I have written, before, on the importance of sleep.
Then, at the start of the new year, I started tracking my sleep with the Fitbit, and discovered that I’m only getting about 4.5 hours restful sleep a night, on average. It never takes me longer than seven minutes to fall asleep, once I give up being a recalcitrant five year old about it and go. But it’s no longer a sound, deep, restful sleep, apparently. I can be in bed for 7-8 hours, yet get only 4.5 hours’ actual sleep. My hypothesis is that this is largely due to better nutrition, better hydration, and reduced caffeine intake. I could always drink a pot of coffee, late at night, yet fall asleep in under six minutes and sleep quite soundly.
Caffeine, after all, is not an energy source. It’s more of an accelerant, causing us to burn energy faster. Oddly, that longer sleep didn’t leave me feeling more rested or alert in the morning, or keep me going all day. I’ve also cut back on other quick-burn energy sources – calories and empty carbs – but increased the nutrient-dense veggies, complex carbs, and brain-healthy fats. I’m wired. I haven’t felt drowsy during the day, except on weekends after a long walk or a shift at the food bank. And with all the water I’m drinking, I’m waking up once or twice, during the night, as well. But four and a half hours’ sleep a night just isn’t enough, by most accounts.
So, what to do? I have a few ideas, though some of them are more appealing than others!
- Go to bed at 10 PM, instead of midnight.
- Shut off all electronics at 10 PM, unless it’s music and headphones.
- Read a book, instead of Facebook, before bed.
- Buy or make blackout curtains. This could fit nicely with my plans to learn how to sew! For that matter, I might learn how to install a curtain rod. But good gravy – it might cost as much to do this as to have them made, given the price of curtain fabric. That would be a pricey mistake! I need the curtains – that, or I need to get my neighbor to uninstall his security lights and put blackout curtains in his bathroom. I cannot imagine a good way to broach that subject…
Can you guess which one is the only one that holds any appeal to me at all?
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