For the past week we have been going to bed at 8pm, and getting up around 7am the following morning, as part of a 30-day sleep experiment.
Going to bed at 8pm requires some life-style changes. Firstly, I’ve had to adjust my working hours by one hour to the left, to ensure I am home by twilight, and we have sufficient time to indulge in a home-brew pre-dinner gin, and generally maintain a sociable relationship.
The first couple of nights it took us a while to fall asleep, however, now, towards the end of the week, sleep seems to come easier. According to Wehr’s research during the first and second weeks, we can expect to sleep solidly through the night as we pay off our sleep debt. Thereafter the exciting stuff happens.
My observations so far:
- It takes some time to fall asleep. Normally, being unable to fall asleep can be a frustrating experience, but then, it is usually accompanied by an all too late bed-time, or anxious anticipation of a performance-review-like event the following day. However, unable to fall asleep at 8pm on an average day is a different experience. It gives me time to leisurely plan my next day in one long rambling monologue, and not have my thoughts hijacked by my hypnagogic sleep inducing unconscious mind.
- Curiously by 7.30pm both of us are affected by a general feeling of sleepiness, inviting bed-time.
- I awaken completely refreshed around 6.30am. This is somewhat frustrating as I am deprived of my favourite pastime of luxurious drowsing, particularly on a week-day where stealing those extra minutes, instead of getting ready for work, are particularly pleasant.
- With the exception of being awakened by noisy partying neighbours with a bad taste in music, convulsing rats trapped in the ceiling, and rough weather, I have been sleeping solidly through the night, and estimate averaging around 10 hours sleep for the past week.
- I have not noticed any heightened alertness, but I’m not feeling fatigued or complaining of tiredness either.
- I seem to have more energy while running
The anticipated ‘Watch’ has so far eluded both of us. However, I can report sacrificing lol-cats and miscellaneous internet trash for a couple of extra hours sleep has thus far been wholly pleasant and worthwhile exercise.