The Sleep Habits of the North American Homo sapiens

Changing one’s sleep habits is a bitch, not to put too fine a point on it. I recently changed assignments at work and my new group tends to work from approximately 7:30am until around 4:00pm. I’m not required to work those hours but in the spirit of being a team player, I have been working on shifting my circadian rhythm.

I have been getting up early for several years now. I spend the time getting bathed and dressed, doing chores around the house, talking with my wife, taking my dogs for their morning walk, and writing a thousand words in my journal. In order to get all that in and get to the office around 9:00am, I was getting up at 5:30am.

In order to attempt to get to work around 8:00am, I have started getting up at 4:30am. But things aren’t that simple. Getting up an hour earlier means getting to bed an hour earlier, unless I intend to subsist on an hour less sleep a night. I soon discovered that I can’t do with an hour less sleep. Furthermore, I discovered that when I get up at 4:30am, even if I go to bed at 9:00pm instead of 10:00pm, I am not as alert as I am at 5:30am.

This makes it more difficult for me to write in my journal. I find myself nodding off while I’m trying to write. And when I am managing to stay awake, my thought processes aren’t as lively as they are when I get up at 5:30am. This has been slowly improving but I still find myself tired in the morning, tired in the evening when I’m trying to write my blog post, and even tired mid afternoon, around 3:00pm.

I also find that I’m struggling to get anything else done besides my bare minimum routine. I expect it will continue to get better as I keep practicing and my circadian rhythm slowly shifts. Of course when we spring forward, I’ll have to go through this process all over again. I hope everyone gets a good night sleep and wakes up refreshed. I’m certainly going to give it my best try.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.