Reviewing May, I have a number of observations I’ve noticed:
I had one really good stretch where I, for the first time, hit 3 out of 4 nights in a row of 7+ hours of sleep. This coincided with my partner being out of town (not correlated, but something I am noting), and it also falling on the long weekend. With the long weekend, I was able to sleep in on the Monday.
I had a couple weeks with a lot of meetings and extra work, which might have created a new spiral of: little sleep -> tired -> weak will -> making bad choices -> going to bed later. Without a system (e.g. an enforced, bed time), I’m letting my whims dictate my actions.
There are a number of nights were I’m in bed for 7-hours, but I’m experiencing restless period of sleep, which lowers the amount of sleep I’m tracking for. Generally, if I’m getting between 6.5-7-hours of sleep, I’m likely to have been in bed for at least 7 hours. Anything less than 6.5-hours means I’m probably not going to bed until closer to midnight. Again, this is just an observation. My main conclusion is that I need to increase the amount of time I’m in bed (i.e. go to bed earlier).
Here’s hoping that I learn from my mistakes and do better next month. One thing I’m going to test in June is to see if this level of failure will motivate me to be more mindful of sleep. If things don’t improve by the time July rolls around, I think I will set a concrete target for the number of nights I want to hit my sleep target.
Last week, I gave my fourth sleep check-in for 2017. With four months of data, I thought I’d put it all together to see what trends shake out and what I might learn from the experience so far.
The single best day for sleep for me are Sunday’s. This makes sense, as I typically don’t work Saturday nights at the bar anymore, and I consider Sunday to be a down day – I don’t set alarms unless I have something planned. Therefore, it makes sense that I hit at least 7-hours of sleep 10 our of the 18 Sunday’s in the first four months (55.5%).
If Sunday’s are successful, why aren’t Saturday’s? I attribute this largely to working at the bar Friday nights. When I work a bar shift, I don’t get off work until 2:30am, which means that by the time I get home, wind down, and finally push myself to go to bed, it’s 4am or later. Since I don’t like sleeping too late on Saturday’s and wasting the day, I’ll often get up by 10 or 11am, well before I hit the 7-hour sleep mark. Because of this, it doesn’t surprise me that Saturday’s are displaying the worst results.
With the Monday through Friday results being largely similar, I can offer some brief commentary on their successes. Sleep results from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the most likely to be successful for me since I often have those nights free, and am able to go to bed around 10pm. In this case, I’m not successful because I’m usually not in bed until after 10:30pm, meaning any kind of restlessness while I sleep cuts into the narrow margins. While the opportunity for success is there, poor execution on my part is to blame for the poor results.
Thursday’s results are curious. Thursday’s come after I work the Wednesday night shifts at the bar, so you would expect me to have as poor of results as Saturday. However, what’s not captured in the graph is the time I go into work Thursday mornings. While I’m *supposed* to start work at 9:30am, I’m often sleeping in Thursday mornings and not getting to work until 10am. That probably accounts for the times I’m hitting the 7-hours.
Friday’s are a little anomalous, as I would expect them to be on par with Monday through Wednesday. I suppose there’s a few things going on there: I’m a little fatigued by the end of the week, so I’m making poorer choices; or perhaps my sleeping schedule shifts later because of Wednesday night. It’s also possible that there are other externalities that I’m not accounting for, such as other events in my calendar that I’m not including here for simplicity.
Of course, it needs to be pointed out that we should not draw a lot of inferences here. All things considered, four months is not a lot of data, and I’m still performing poorly in terms of the sleep challenge. In the four months (120 days), I hit my target 25 times (20.8%). Not accounted for, as well, are the near-misses where I slept over 6.5-hours in a night, but less than 7-hours. Also not accounted for are the nights were I was asleep for 7 or more hours, but due to restlessness, getting up in the night, or being disturbed by my partner and pet, I was tracking less than 7-hours on my Fitbit.
Still, near-misses are failures, and I must accept those instances where I barely fail my goals. With more intentionality, mindfulness, and better systems, it is possible for me to improve over the next four months.
No progress to speak of, as I kept pace with 7 nights of sleep for the month. I’m starting to notice a few trends, having the month laid out for me in full. For instance, I see that my most common day to hit my sleep target is Sunday. While it’s not reflected here whether that means I’m going to bed at a reasonable hour (my gut tells me this is probably not the case), or if I’m sleeping in, it’s something worth reflecting on.
Over the next week, I’ll review my sleep progress for the first quarter of 2017 and see what the stats say, and what I can learn from my experiment so far.
I decided to hold off on posting the March sleep check-in in favour of discussing the job related stuff while it was fresh and ongoing. However, now that the bulk of that is out of the way, I can return to updating my progress on getting more sleep.
As you can see from my daily tracking, basically no change over February. I did get one less night of sleep over 7-hours last month, but overall I stayed consistent with the previous month in the number of nights with over 7-hours in a month. Obviously February and March don’t have the same number of days per month, but I’m treating this as a rough estimate. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen an improvement, so it’s something to keep in mind for the rest of April.
Hope you had a great Easter weekend! Talk to you next week.