Do you have sleep awareness?
I’m tired. I could wait to write this until I get more rest, but it seemed appropriate to dive in since it helped me think of the idea. I’m not going to get into all of the details why sleep is good, as there are plenty to cover because I want to focus on the awareness aspect for now.
It was only after teaching people the benefits of sleep did I start to be purposeful in getting more sleep and checking in on how I felt. This meant I would not read the extra chapter of a book, not watch an extra show, not choose the long movie, not keep talking with friends, but instead tell myself to get to bed.
I did this for quite some time and I felt fine. Nothing really stood out to me, as I continued to work hard, eat well for the most part, and hit the gym. Then I started going to school again which meant time for homework and classes in addition to work. A couple short sleep nights happened in a row and I felt a big difference. My mental clarity was lacking. It wasn’t that I wasn’t able to think, rather it just seemed a little fuzzy or unclear. It was much harder to attack my workouts with the same intensity and I just felt weaker and more fatigued. At night I noticed I became more irritable as I worked through various tasks. I then realize it’s because I’m tired.
I had never noticed before because being tired was my normal. Only when I made a deliberate effort to get the appropriate amount of sleep could I tell the difference. It made me reflective wondering how much better I could have been during those years. Then again, part of the grad school experience is a huge workload making sleep difficult to come by. It is about priorities though and there were plenty of instances I could have been better on getting my sleep.
As you go through this week start to check in with how you feel and how it relates to the amount of quality sleep you got. I suggest you try to actively reflect for about two weeks, which ought to leave enough time for good sleep nights and some subpar ones as well.
(the main reason I’m tired now is we had a rush job getting a client their parts for those who were curious)
Sean’s response to blog:
I wanted to add to Jeremy’s blog because I am a great example of someone who has a unique work schedule and my sleeping schedule is completely off (by choice). I still struggle with getting enough sleep or knowing what enough sleep is. I can get four hours of sleep at night and feel better than when I sleep eight hours a night. I know people who need a lot more sleep but I have never been someone who needs a lot of sleep; the longer I sleep the more groggy I feel when I wake up.
I believe it is not about how many hours you sleep but the quality of sleep you get at night. I have read the book, Sleep Smarter, by Shawn Stevenson that has helped with my quality of sleep. A few things I do to help with my sleep:
- Make sure that my bedroom is completely dark at night.
- My bedroom is a specific temperature.
- From 5:00 pm-8:00 am my phone and iPad’s blue light is turned off to yellow light to help my eyes and brain adjust and get ready for sleep.
- I turn off my wi-fi (airplane mode) when I sleep.
- I sleep in 1 ½ hour sleep cycles. So instead of sleeping 4 ½ hours, I would sleep 3 hours or 6 hours depending on the day. This ensures I am not waking up during a sleep cycle when I am in a deep sleep.
Second, I use the app “Sleep Cycle” that monitors: the hours slept, quality of sleep, when I awake, go to sleep and go into deep sleep. I use this app to evaluate my sleeping each night so I can adjust for a better night sleep in the future.
Again, figure out what works for you when it comes to sleep. I utilize the limited time I have due to my job and its schedule to work on blogs, social media, workshops, etc. for RAWR. Sleep is extremely important to your physical and mental health. Ensure you are getting quality sleep each night.