Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time Challenge: Sleep

Time Challenge: Sleep

Consider this passage from Proverbs 6:6-11:

“Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.”

I've done well so far in my starch and sugar challenge. Effects I've noticed so far include:

• Improved mobility upon rising after prolonged stillness

• Decrease in bone pain

• Weight loss

• Excessive sugar consumption causes a high, with symptoms of slurred speech, dizziness, and nausea when the sugar is paired with starch

• Excessive starch consumption causes crankiness, anxiety, and a general sense of feeling bad, with symptoms lasting for several hours

When I do desire starches, it's usually pretty easy to talk myself out of it by reminding myself of how bad I feel when I consume them. I've discovered that I don't like feeling that way. As for sugar, I treat it the way I treat caffeine: I take a little when I need it for alertness, but then and special occasions are the only times, and I'm careful not to overindulge. I have a sweet tooth, so keeping a handle on it has been crucial, but by no means difficult.

I feel confident enough in my current way of eating that now it's time to send another cygnet home.

So beginning October 5, I will officially begin the practice of a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.

I find that I function most optimally when I go to bed by midnight and sleep till around 8 a.m. I seem to need to wind down before attempting to actually sleep, and it takes me 15-30 minutes to actually get going once I'm awake. My difficulty is that I do not always observe a consistent time for these activities. Sometimes I go to bed but then play a game on my cell phone, listen to upbeat music, or read until two or three hours later. Some mornings it's after 10 a.m. before my eyes open for good for the day.

This causes inconsistencies not only with my sleep cycle but with the productive hours of my day. Since I'm a little slow to get started but like to be fed and out on any errands by mid-morning, and I must wait for at least 30 minutes after taking my meds before I can have breakfast, it becomes important that I get up at an early enough time to accomplish all this in a relaxed fashion that allows me to enjoy the morning as I'm preparing to enter into it And, of course, it's important to take some time in the morning to connect with Jesus, time I steal from Him and myself by my sluggardly ways in the morning.

This has to change for the better.

So starting October 5, my goals are (1) to have my teeth brushed, my hair finished if I've washed or otherwise tended it, and my nightclothes on by 11 p.m. and myself in bed with lights out by midnight, (2) to be awake by 8 a.m. and up for the day by no later than 8:30, and (3) to do this consistently every day.

I've set the first two goals before, but I've yet to meet them consistently over longer than a week or two. This time, consistency will be the focus. As with the previous challenge, I will report back on my progress and on things I observe and learn along the way. Look for tips and tricks I discover on helping to maintain consistency, reduce the chances of insomnia, and get the maximum benefit from my sleep during the night so that I am in better shape to put more effort into and reap greater results from my days. All to the glory of God, of course!