And it may not be just the sleeping — I cut out most online time this week, and surprise, surprise! I’m getting way more other stuff done.  Writing, holiday stuff, house stuff.  ::headdesk::  Duh.  I blame the internet-fast for the time to do things, but the sleeping thing for the increased energy to do those things.

Details, details:

If you know me at all, you know I’m kind of a word geek and a numbers geek.  So I did set up a spreadsheet with my bedtimes and awake times, any dreams, and my energy levels for the day.  (Just a plain ol’ google spreadsheet with a form so it’s easy to fill in in the mornings.)

Aside from finding out that I dream way too much about deadly glowing-eyed gnomes, I’m also finding that days where I sleep around 6 hours are optimal.  I don’t feel tired, I’m good when I get up, and I don’t get tired too early.  Which kind of throws traditional you-must-get-eight-hours wisdom to the sidelines, at least in my case.  If I sleep more than that, I’m grouchy.  If I sleep less, I’m exhausted.

So six hours it is.

Hooray for learning things. :)

I figure another two or three weeks, and the schedule will be habit, which is what I’m looking for.  I know there’ll be days that don’t follow it for one reason or another, but I’m aiming generally for being in bed by ten, which kind of puts me in the old fogie category, but means I’m up early enough to get stuff done in the mornings, so I’m fine with that.

Wish me luck. :)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mrs. Mac December 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

In the olden days (prior to the electric grid), people would tend to sleep according to the daylight pattern. Without much light or poorly lit rooms, it was just more soothing to the eyes to sleep. I get about 7 hours of sleep and am up by 5 AM to rekindle the wood stove .. like clockwork.


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