Wednesday, December 14, 2016

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Last night, I went to bed early. Drained by the end of the semester and its concomitant grading frenzy, I fell asleep on the sofa before 11, a good two hours before I usually wrap things up for the night. I briefly considered just staying where I was, cozy under my blanket, but decided to embrace the mature option and sleep in my own bed.

It was a choice that was both logical and futile. My body was grateful, but my mind was uncooperative, whirring endlessly as I tried to shut it down. On the plus side, I renamed characters and brainstormed blog options, but a lack of actual sleep topped the list of cons.

Certain that I'd slept more than I thought I had, I checked my omniscient FitBit this morning. Sure enough, my little sofa nap had been longer than I thought, but I didn't actually fall asleep in my own bed until I'd tossed and turned for over an hour, and then -- in the interest of full disclosure -- pulled out my iPad and played a few rounds of Words with Friends.

This morning, I started out just as groggy as usual. Though I'm grateful for the ideas that materialized while I was supposed to be sleeping, I feel betrayed by my body. I did what I was supposed to do, but rarely accomplish -- I turned in early -- and then my ungrateful body laughed at me. Loudly and incessantly.

I've decided to pull that know-it-all FitBit in on the plan. After tapping the sleep icon and doing a little investigating, I discovered that I could set sleep preferences, beginning with how much sleep I want to get each night and moving forward from there. It's simple math, coupled with little reminders (which I chose not to activate just yet), but I thought perhaps an external nudge would be a better choice than the mental groan I engage in each night when I realize how late it is and what time I need to set the alarm for.

I'm never going to be an early bird, at least not without some serious retraining. And, since I'm not really interested in changing my sleep set points in an appreciable way, I need to do more than give lip service to the idea of accepting my night owl ways.

Because fighting nature is just exhausting.

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