Abigail Cosgriff

Writer/Artist/Crafter/Knowledge Masochist



Sleep, Damn you, Sleep!

I took this class looking for ways to maximize my sleep schedule before starting a long work season at zoo. Hours are long, work is draining, and if I'm not careful, all I do is work, eat, and sleep. Sleep Hacking seemed like just what I needed and so far, it's been a wonderful.

Admittedly, I didn't pick just one thing to change. To keep from being overwhelmed I did make a schedule of when to start building certain habits. Using the spreadsheet I organized the habits in order of whether I'm  going to start doing them (and when), if I'm doing already doing them, and at the bottom, I placed the ones I'm neutral on or can't change easily (like the temperature one which I can't change due to how the heating system works in my house and having 5 other people in the household).

The only ones I want to start doing are: downloading f.lux, consuming 1-2 drinks of alcohol, going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time, not eating 2 hours before bed, exercising 5 days a week, doing 2 fifteen walks each work day, reducing caffiene to one cup a day, drinking 66 oz of water a day, and buying a bright light box.

I pair them off as well as I could (two by two in the order above) and am starting with fairly easy things (f.lux and the alcohol). F.lux I started using last night and did wonders within minutes. It not only helped me feel tired at a proper time, but it helped decrease the strain on my eyes. I never realized how bad the strain was until I used this program, especially since I am fairly careful on how bright my screen is. I never have my screen any brighter than the light around me and never use my computer, phone,etc in a completely dark place if I can help it. So when f.lux helped my eyes as much as it did, I was simply amazed. As far as the alcohol goes, I'm not really much of a drinker coming from a family of over drinkers, which makes this fairly simple for me to do (since it's rare I even have a drink in a month).

Then next week (3/3) I'll start with waking up and going to bed at constant times since it will be my spring break and hopefully easier to help me adjust before classes and work season began. I'll also force myself to not eat 2 hours before bed. This is a habit I've been struggling to quit anyways since I'm a snacker and stress eater, but I think focusing on the sleep quality instead of the wieght reprecussions will be more helpful.

The week of 3/10 will be the 2 fifteen minutes walks during the work day and at least 5 days of 20-30 minutes exercise. These go hand in hand for obvious reasons which makes me hopeful that they will be easier to start together. I may cheat slightly on the walking if I'm doing the 30 minutes of exercise that day and vice versa. The next week I start my high active seasonal position at a local zoo (lots of running around like a mad woman and standing for hours on end) so this will help me get active for that as well as help me sleep.

The 3/17 week brings me the start of my seasonal job as well as less access to caffiene in any form and a ban on drinking anything other than water (or gatorade) during work hours (which can be as little as 2 hours and as many as 12-15 hours a day). This makes limiting caffiene intake and improving water intake a walk in the park to start.

Eventually I want to buy on of the bright light boxes, but due to the expense, it will have to wait until I've saved a little extra spending money.

All in all, I think even if my sleep is bettered, than my help in general will be. By picking the habits that I've already wanted to start I feel like this help me be successful. I've added these habits on my calendar as a reminder and when each week comes up, I'll write a plan to help me keep on base with my habit. Here's to good sleeping every one!


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