I’ve never been that consistent when it comes to sleep, so it’s no surprise that the topic came up quite a few times during the daily creative challenge I took part in last week. The challenge that Michelle Akin put together is called “Break Up With Your Bullshit,” the BS being all of the excuses people make for themselves. After taking some time to think about it some more, I’m pretty sure my relationship with sleep is actually a bullshit factory 🏭. It’s not one of those trendy brick ones with loads of greenery and skylights; it’s a big, hulking, coal-fired thing and it needs to be shut down.
See, lack of sleep is an amazing excuse. Not focusing well at work? Blame sleep! Not losing weight or making gains? Blame sleep! “Don’t have time” for that cool project? Blame sleep! It’s the perfect scapegoat for literally everything.
I’m no therapist, but I have a theory that this is just a defence mechanism to avoid responsibility for failure, and that I’ve become extremely comfortable having it in place. I have no underlying medical conditions or good reasons not to be sleeping well. I stay up too late because I want to do as many things with my day as possible. I feel like I didn’t do enough things with my day because I wake up too late.
I don’t have daily opportunities to catch up on a lot of lost sleep either, so if for whatever reason I stayed up late Sunday night, or just didn’t sleep well because of bad luck, I can look forward to a pretty subpar week. At its worst, it means essentially running on one cylinder, and not being able to complete complex tasks that require parallelized thought.
I’ve tried to dismantle this thing a few times (I made a blog post about this in 2017!) , but for whatever reason I never stuck to it. I’m really tired of this dynamic, so my next major project is going to be to try to fix this.
I’ve been actively trying to convince myself not to do it this week, telling myself things like: “blog posts about your sleep? Why would anyone read that? 🧐” or “You’ve tried to fix this for years, what makes you think this time will be different?” Bullshit sticks up for bullshit I guess. 🤷♂️ Anyway, I don’t particularly care if it’s good content or not, and past failures don’t guarantee future ones. I used to be someone who couldn’t stand most types of physical activity, and now I’m someone can’t stand missing a workout, so that excuse also doesn’t stick.
I’m convinced that fixing my relationship with sleep is the single biggest positive change I could make in my life, and whatever it is that I was going to do with those perpetually borrowed late night hours is a lot less interesting that what I could be doing with some well-rested ones.
I’ll be tracking my sleep daily here (at least until I can figure out how to make an embed that isn’t terrible). My goal is to be in bed by 11:00, and to get about 7.5 hours of sleep on average, at least until a habit is built.
For now, I’m off to bed! 😴 Can’t wait to see how much of a change this makes!