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Moving my sleep schedule didn't work (very well) (1 Viewer)

Foxee

Patron
Patron
I have been frustrated in finding a dedicated time for writing. That seems to be the next step in just getting it done everyday because "just writing when I have time" is a surefire way to make sure I never have time. Yes, I am busy (August is always busy with return to school and end of summer and this year I'm also moving to another house that isn't entirely cleared out. Good times.) but writing should still happen when I'm busy, right? So the big plan was to move my sleep schedule from the Night Owl Schedule (getting to bed at about 1 am or 2 and not up again til about 9 am when the day feels half gone) to the Early Bird schedule.

NOTE TO THE WISE ONES WHO WILL TELL ME TO WRITE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT: Yes, theoretically possible. No, seems like though I might be awake enough to do dishes and things I'm not always creative or even good with forming words in the late hours. That part of me, wisely, goes to sleep. It's wiser than the rest of me.

Talk about a royal pain in the butt.

Actually getting to bed wasn't so much of a problem but insomnia hit like a speeding train. Not to mention, my bedroom is in between my teenagers' bedrooms and I would NEVER recommend that. Ever. Among other unfun things their lights were still on at my new bedtime and that kept me up. So I couldn't fall asleep until 1 or 2 am anyway which is when the kids finally rolled in to bed if I wasn't there to yap at their heels like a demented border collie.

A load of stress recently dropped on me so that didn't help either and it's not the usual, maybe, but it was a factor. So being up at 3 am crying was suddenly not unusual either.

Light pollution from their rooms was something I could address at least and for the first time in my life I bought a sleep mask. That actually works not too badly for dropping off in those conditions. I hate things in my ears so I haven't used the ear plugs that came with the mask though it would also be a good idea.

I still had trouble dropping off to sleep so I upped my vitamin D3 intake in the mornings to try to produce more melatonin at night. I put a blue light filter on my phone. I swore off a lot of computer usage before bed.

There has been some improvement though it's almost no sleep one night and then okay sleep the next. That could be the stressful stuff, still, balanced against sheer exhaustion.

I think I've been trying to get this to happen for something like two weeks now and I finally woke up after a half-decent sleep (concluding in a weird nightmare) at 7 am this morning. I didn't feel like hammered crap which was a great improvement for waking up earlier.

So hopefully I can continue that as a trend even with the chaos of changing schedules and moving, etc. Once my husband gets a job again (please, GOD) I'll feel compelled to make his lunches and that's often what I'm up til 1 am doing. Don't ask me why other than anything past about 10 pm starts to happen very slowly. Even brushing my teeth takes forever if it happens too late. Sloth mode.

BUT if I can ever make this new schedule a feature then I just have to combat the voices in my head that tell me wrong things about my creative efforts and actually take that time for myself.

Anyway, have you successfully moved your sleep schedule and if so, what worked?
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
It sounds a bit similar to what I went through when we sold our home of 27 years, Foxee. I bought a smaller house as a transitional place, then spent months travelling to the house we were getting out of (a 45 to 60 min trip one way). I'm a night owl, and for that period I had to adjust to going to bed much earlier to get up, make that trip, and work on projects to get that house ready to go on the market, plus take care of business as it came up. I managed, but I was never comfortable with it. I didn't even try to write during that period, but I also wasn't yet at the point where I knew I could bear down and finish. I've been by far the most productive after I got all that out of the way.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Have you tried taking magnesium Foxee? It makes me sleep. It does make me drowsy. I don't know if you would wake up early enough. I use magnesium since my mother also uses it to feel sleepy. She wakes up early if I were to compare her schedule of when she wakes up and sleeps.
 

JBF

Staff member
Global Moderator
Used to be I could write for hours so long as I got started before 11PM. After college, working a second-shift gig, I'd stay up and knock out 6-10 pages at a stretch. I was fortunate (maybe) that my job had a lot of dead time; you'd need to be heavily engaged in doing work-stuff for fifteen or twenty minutes and follow that up with an hour or so of waiting. I also had a thirty-minute drive back home, at night, and I'd grab some junk food and mentally organize all the plot developments I'd thought about throughout the day. Once dinner was over I had a clear schedule until I'd crash sometime (usually) before sunup.

Good productivity. Quality...eh. But it was a good chance to learn a lot of things and get in some keyboard time. I'm not altogether certain this is a workable system in the long term. Definitely fun while it lasted.

As for now...

My current schedule isn't really conducive to sitting down and writing for long stretches the way I could back then. The saving grace there is that I got into the habit of painting the most complete mental picture possible when I was away from the keyboard. Now, if I've got put something on the back burner for a few days it's alright - I'll just be fine-tuning and figuring out the mechanical stuff, and whenever I get the chance to sit long enough I can put the concept on paper.

So. If there's one pearl of dumpster wisdom I can offer, it's that less time for writing isn't necessarily the negative it may first seem. Most of the stuff I've posted for consideration was written on stolen time well outside of what I would call prime creative hours. Meantime, I'd stake money the results are also far and away superior to anything I turned out when I had more slack in the schedule. Worst case, you edit more.

For whatever that might be worth.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Hmmmm. Is cloning yourself out?
So that there would be two of me who can't sleep? ;)
So. If there's one pearl of dumpster wisdom I can offer, it's that less time for writing isn't necessarily the negative it may first seem. Most of the stuff I've posted for consideration was written on stolen time well outside of what I would call prime creative hours. Meantime, I'd stake money the results are also far and away superior to anything I turned out when I had more slack in the schedule. Worst case, you edit more.

For whatever that might be worth.
Dumpster wisdom is what gets it done. I'm glad to have it.
 
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