up and down

I was going to include a graph in this post but it’s of rather ignominious appearance, which is to say that it is not very pleasant to look at because there are many sharp corners on account of the high variability of my sleep patterns occasioning the graph to take many turns up and down as it traverses along the x-axis.

(It should be noted here that I’m still making my way through the last several chapters of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, who is renowned for his lengthy sentences, and whom I greatly admire as an author, and so it is inevitable that after reading any of his books for any considerable length of time, I’m bound to incorporate elements of his style of writing in my own.)

So, in short, there is no graph because it is not worth looking at because it doesn’t tell me anything more than I already suspected — and that was that my sleep is quite good over the week-end, and then is a bit lacking during the work week.

However, having said that, I have had the odd occasion when I slept just 6.5 hours, and still felt so refreshed afterwards that I gave the night a “rested” score of 1 (which, if you have read my previous explanatory post, you may recall that it is the highest possible score). But, realistically, these occasions are anomalies and should (and will) be ignored because they send the wrong message to the part of my brain that still wants to be a night owl.

In terms of the actual reasons why I sleep late or why I sleep poorly, by far the biggest culprit is my phone. But we mustn’t be hasty to shoot the messenger, so to speak, for it is not the phone itself that is the problem (apart from the fact that screen-time is meant to be a big contributor to poor sleep in the population in general), but the phone is really just the means by which we receive all other distraction.

I find that I’m so busy during the day that I don’t have time to properly read and reply to messages, even on my lunch break, which I tend to cut short more often than not in the interests of ensuring the afternoon doesn’t devolve into chaos. At some point, I tried to do my social media browsing during lunch as well, so that I wouldn’t have need to browse at night, but that habit didn’t stick for the same aforementioned reason.

The only suitable solution seems to be to use my mornings for phone time, but, again, this has been variable, and largely dependent on how early I get to work, and if I need to start work straight away. I used to not understand why people sat in their cars in the carpark after arriving at work, rather than go sit somewhere inside while they wait for their shift to start; but now I understand that one’s car can be a sacred place of solitude in which to get stuff done.

I would proudly declare that my phone has just this morning told me that my screen time has decreased 11% from the previous week, but that statistic is less impressive considering that I’m quite sure it had increased the week before that, and maybe the week before that as well. BUT the fact that I can decrease it is a good and encouraging sign.

Anyway, I’m going to keep recording my reasons for poor/inadequate sleep, and hopefully we will see a decrease in blame placed upon my phone. The second biggest thief of sleep was finishing work late / having to start work earlier than usual the next day, and I suspect that this will be the clear winner for February because of staffing/roster changes that I will not go into here.

But we shall see!

It seems I’m ever the optimist, and even though there is a distinct feeling of dread brewing in the back of my mind, I can’t help but have some sliver of hope that things will be ok.

4 thoughts on “up and down

  1. I might benefit from following your lead. I like the idea of keeping a chart wherein I reveal to myself how I’m using my phone. I also agree about seeing people in parked cars, staring at their phones. I get it now, but used to wonder about them like you did.

  2. The parked-car business makes sense. Nobody – chances are – is going to come looking for them there. It seems like you’ve learned things worth knowing from this and your honesty with yourself is admirable! My downfall (not with phone) but with being online is that it’s too open-ended. If I had to deposit quarters or dollars into a slot on the tablet or computer that would force my brain to shift out of “must-look-at-one-more-thing” mode. It’s just too easy to be online. So far as sleep itself, it’s my own mind that is my worst enemy particularly with the things it thinks must be considered/stewed-over at 1am or 3am or 5am when I am trying to coax myself back to sleep.

    • Ah yes, I occasionally get those 2am or 3am “brain won’t shut up” moments too. Unfortunately, thinking about how tired I’m going to be the next day does not help (my colleague says this works for him every time, but I don’t understand how).

      Browsing social media on my lunch break was also meant to be my solution to endless scrolling because I figured being accountable to someone else (ie the boss) would force me to step away from my phone!

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