Setting a Sleeping Schedule

We’ve all heard the news before: a good night’s sleep helps you do better in school and/or work. Getting more sleep keeps your immune system up, energises you for longer periods of time, helps with memory retention, thinking on the spot, and a number of other good things. From personal experience, I know that my grades show as much as 10% in difference when I’ve been running on little sleep for several weeks and when I’ve been getting adequate sleep for a few.

I know all this, and yet still have trouble putting myself in bed at a reasonable hour. Why?

Lack of willpower.

Sounds odd, doesn’t it, that I don’t have the willpower to go to bed, especially when I’ve been feeling pooped for hours? It makes more sense when you look at all the tasks I have to do for the week and all the readings I haven’t done, particularly when I’ve fallen behind (yes, already!). I think, ‘If I stay up a little longer to do [insert task here], it’ll be one fewer item on my list tomorrow.’

But that’s not what always happens, because more often than not, I get distracted by technology. See, I’ve been pooped for hours! I just want to sit in my chair and read emails, or write a blog post, or do something completely unrelated to school when I get home. To top it off, I’m often also quite hungry because I find it easier to skip meals when pooped than to get up and make a good meal. (Yes, I need to change that too.)

So I’m setting myself a bunch of new rules:

  • At 6 pm, all work for the day must stop. Go make dinner. Read a book. Plan for tomorrow. But no actual work.
  • Laptop may only be switched on before 6 pm if it is actually needed for the task. Internet time should be scheduled and limited. (Make a list of things I need to do on the internet for when I am online, not as they come up.) After 6 pm, I can only switch it on if I have fed myself and showered and have a specific purpose for switching it on, e.g. writing for myself.
  • Be in bed to fall asleep by 10 pm.

The problem with these, of course, is that they’re really hard to implement. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep knowing that I have way too much to do and not enough time to complete everything in. Then what? Stay up to do more or stay awake worrying?

These are the arguments I go over, but hope that if I keep insisting on these bedtime hours, I’ll use my time more wisely and procrastinate less before 6 pm because I know that I’m not going to have much more time in the evening to do anything I don’t do now.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make me go to bed on time, I’d be happy to hear them.

On an unrelated note, the bright side of the world being this cold is that the ground is frozen over and I can cut across grass without worrying about my boots getting muddy.

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