Saturday, September 9, 2017

Project Night Owl to Morning Lark: What Worked & What Didn't Round 1

SPOILER ALERT: I suck at this, but I learned a lot.....

Night Routines
Becoming a Morning Person

I picked this Ostrich because it is neither a owl or a lark, AND this ostrich face just looks like it saying to me, "Ummm hmmm, I know your excuses and I'll have none of them, get your ass out there and try again."  Ok, I'm trying. I really am, yet I just can't seem to get into a groove that allows me to stick to a routine.  Maybe the problem is that in the summer, there is no routine.  I get a little more lax with everything.  I have more than my usual 1 glass of wine.  The kids and I stay up later watching movies, playing Minecraft, and just enjoying the fact that we DON'T have a routine that we are a slave to.  I was starting to get back in a groove when Hurricane Harvey hit and the kids were out of school for another two weeks.  However, Monday is our last day home, then it is back to the grind. Back to a routine, so I will try again.

I was feeling a little down on myself for the total lack of progress, then I remembered this little statistic from Men's Health.  It takes the average smoker almost 30 tries before they finally kick the habit.  I've been a night owl my whole life.  I'm biologically pre-disposed (it would seem), so I'm not sweating it as long as I am learning along the way.  So, here is what I've discovered so far.

1) Screen time really does get me off track.

When I pick up my phone past a certain time, it sucks me into this black hole that is very hard to make my way out of.  A quick look at Facebook, may lead to me then scrolling through Instagram, then why not play a quick game of Bubble Witch 3?  Oh, lost all my lives! Let's try Toy Blast or whatever game of the month I have downloaded to mindlessly waste away my life.  10 minutes turns into an hour or more, with no responsibilities (aka children or chores) calling my name to pull me out of this hole.

The Fix: I just need to plug the phone in before I put my kids away and tuck it into it's little recharge basket.  Out of sight out of mind (I hope).

2) More than one glass of wine is bad news

I am old and I can't metabolize alcohol like I used to, so more than one glass really messes with my sleep.  Add on to that that I am prone to migraines (not drinking related thank goodness), this can be a recipe for disaster. Pain meds and alcohol aren't good for you, you know (this message brought to you by your liver).

The Fix:   Have a "Go To" alternative ready to go.  Mine is Tart Cherry Juice mixed with Club Soda (cause pure cherry juice ain't cheap, you know) that Iput into my fancy wine glass.  Why Tart Cherry Juice?  Tart Cherry Juice contains melatonin, and melatonin helps you fall asleep faster.  This is backed with actual science.  People who consumed Cherry Juice fell asleep a few minutes faster and had 17 fewer minutes of waking than those served a placebo.  Other foods with melatonin include walnuts, flaxseed, orange bell peppers, tomatoes, fenugreek, almonds, goji berries, and raspberries.

Herbal Tea is also in my night time routine.  I like Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Sleepytime .

3) Exercise definitely helps me get to sleep faster.

I totally fell off thee wagon this summer with going ot the gym, and I think that is pretty much reflected in my sleep problems.

The Fix: I have a new routine loaded into my phone and I am ready to go come September 12, when I drop those kids off at school.

4) Having something that makes it worth getting out of my nice cozy bed at the butt crack of dawn.

This is huge.  You have to have something ready to go that is really appealing to you.  I used to journal, but I sort of fell out of that habit with the summer.  If you are interested in developing a plan, I would recommend taking a look at Whiskey and Work.  She has a little worksheet exercise that gets you to land on something that you really want to improve in your life and then walks you through making that achievable. I love it because it gets you to think in 15 minute increments.  You can do anything for 15 minutes, right?  NO, then she has you create a back plan.  All good plans appeal to you on a thinking and feeling level and plans for contingencies, and this plan has that.  As a coach, it is exactly the elements I would include in a client plan (if I were getting up earlier enough to work on it.)

The Fix: I downloaded my little worksheet and got to work.  Can't wait to get started.

5) Consistent wake time and bed time

Fail.  Utter fail on this.  School being back in session will clear this up, but I still need to ease into it.

The Fix: I read somewhere that it was best to adjust your wake and sleep times slowly and in 15 minute increments on Sunday and Wednesday.  The Sunday Wednesday dynamic is appealing to me so I don't have to adjust my alarm clock by 5 minutes every night. I'm going to try it, and I am going to take it real slow.  The first Sunday, 15 minutes to bed earlier, Wednesday, adjust the wake time and so on.

They key to the whole thing....

The key to the whole thing hinges on to this routine of school.  I really wouldn't need to be a morning lark if I didn't need to get my kids ready for school.  One of the best way to start a new habit is to attach it to a habit that already exists.  Then one habit acts as a trigger for the new habit.  There is some science that backs this up to, but I am on my second glass of wine and don't remember.

Second Key is making those evil distractions (wine and my phone) too much trouble for me to bother with after a certain time of day.

So there you go my pretties.  I will try this new plan out starting next week, and we will see how it goes.  I still have 29 more chances to get it right.

No comments:

Post a Comment