April 18, 2016

April Goal Progress: Week 2 Check In

Well, it looks like my prediction last week was spot on. Turns out that when I’m not sick, it’s a lot harder to get my eight hours of sleep in! I had a lot of nights where I got home in time to get a full eight hours, but still came up short.

But it was an upward trend for the week until this morning’s 3:30am wakeup for my commute? And I was only off an average of 12 minutes per day!

At first, I was starting to think the problem is that I usually get up around 5am to work out. That means in order to get in eight hours of sleep, I’d have to go to bed by 9pm – which is pretty tough to do!

Image courtesy this awesome Symptoms Of Morning People article from Buzzfeed.
Image courtesy this awesome Symptoms Of Morning People article from Buzzfeed. And yes, this is exactly how I respond to social invitations after 8pm.

But if I don’t work out in the morning, I frequently don’t get my workout in at all. I never know what time I’m going to leave the office, and if it’s been a twelve or thirteen hour day, working out is the last thing I want to do after getting dinner and heading back to the hotel. So it’s become a tough tradeoff: do I cancel my morning workout in favor of sleep? Greatist covered this topic last year, and basically just concludes that each are important and you need to make your schedule accommodate both. Not very helpful!

Personally, I love morning workouts – they really are the easiest for me to fit into my day, and I love starting the day feeling like I’ve already accomplished something. So before I give up on my 5:30am classes completely, there’s one more thing to try.

I’ve noticed that it’s not impossible for me to actually get into bed by 9pm (at least as long as I don’t have a business dinner); the hard part is just getting myself to fall asleep. The first week of April, I was able to go to sleep as soon as I got into bed, because my body was trying to fight off a cold. This week, though, I would get into bed and not be tired at all, so I’d browse social media or play video games on my Kindle. I’d end up staying awake for a full hour, and feel like I totally wasted that time when I knew I should have been sleeping. Duh, Laura – obvious fix here!

This week, my new rule is no social media (or games) within one hour of my desired bedtime. Books only! Even if I’m reading a good book, I usually find those somehow less engaging and I will yawn/get tired while reading. Plus, I never regret staying up late reading a good book 🙂

The best part of this strategy is that both social media and games are wastes of time anyway that I would never consciously prioritize, so I’m not even making a big sacrifice like skipping my workout would be. I’ll save the drastic measures for the last week of April if I can’t get this to work!

Night night 🙂


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