Wednesday, February 01, 2012

2 of 12 in 2012

It is February First, which means it's time for goal #2! I have been struggling with what to pursue as my goal, but have decided upon tackling.....

SLEEP PROBLEMS.

I don't know about you, but I basically wake up feeling like total crap each and every morning. It doesn't actually seem to matter how many hours of sleep I get, but I suppose I feel like a BIGGER pile of crap on mornings after fewer hours of sleep. I rarely get 8 hours of sleep in a night, and they are never uninterrupted. And even when I get 8-12 hours of sleep in a night, I STILL feel horrible. Every. Single. Day.

I will also point out here that I deleted "shit" and added in "crap", but couldn't manage to keep it totally out of this post. I feel very strongly about how lousy I feel in the morning!

Anyway, I see the sleep problem like this:

*I am more of a night owl. If I could, I would go to sleep at midnight and wake up around 9. As a matter of fact, over the summer when I am not working, this is the pattern I seem to fall into. However, I need to be at work by 7:30, so clearly my natural pattern must be disobeyed if I am to keep my job.

*I am a light sleeper. Noises, even my own snoring when I have a cold, wake me up. Bad dreams wake me up. Needing to use the bathroom wakes me up.

*I wake up almost every night because I need to pee, but I don't always wake up enough to actually get up and GO. This means that I'm half awake, I still have to pee, can't figure out that I should probably just get up and take care of it, and can't fall back asleep. I think this problem arose because sometimes when I get up to pee, I can't fall back asleep, so I'm unconsciously afraid to get out of bed, for fear of tossing and turning for the rest of the night. Which I'm doing anyway.

*I'd rather stay up later, and 10pm doesn't feel like a good bed time for me.

*I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep for HOURS.

*I am so tired when I get home from work, that I sometimes (not always) take a nap, which makes it even harder to fall asleep at night.

So, here's my plan. I don't think each of the above problems is solvable, but I'm hoping I can at least increase the hours of sleep I'm getting every night.

1. All electronics with a glowy screen get turned off at 10. This includes weekends unless I am out socializing with friends.

2. Caffeine is only to be consumed prior to noon. (I already do this, so it should be no problem)

3. In bed by 10:30. (Although with electronics turned off, I assume I'll get into bed right at 10!)

4. Try to limit liquid intake in the evening. This one is going to be tough, though, because I exercise in the evenings and get thirsty!

5. Remind myself before going to bed that I have to get up if I feel the need to use the bathroom.

6. If sticking to the bed time routine is not helping, I will begin working with a book my Mom gave me about meditation.

7. Keep a sleep log to track my progress.

8. NO NAPS. This one is going to be tough.

9. At the end of the month, analyze the results and see whether it's worth continuing with this goal.

One of my fears is that even if I'm getting more sleep on a regular basis, I'll still feel like crap every morning. I mean, I feel that way now even when I get, say, 12 hours of sleep, so why in the world would I think it would be any different otherwise? However, I at least need to give it a shot.

1 comment:

Sukey said...

I find the biggest culprit for sleepless nights for me is the mind not turning off. Usually if work is going smoothly and I'm not worrying about any projects, I sleep much better. So now, if I start finding myself thinking about work or life or whatever, I acknowledge the issue and say I will deal with it later. And then I focus on a movie plotline (sometimes made up) and that usually does the trick. It's the lazy persons way to meditation - I haven't mastered that skill yet.