Nat and I don’t own a television so most of the TV watching that we do is of stuff that’s either streamed from Netflix, or available on Hulu. Recently, we’ve been burning through episodes of a documentary/reality show that Morgan Spurlock did for three seasons a few years ago called “30 Days“. The premise is pretty interesting: essentially, someone spends 30 days living the life of another person. Every episode offers some kind of social commentary or challenges the viewer’s beliefs in some way. It’s a pretty interesting show based on an interesting concept.
Given the fact that I will be turning 30 in a mere four days, I thought it might be interesting to adapt the idea behind “30 Days” and see if I might be able to do a bit of a year-long challenge. The challenge would entail me working on some habit or behavior, or trying something new, for 30 days straight. I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately, so I thought this might be a good way to do some of the things that fall into the category of “stuff I need to do that I’ll definitely start doing at some point, just not now”. For the most part, I tend to avoid the things in that category because I’m just sort of lazy. But now that I’m nearing a landmark year of my life, I’m starting to wonder what it might be like to face them head on. If I like something, I can incorporate into my daily life. If I don’t, well, at least I can say with certainty that it’s not for me.
Since September is my birth month and traditionally a time of new beginnings (at least for people, like me, who are still pretty closely connected to the school year schedule), I figure there’s no better time to start my Year of 30 Days. My first project? Work on my sleep hygiene.
I have always been a pretty bad sleeper. It takes me a very long time to fall asleep, and I have a hard time sleeping anywhere that isn’t a bed. I’m bad at napping because I don’t fall asleep quickly, and I wake up feeling very groggy. I can’t really choose my bedtime very well, because even though I may get into bed exhausted, it could take me a couple hours to doze off. Those are things I’m not sure I have much control over.
There are many things, though, that I do have control over when it comes to sleep, and those are the things I want to work on over the next month. I’m awful when it comes to limiting activities I do in bed to sleep–I knit in bed, I read, I watch stuff on my laptop, I play around on the Internet, and right now I’m blogging from bed. If you know anything about good sleep hygiene, you also know that those things are all cardinal sins.
So, my goals?
- Shut the computer down by 9 pm on weeknights, and 10 pm on weekends (ahem. There’s no need to mention the fact that it’s past 9 and I’m blogging. From bed. I’ll explain that in a second).
- Be in bed by 10 pm on weeknights, and 11:00 pm on weekends.
- Keep a consistent wake-up time.
- Limit activities in the hour between shutting the computer down and getting in to bed to quiet things, like reading, knitting, meditation, possibly some restorative yoga. I’m going to permit TV watching, as long as it’s not done in bed.
- Try some natural products that are supposed to promote sleep, like Valerian root tea, or lavender scented candles or essential oils.