Yesterday I talked about my attempt to reset my sleeping patterns - it worked!
When I attempted to do this in the past - and I mean my entire past - it’s almost never worked because my implementation intention is incredibly vague. I just generally think “yeah I’m going to sort’ve go to bed early, maybe, kind’ve…” and of course nothing happens. I end up dithering online until super late because I get a charge of energy, and it just all goes down the toilet.
This time I had a plan. And I wrote it down as an implementation intention:
At 11pm I’ll drink my Valerian Root Tea.
I will go into the bedroom and lie down at 12 pm and set the alarm.
I’ll read the Kindle for 20 minutes.
I’ll listen to a boring recording on meditation for another 20 minutes.
I’ll perform Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique for sleep.
I’ll perform my own meditation technique.
Planning for sleep, and having it be progressive - first tea, then not looking at my computer, shifting to bed and a kindle, then turning off the light and just listening, etc seemed to do the trick, as well as the formal intention jotted down on a text program on my computer.
And I didn’t even do everything - by the time I got to bed I skipped the book and the headphones and just did the exercises and zonked out.
So, a few things:
1) What’s the minimal effective dose? Does Dr. Weil’s technique even really work? Do I need that much progression? I don’t know, but I like the fact that it’s a ceremony, and there are progressive active tasks for me to do, giving the power to me.
2) What could I do better? Definitely not drink so much before bed - I woke up a few times to go to the bathroom. I drank a bunch of water, then the tea right before…so also maybe doing it a few hours before bed would work better.
3) Can I maintain it? We’ll see tonight - I intend a similar procedure tonight.
4) This is a beginning. I would ideally want to be a morning person, and wake up earlier - but one step at a time!
I ended up waking up at around 8 am today, which has resulted in a much more optimal day for me - one filled with sunlight, a good start, and some free time to get out, rather than feeling utterly rushed.
And quality of sleep is something I’d like to get into in another post. Tonight it was pretty good despite waking up a few times. I’ve historically had many problems with this, but who knows if it’s just not having a formal bed time ritual.
But this is the first time I’ve ever consciously controlled and shifted my sleep without rather drastic measures - like staying up all night or just being forced to get up because of circumstances. I usually feel quite powerless in sleeping, especially as a freelancer, so I count this as a rather big win for me personally.