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Getting enough sleep for HealthMonth.

Yesterday I felt pretty positive about my television-limiting rule for HealthMonth. Today I discovered that my next rule might crush my game entirely.

For months, I have been going to bed earlier than I ever have in the interest of getting enough sleep each night. My new job, which is rapidly becoming just “my job” in terms of referring to it, requires that I wake up by six-thirty every morning. I am a night-owl, so this has been a struggle for me, but I have been successful.

Until about two in the afternoon, when I get home and need to be wide-awake and starting in on my homework. Either I crash out for an hour or so, or I end up blearily stumbling through pages of reading, taking vague notes, and then re-reading frantically as the assignment looms.

My Fitbit was confusing me. It reported 94-97% sleep efficiency each night, with averages of seven hours per night. So I started going to bed earlier, figuring that the issue was not enough sleep instead of quality of sleep. Exhaustion persisted.

Yesterday, I decided to change the sensitivity on Fitbit’s sleep tracker from “normal” to “sensitive”. What resulted was this:

screenshot of Fitbit sleep data

When I saw this, my heart sank. Even though I went to bed before midnight – which was especially difficult when I had barely seen FunkyPlaid all day and wanted to spend time with him – my longest block of sleep was just over an hour long. An hour! Not even a proper nap.

Granted, I had three things working against me last night:

  1. I exercised right before bed. I noticed that I wasn’t going to make my quota of 10k steps/day without taking a brisk walk around the block, and I had meant to do that earlier in the day, but … see aforementioned exhaustion.
  2. I allowed myself to get worked up about a computer issue right before bed. Our printer stopped working for FunkyPlaid, and I need to troubleshoot it. Last night’s mindset – cranky due to a headache, stressed due to homework – was not the right one to be in for troubleshooting. I tried anyway.
  3. I started stressing about homework right before bed. Just … no.
So, okay, maybe last night I stacked the deck against myself. Maybe it is not as dire as it feels right now. But my HealthMonth rule is to get at least seven hours of sleep at least six days a week, and I have no idea how I am going to do that unless I start going to bed at nine o’clock.

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