*I remind you, yet again, that I am no sleep specialist-MD-scientist or anything of the sort. an early retired lawyer who happens to be a health enthusiast.
Actually- that’s not true- I didn’t “happen to become a health enthusiast”. I chose it, and set it as a personal goal because I believe that maintaining good health is better than seeking professional help when the damage is already done. I am by no means a poster girl for anything- I have my weak moments (days?) but I know that being vegan, working out regularly (combining swimming, running, and walking), and Intermittent fasting, has done me- personally- a world of good. that may not be the case with anyone else, though, so, as always, do your research before embarking on any health plan you read about online.
So- it’s winter here, meaning it’s colder, and it rains, and it’s already dark at 17:00.
I stopped napping at midday a few months ago, when I discovered it wasn’t doing me any good -I mean the nap itself was good,
(real good) but I felt off for a couple of hours afterward, and my night sleep was compromised, so that was that.
*In case you are reading this and feel an urge to virtually slap me for the leisurely contemplations I have, well- you’re right.
The only thing I can say in my defense is that I worked really hard for 30 years and saved for a long time to get to this point in life where I can decide against napping because I choose to.
Anyway- I always was a morning person, 5 AM was the time I was on my way to work (beat traffic on the way there- and get early back home so I can monitor my kids’ closed door.
But since I turned 50, 3.5 years ago, I started getting up even earlier than 4 AM- first at 3 AM, and now, in the winter- even at 2AM.
The thing is- I go to sleep very early too- I shut my phone (flight mode) at 17:00, and get to bed reading by 17:30, and dose off around 18:00.
This means I get around 8 hours of sleep each day, every day, and go to sleep and wake up around the same hours every day- sleep after dark+wakeup before sunrise.
Why did I mention that?
Because studies apparently show that the body needs to sleep between 7-9 hours a day, at nighttime (darkness- has to do with the circadian rhythm ), it is important to try and keep the general hour frame constant-meaning- alternating night and day work shifts are probably not the best-case scenarios.
Here is a link to an article explaining this:
The reason I bothered writing a post about my sleep regime is that I’ve been getting a lot of surprised (disapproving?) comments about it.
People seem to think it makes more sense to go sleep at 1Am, and wake up at 6 am, (resulting in less than 6 hours of daily sleep!) because that’s what they’re used to.
Which is fine -great even- people- do whatever you want -I just do things differently, and that’s OK too.
People seem interested to know What I do when I wake up at 2 AM, so I’ll tell you too:
I get myself a cup of black coffee, drink it slowly, and quietly– (the house is asleep, and I see no need to wake them up just because I get up early)- then I write in my diary (here is a link to a previous post): 53 and writing a diary???, then write my to-do list for today and tomorrow, then I learn some Portuguese on Duolingo ( here is another link -why don’t I): My Duolingo hacks!, then I meditate (lately- 2 or 3 or even 4 sessions of “15-minute meditation” on Youtube, very calming I can tell you), I eat my porridge and banana,
(this is only for the past 2 weeks- I am trying to alternate my 7-12 AM eating window to 4:40-10:30 AM), I tidy the house in a super quiet way ( If I set my mop ready the evening before I can even clean the floors without any noise!); then I get ready to go swimming or running (pool opens at 5 and takes a 30-minute drive).
When I get back -at around 7 AM, I get my son ready for school, start cooking lunch (cut the veggies for soup, marinate the tofu, soak the lentils in hot water, make the dough for sourdough bread or cookies, etc), then I go for a walk with my partner.
We come back at 9AM, I eat some fruits and granola with tahini and date syrup, and cook “lunch”-which I eat at 10 AM.
Yes- 10 AM is the time I eat my “lunch”.
Sure- it may sound strange to eat beans or lentils at 10 AM, but I assure you that if you get up at 2 AM and workout, clean, and cook -you get hungry at 10 AM. I do anyway.
So I eat my lunch and finish by 10:30 Am- and if I finished my baking- cleaning- cooking- I get a shower and go read a book and listen to classical music on the radio.
This- for me- is an example of a good day. a great day. the best.
Preferably no errands -I try to do everything online, including my supermarket food shopping,( link? why not? My online grocery shopping: saving money+big time!(and my quick bean stew recipe for no fresh produce situations))
I can tell you that most days- though not on all days- I sleep well, and my hours awake are active and energetic (by the way- more than they were during the nap time period). maybe this is just better for my body- maybe it will be better for you too, I have no idea.
I do know that the people I ask back -“what do you do after 20 pm? ” never answer: “I am writing my novel/ learning a new skill/ cleaning or baking “or anything of the sort.
They usually admit that they watch Netflix.
I don’t watch Netflix- the only thing I saw there was “the queen’s gambit” and “the power of the dog” and I liked the first but didn’t like the second. oh- and I watched “fight club” which is a good movie in my opinion.
But that’s me- I don’t like TV and movies so much, but I understand most people do like them, which is great.
If- by any chance- you resonate with my “weird” method and you can alternate your work hours to maintain those sleeping hours- all I ask is for you not to be ashamed of turning in early- so long as it’s dark already (circadian, remember) even if everybody else disapproves.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.
I am not a medical/health/emotional/financial /nutrition or any other kind of expert as far as it concerns the contents of this blog, therefore anything written on the blog is not to be taken as any kind of advice, and should you choose to rely on anything I write on this blog- you are doing it at your own risk and at your own responsibility.