Monday, January 22, 2018

Fourth week of January

Another Monday, another blog post...

I guess my blog might be boring this year if I'm posting a lot about self-improvement goals, but progress is always interesting to track, right?

Have you ever done a sleep challenge? How did it go? I know some people work on getting up earlier in order to exercise or whatever.

You can read here about why I'm doing sleep in January.

So, here are a few of the latest experiments.

Action: Go to bed at the same time as David.
Result: I tried it a few times! The first night, I was really tired and fell asleep earlier. I was probably in bed a good 10 hours! But as a result I couldn't fall asleep the next night. Went to bed early, but stayed up late reading and was exhausted in the morning.
Conclusion: This could work if I set my alarm in the morning so as not to ruin my sleep for the next night. However, I think I would prefer to have a little alone time in the evening before bed.

Action: Don't go to bed at the same time as David.
Result: I feel so much more content when I can hang out a little after the kids go to bed, when the house is quiet. Each day should have a clear beginning and end, and I need that time for closure. Often, Andrei takes care of Sophia at night and I don't really need to be with her again for several hours. But of course when she's sleeping poorly, I'm always on edge wondering whether I'll be summoned again, and how Andrei is faring. So although our kids go to bed later (not by 8:30 like experts recommend), it helps me psychologically to have some time to wind down even if it means I get less sleep.
Conclusion: I seem to need about 2 hours to wind down once the house is quiet. Ideally at least 1 hour by myself. I noticed that when David is in bed at 11 pm (usually the case), I stay up until 1 am. Getting him to sleep by 10 pm would help me get to bed by midnight. Maybe a good goal.

Action: Quit reading in bed.
Result: I tried this a few times also. I was having distressing symptoms which seemed to be carpal-tunnel related...I still need to write a more detailed blog on that. At any rate, my experimental approach was generally to read for a few minutes just to relax, and then turn off my Kindle at the first sign of sleepiness. However, I then got too involved in a novel again, so the "sleep aid" made me stay up later. Maybe I should try audiobooks?
Conclusion: A little reading is okay, but the book shouldn't be a 300-page novel that sucks you in or puts your arms to sleep. :)

Action (non-action): Survive Sophia's sleep regression.
Result: I won't bore you with all details, but for 2 months or so, Sophia was having "happy hour" from about 11 pm-2 am. (By the way, if I mention specific times on here, you should subtract 2-3 hours for normal American time. So our kids go to bed around 10-11 pm, which is normal for Russia. In the U.S. that would be more like 7 pm. So imagine if your child slept a little and then was awake from like 9 pm-11 or midnight. You can't go to bed earlier and you never have that moment when the kids are in bed and you can breathe and have an intelligent conversation over a cup of tea. ) We did try tweaking her schedule a bit and we also gave in and fed her full meals in the kitchen at midnight, including soup. After about 2 months, Sophia just started sleeping at night again, as of 3-4 days ago.
Conclusion: We survived the great sleep regression of Nov 2017- Jan 2018.

Action: Read book on SAD.
Result: Ended up reading a lot about light therapy and decided to order a sunrise alarm clock. A neighbor here is going to lend us a sun lamp.
Conclusion: To be continued...

Action: Take vitamins more regularly.
Result: Andrei got sick and the rest of us didn't. Just saying. :)
Conclusion: Keep taking the vitamins. I actually have Andrei at the drugstore right now picking up some chewable vitamins for the kids to build some immunity before some travel coming up.

1 more week of sleep focus! I'm still staying up too late, but at least it's more under my control at the moment.

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