Catching the Worm

30 January 2008 · 7 comments

Kris is enjoying Get Fit Slowly, the new fitness blog that Mac and I are writing together. However, she likes it because she can make fun of us, not because she finds it useful.

Apparently Mac recently wrote somewhere (though I can’t find it) that he’s feeling better rested because he’s going to sleep earlier and getting up later. Kris found this hilarious. “I’ve been telling you to do this for years,” she said. And she has.

But try as I might, I can’t make myself get to bed before 11pm on most nights. I get up at 5:30, so that means just 6-1/2 hours of sleep. Recently I’ve been so exhausted that I’m willing to try to change some of my habits.

Last night, for instance, I fell asleep at about 9:30. I took my melatonin at 8:45, climbed into bed, read about Benjamin Franklin, and by 9:15, I was feeling groggy. I put on my C-PAP mask and my iPod (“Deep Sleep Every Night”, a “hypnotic” relaxation program), and turned out the lights.

I slept soundly.

This is a good thing, right? I woke feeling well-rested and ready to take on the day. I’m sitting here in front of Amy Jo’s light box, getting stuff done. The problem is that it’s 5 am! I woke up at four, and then spent an hour tossing and turning, trying to get back to sleep. My body said, “Aha! Your 6-1/2 hours of sleep are up, Buster. Get out of bed.”

I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing…

1 mac January 30, 2008 at 07:03

don’t give up on the sleeping more after one day. I don’t like to wake up early, so I can force myself to sleep. But getting to bed early was tougher. But now I’m used to it and feel like it has helped me a ton. Plus, if you’re sleeping, you’re not thinking about all the food you could be eating :)

2 Amanda January 30, 2008 at 11:02

Bodies like routines. Even if 6.5 hours isn’t enough sleep, your body will still wake up at that time because it’s accustomed to it. Keep going to bed earlier and after a couple of days your body will adjust and you will feel better rested. If you’re exhausted all the time it’s most likely too little sleep. Just keep working at it. Good luck. :-)

3 Dave January 30, 2008 at 13:00

Oooh, I hope you’re reading The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin … I’d love to see you review that at GRS. I’d love to see you review the Franklin Planner as well.

4 pam January 30, 2008 at 14:12

remember the circadian rhythm!! your body has a set cycle that it is used to; it needs a few days to reset. we had a hard time going to bed early at first, as mac said, but now i feel tired by 9:30 or 10:00 and want to go to bed. Also, maybe not such a good idea to be in front of the light box at a time you want to teach your body to be sleeping. it’ll trick that suprachiasmatic nucleus into thinking it is day, making it harder to sleep late the next morning, too.

5 Denise January 31, 2008 at 09:50

My husband and I must be really boring…we are in bed most nights by 8:30 or 9:00 and we like it.

Of course, that was before we had three kids…now I go to bed at 12:00 and wake up at 4:00.

6 pdxwoman January 31, 2008 at 18:37

We just studied this in my psych program this week. It can take several months to adjust your sleep cycle, but people who sleep 8 hours a night are healthier and have longer lives, so it sounds worth it! Keep trying :-)

7 Lauren February 1, 2008 at 09:24

“I can’t get myself to go to sleep before 11″… write another article which explains what you mean by this (this article about sleeping before-9:30-pm night notwithstanding…).

What creates the 11pm bedtime – ie: what actions/needs/thoughts stop you from choosing your own bedtime hour? I know we talked about this in your/our coaching but I’ll like you to write this out.

Previous post:

Next post: