Here's to Beauty Sleep
Breaking away from my usual crafty or design posts, I wanted to talk about my new sleep regimen. It's been working out pretty well for me for the last week so I thought it was worth sharing! Gotta be well rested to keep those gears in my creative head moving!
After the holidays, I had a rough time getting back to my work routine. I'm also a notorious snoozer. And to top that all off, I would play on my phone for an hour after waking up because I just didn't want to get out bed. That's no way to live, right?
Because of all this, I was getting into work around 9, which meant having to stay at work til 6. That schedule would totally mess up my day - it would be too late to workout, or I'd stay up even later because I'm trying to do so much in the few hours left before bed.
So I made a plan for myself to wake up earlier, get to work earlier, and go to bed earlier. This plan would allow for more free time after work to do what I please, plus I get to leave work early!
001. Set an alarm for 9:30 pm. Yep, a night alarm. This alarm tells me to stop, drop, and roll into bed. Wrap up whatever I'm doing and get thee under covers.
002. Put phone on airplane mode. Then there is no temptation to check anything before bed and when I wake up.
003. Set alarm for 6 am. Do not snooze. Do not pass go. Do not throw alarm across the room to die.
004. Immediately get out of bed to feed the dog (this also forces his lazy butt out of bed) and start getting ready.
005. My phone can come off airplane mode once I'm in the getting ready groove (sometimes I need it to stream music).
This plan has worked well for me in the past and has even gotten me into work by 7:30. It was great! But then slowly my regimen slipped a bit. Long before the holiday breaks. So I needed to refresh the plan.
Then my friend M told me about this app that she had been using to help wake her up. It's called Sleep Cycle and the theory is that most times our alarms are set for a fixed point in time, yet our bodies might be in our deepest cycle of sleep. This app analyzes your sleep patterns overnight using the iPhone's accelerometer and will wake you up in your lightest sleep cycle, during your preset window of time.
So for instance, if my alarm is normally set for 5:45 am and I'm in a deep slumber, I'm going to wake up groggy and you better believe I'll be grouchy for the rest of the day. Well if I set the Sleep Cycle app for 6:15 am , it will wake me up sometime between 5:45 and 6:15 am when I am in my light cycle of sleep. It also eases you awake using light sounds which gradually fade louder, and if needed, it will start vibrating from light to frequent. (Note: I've only resorted to vibrate once in the past week.)
Do I wake super happy with rainbows and birds singing? No. Do I wake up feeling well rested? Yes. I don't feel the need to linger in bed and I get up straight away.
It gives you the option to turn off snooze, which is what I choose for weekdays. A bonus is that it will provide lots of graphs analyzing your sleep, which I nerd out about. There are rumors floating around the interwebs that they are fake, but who cares, I wake up feeling good!
So with all of these new habits I've adopted, I'm hoping I will continue to be able to wake up feeling well rested, ready to tackle the work day early, and have the afternoons and evenings to myself. This is great because I can also go to the gym right after work and I feel like I have a whole evening to do whatever I want. Heck, I can even be lazy the rest of the night!
Do you have a wake up/bedtime regimen that you follow? What works for you?