Alarm Clock and Sleep Management

I got a new alarm clock this week. Well new to me, at any rate. It's one of those nifty ones that can wake you up with music from an iPod (and charge it all at the same time). Truth is that, I've not even had a clock in my bedroom for a number of months: I tend to wake pretty early on my own/with cats, my coworkers aren't in my timezone anyway, and I unplugged my old alarm clock because I needed the outlet, and never got around to plugging it back in.

The experience of waking up to the alarm clock has been overwhelmingly positive. I tend to get up regularly and earlier first and foremost. This is a good thing, because I think I was slipping into the habit of sleeping too much. And too much sleep--counter intuitively--can wreak havoc on my energy levels and mood, so I've just felt better all around. It makes sense that too much sleep can lead to decreased mood/energy--your body gets used to sleeping more, and so it gets to need sleep so you get tiered more--but your millage may vary.

The second great thing about this alarm clock, and the waking up to music, rather than a buzzer is that I've found that I wake up more "gently," that is, rather than being jarred awake by a buzzer, the music comes on, and I drift towards wakefullness, I listen to a song or two (if I like it) while I think about what the day holds and muster the strength to get up. And then I'm up. I've found that when I get up, I'm not groggy, and I'm generally ready to get started at the things that I need to do.

How cool is that?

I think this whole "sleep management" thing is worth something. Sleep is important, and having an unadjusted sleep schedule is never fun, but I've realized that sleeping the "right" ammount is something that I have to pay attention to. Maybe this is a product of our sleep rythms being a little more than a day long, but who knows. My general sleep-related goals are:

  • Sleep a little less than I'm inclined to. Not by a lot, but 90 minutes or less seems to leave me feeling better.
  • If I feel like I need to take a nap, I almost always try to do it for sometime between 1-3 in the afternoon, which is when I'm the least productive/creative anyway.
  • This alarm clock, and "waking up softly" seems to be helpful.
  • With the choice between being up in the morning and being up late at night, I always chose the former.
  • If I feel like I'm having trouble falling asleep, I ususally get up and read or do something else. The end result isn't that I get more sleep, and though tired I feel better the next day.
  • I also try and time caffine intake so that it doesn't muck up my sleep schedule, though the truth is that I can sleep through a caffiene buzz if I'm tired enough. I tend to think of caffiene as a having a "focusing" rather than an "alertness" effect. But that's just me.

Anyone else think about their sleep like this? Generally? It has a big effect on how I work and how I approach work, but I think it's probably a little bit wierd. Anyway...

Onward and Upward!

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