Each of my month-long experiments have challenged something about my day to day life as a young urban professional. August challenged my environmental habits, September challenged my commute to work, October challenged my 5-9 after work life, November challenged my consumption habits, December challenged my meat eating habits, and January challenged my avoidance of others habits. Combined, they span my life from when I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night. This month I’ve decided to challenge myself while asleep in an attempt to improve my sleeping life.
This experiment is two-fold. I’ll be mandating an 8 hour-minimum sleep schedule each night and I’ll also be keeping a dream journal throughout the process. Getting 8 hours per day of sleep might not seem like much of a challenge but working full-time, commuting to and from work, having an active lifestyle, and trying to feed yourself leaves little time for sleep. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I got more than 8 hours of sleep. Most people catch up on their sleep on the weekends, but my weekends generally involve waking up at 5 or 6am to go hiking after a night of camaraderie ending around midnight. Finding the ability, motivation and will power to put myself to bed on time for an 8 hour night is damn near impossible. So this month I’ll be seeing what life is like well-rested. I’m sure it won’t be easy.
The other aspect of this month’s experiment is to write down my dreams each morning after I wake up. I did this for two years in high school but five years of engineering school later, the habit was beaten out of me. I still have crazily detailed dreams but they’re nothing like the ones I had while I was keeping a dream journal. I don’t particularly care about what the dreams mean, I’m not into analyzing them to find some deeper understanding of my subconscious. I’m more interested in increasing their vividness, their potential lucidity, and my ability to remember them.
This month will force me to change the behavior of my life from eyes closed at night until eyes closed in the morning. All aspects of life are important so that’s why I’m particularly excited about this one. How often does one actively try to improve their sleeping life. Typically you spend your time focusing on bettering your career, your relationships, your friends, etc. I would argue that very few people are interested in active increase the quality of their life while unconscious. If you have any suggestions, tips, tricks, or just general support, please feel free to comment on my blog or use the social media buttons below every post to like it, share it, or tweet it.