Counterintuitive but true —
Do you know that feeling where you can't fall asleep and it's really aggravating?
I've found that has zero correlation with next-day's success.
Laying down in bed, unable to sleep for whatever reason — this means I've already decided, ok, I'm done for the day. The inability to fall asleep, imperative as it seems at the time, is totally irrelevant and doesn't matter. Apparently lying there in bed is good enough for resting/recharging; the next goes well.
The flipside is that going to bed later than my scheduled times correlates really well with the next day going more poorly than normal.
I keep numbers on how many good cycles of work I get in on a day, how well my habits go, and what I accomplish.
"Laying there but can't sleep" doesn't matter, and the objectively right call based on my values is to just keep laying there until sleep (eventually) comes.
Unless strong inspiration strikes and I'm ready to do something particularly useful, getting up and doing something is the wrong decision.
This is counterintuitive. It feels like a disaster when laying there unable to sleep. Whereas, getting up and reading or doing light work or screwing around online is at least mildly pleasant.
But numbers don't lie.
I don't know if this holds for everyone; I'm surprised it's true for me. But after just forcing myself to lay down and rest if the schedule calls for it, I find the next day goes well. Staying up late means I need to either push my wake-time back (bad...) or get up on lower-than-normal-sleep to the alarm (also bad).
Again, I can't emphasize enough how counterintuitive this result was for me to realize. Being unable to fall asleep feels really, really, really bad.
But it's totally irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. So now, assuming my will is strong enough, I'll just lie there and try not to have too much of a bad time, maybe meditating, knowing that life will continue to march on in normal and effective fashion the next day.
Very interesting, I actually find this true for myself too. given that it's not chronic sleep deprivation, the occasional disastorous one night doesn't mean the end of the following day
I hope this helps, for me 90% of the time i am unable to fall asleep because i can't shut my mind down.Depending on my will power that day , i force myself to concentrate on some white noise(fan, AC or something from the street) and not think about anything else, in little time(4 mins) i am very relaxed and drifting into sleep
If this method fails, I give up on the the night, get up and do some reading, grumpiness (from being awake for 24 hrs) usually sets in 1-2 hours before usual bedtime, not really bad
sceintifically speaking though, I worry about a sleepless night costing my brain some valuable new information processing and retaining that it would normally while it is asleep
check out this website that generally informs about sleeping
Filling the seemingly wasted time before bed with meditation is a good note. I find the two most effective times for me to meditate are late in the evening and first thing in the morning.
Before I originally started meditating or even knew what it was, my pre-sleep routine was to mentally walk through my day in sharp detail. I'd picture what I had for breakfast, what I talked about with friends, and the sights I saw on my walks, etc. I did it chronologically. I don't remember exactly why I did it; it just felt good for me. I guess I figured people reflect on the day before going to bed for a reason, so I might as well put my all into that.
Looking back, life was very zen back then, and it was an extremely productive time of my life.
Just something worth trying on a sleepless night.
Perhaps just knowing this information will allow for less aggravating stress regarding falling asleep, and, in turn, provide for an easier time falling asleep.
I think so, yes. But I noticed the correlation with next day's performance (or not) I knew it was true, obviously. So it's not just due to greater relaxation and less aggravation. It seems the effects of lying still in bed are somewhat similar to the effects of being asleep for rest and rejuvenation in regards to next day's performance (for me, at least).
Well, this is embarrassing. Day Two of my "Most Productive 90 Days Ever" was off the rails. I'll share why it happened to the best of my understanding, along with some best practices on what to do during bad days (some of which I abided, some I broke).
Here was my "the night before" plan for yesterday --
Wake around noon Morning routine, modafinil, etc. Write observations from yesterday on blog
1PM: Prepare questions I'm trying to learn and things I want to understand about the nonprofit space. Go through my email, reply call or write to everyone who responded, call people who were out of Beijing when introduced. Ask questions and/or invite to lunch next week.
Along with exercise and nutrition, sleep is one of the primary determinants of your happiness and wellbeing. If you don't get good sleep, you will not only be tired, but also pessimistic, unmotivated, lazy or even depressed.
Research has shown that self control is a limited resource that is greatly diminished when you're exhausted. If you don't get good sleep, you are less likely to be productive and stick to your good habits (such as exercise). You are also more likely to do things that you know are bad for you (such as eating sweets).
Good REM sleep plays a critical role in the development of long term memories. If you're trying to learn anything at all, you better make sure you get enough high quality sleep.
Proper sleep is also essential for maintaining a robust immune system. If you want to be happy, healthy, smart and productive, you have must make sure you get good sleep.
Do you think that your physical health and emotional wellbeing can be considered in isolation? Think again. They both come from the same body, and they both require that you sleep well.