Today marks the halfway point for this life experiment. So far it has been a fun experiment to record my dreams after each night of sleeping. As I normally do, I’ve been dreaming every night. The only difference is that I’ve been waking up at the 8 hour mark and then waking up 15 minutes later after my 2nd alarm goes off. Before this month, my typical “well rested” state was at around 7 hours, with 6 hours being common and 5 hours not being out of the question for a Thursday night (or Tuesday night if I’m in a Social Boston Sports league).
Due partly to the active lifestyle I lead and partly to my extroversion, I’m always on the go, either physically or mentally or both. I work 40 hours/week, rock climb 1-2 nights/week (running, biking or lifting after work if I’m not climbing), adventure on the weekends, keep up with my blog, hang out with my girlfriend, hang out with my friends, go to parties, play guitar, and I’m always working on one or two side projects like outdoor gear or professional networking events in Boston. Also, I find time to feed myself somewhere in there. With an average of only 4.5 hours available to me after work to live life, it’s hard to slow down to go to bed at 10:30, I don’t see how people do it.
I enjoy the intensity and I’m fortunate to always have something to do, I thrive on it and it gives me energy. I’m not sure I remember the last night I spent at home watching tv or doing nothing at all, it just doesn’t really appeal to me. So it’s been extremely hard to cut my night short, go home, brush my teeth, and get in bed ready to sleep by 10:30. For example, I was at a friend’s house at 8pm having a meeting with my climbing buddies about the future. It didn’t end up starting until close to 8:30 and I knew I’d end up having to leave early for bed time (read: lame). It was a great conversation and we were all in a deep discussion about life, climbing, and the meaning of both. However, it was a 45 trip from my apartment after factoring in walking on either end, waiting for the train, switching train lines, and the train ride itself (still better than driving and finding/paying for parking). So I had to leave at 9:30pm in order to be home by 10:15 and in bed ready to sleep by 10:30. When I announced I had to go they all asked why, and I had to shamefully explain that I had to go to sleep. Weak. I managed to actually get into bed around 11:00pm which meant that I had to sleep until 7:00am, which also means no shower, running to the train, and eating breakfast at work’s cafeteria (gross). However, I made a commitment to this sleeping/dreaming experiment that I intend to keep. Even at the expense of fun and friends. There’s always some excuse to keep me up late but this month I decided that I’d see what it was like to make sleep a priority. I’m still not convinced that 8 is the magic number but I’m willing to give change my behaviors for 30 days in order to see if it’s beneficial.