Thursday, August 27, 2015

Set Up For Sleep SuMTuWThFSa

Last but most definitely not least, I'm tackling sleep for the last week of Power 30. "Tackling" doesn't seem quite respectful enough, it's more like I'm making a little bower and dancing a little mating dance for sleep. Nothing new here, I've written about sleep before; actually, I can update how I'm doing on those sleep habits:

how i'm doing on those sleep habits

As you can see, the other four ur-habits all support sleep. And, vice versa. I keep meaning to write a series where we look at each ur-habit as the top point of the star, and how the other four support it. Maybe soon. Right now we can look at sleep as the top point, why not. In all this depression the worst is when I haven't been able to sleep. Sleep is the alpha and the omega for me right now, everything I've been doing for Power 30 has been to support sleep, so that sleep can support everything right back.


Hydration is really on point for me right now, I'm going by this newish rule to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily. I start with the 12 oz when I first wake up, then I just take it from there: 16 oz with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and lately I've been downing another 16 oz in the afternoon. So that's what, 76 fl oz, and I weigh 136 lbs divided by two is 68 fl oz I'm supposedly supposed to be drinking, done and done.


Nutrition has also been on point, I have a good food plan in that it works for me: protein and vegetable required for breakfast (subbing fruit for summer), lunch, and dinner, starchy vegetable or whole grains allowed for dinner, nuts allowed for afternoon or evening snack, and alcohol, sugar, and starch allowed 3-4x/week. I'm not drinking at all anymore and it's to the point that I don't even really enjoy too much starch, my poison is ice cream for the most part. Oh and, potstickers from Mon Lung, love those. I'm allowed my indulgences but the better I eat, the more I want to eat better—boring, but true.


For movement I finally settled on walk 3x/week, yoga 2x/week, and bike 2x/week before 9:00 AM, getting up at least 4x morning, afternoon, and evening, and stretch every night after 9:00 PM. I'd like to do more, but this is where I am right now and I'm getting surprisingly a lot from sun salutations. I'm still not doing full sun salutations, mine are modded down until I get stronger at chatarunga and also until my ankle heals and I can jump my feet between my hands.


Meditation is happening every day now, I look forward to it.

Apart from the above, the major change in my life is: no more derby. So first of all, bedtime is not midnight, lol. Bedtime now is more like 9:30 PM, asleep by 10:30 PM. So that means stop caffeinating by 4:30 PM—I'm so highly motivated to sleep, I generally don't have caffeine after noon; stop eating by 7:00 PM, sure, I'm a lot less hungry at this activity level, I pretty much eat dinner and I'm done; stop exercising by 7:00 PM, well, I train until 8:30 PM sometimes, but I'm going to interpret "exercising" as moderate- or high-intensity movement, which I am currently doing none of, so, check.

That leaves the actual sleep habits, which I'm focusing on this week:

Actually be in bed eight hours before you have to be up, right?

Really my problem right now is not getting into bed right after dinner. Or who am I kidding, for dinner, on nights that I don't train. So for now how about not eating dinner in bed, and do something with yourself in the evening to earn your sleep.

Straighten sheets

Easy enough, I sleep so much better if the sheets are straight and smooth.

Turn down temp

Windows open if it's a cool night, AC on if it's hot.

Turn down lights

I.e., my computer. When I did that sleep study, the doctor said dimming the screen to two clicks was low enough, so that's good enough for me. I also put blue tape over the power light, which helps a lot. I know, how about not having my laptop in the bedroom... I'm not ready for that...

Turn down brain

...there's the rub. My worst habit is that I fall asleep watching TV on my laptop. I mean, I watch procedurals on the theory that they're formulaic and not super engaging, and sometimes this works like a charm and sometimes it really, really doesn't and I'm up all night, either half-awake or fully awake, it doesn't matter which, it's just awful.

I've been bargaining about having my laptop in the bedroom for years, I've slept with my laptop in the bedroom for years and years. In fact before the sweetie man moved in, I used to sleep with my laptop in the bed. It's my security blanket. I'm not giving it up if I can watch one episode of whatever to wind down and then go the fuck to sleep. Which I could do when I was playing derby, because exhausted. The issue then was not wanting to wake up. That part is good now, I like waking up at 6:30 and drinking my water and doing my words. I just need to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. I don't feel like my actual sleep is under my control, though. I only control my sleep habits; once I'm adhering to those habits, I can assess the results I'm getting from them. If the results aren't good, then I have to change my habits. So pretty much I'm trying to get all my other ducks nicely in a row and hopefully, result! So I can still watch TV before bed.