Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So Tired of Tired

One of my biggest stumbling blocks is inadequate sleep.  I've always been a night owl, and several years of 3rd shift work certainly reinforced that.  However, my life currently includes a 7:30 am to 4:30 pm day job, plus a 45-minute commute, plus 30-45 minutes of getting ready time, plus up to 1/2 an hour of sleeping through my alarm each morning.  That means setting my alarm for 5:30 am, and THAT means the only way to get 8 hours of sleep each night is to be in bed by 9:30 pm at the latest.

What am I, a toddler?!

Considering that with this, that, and the other I often don't get home until 6:30 pm, the idea of having only 3 hours PER DAY that isn't taken up by the day job just seems like utter bullshit.  Especially considering that it's almost never actually 'free time'.  There's cooking and cleaning, office cleaning jobs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, family members who always want a little piece of my time, etc. etc.  If I were to meet all my responsibilities and go to bed at a reasonable hour, I would maybe get 20 minutes to actually relax.

On the other hand, my stress levels would go way down, because all my shit would be taken care of, I'd be well rested, and I could basically fuck off all weekend (except for about 2.5 hours' worth of office cleaning jobs).  Not to mention how taking care of things - instead of blowing it off and playing video games - would really cut into my sitting around time

On the OTHER other hand, I don't think I would recognize myself if I became one of those super-responsible people who goes to work, takes care of things, then goes to bed at a reasonable hour.  It always seems so joyless.  Although, let's face it, it's not exactly joy I'm pursuing when I flip channels until 3am (why do I even do that?  I should download some good podcasts and go to bed with my headphones).  AAAGH!  I continually go back and forth, never getting anywhere.

What I need to do is a test period, where I don't sit down for anything except to eat (at the table, not in front of the TV) after I get home, I use the time to clean the house etc., and I go to bed no later than 9:30.  For like 2-4 weeks.  That's probably a good idea anyway, because my left pinky has been bothering me, and I think it's from playing hours and hours of Epic Mickey (which is a pretty great game).  No time like the present, I'll start today.

This WebMD article sums up the effects of inadequate sleep on weight gain/loss nicely, and includes some basic, practical suggestions for improving sleep quality. 

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