Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New habits

Ok, so today is bright and sunny, 10°F, with a wind chill of -6°F. So why is it that today many of the natives have on hats and scarves and gloves, when yesterday was a bit colder and I didn't see them all bundled up? Maybe yesterday caught them by surprise?

My sleep issues are making me nuts. I've got a new plan with my doc for dealing with it. And I need to get hardcore about training myself to sleep properly. If I was training a dog, I would say the most important things are consistency and replacing unwanted behaviors with new, more desirable behaviors. Just saying "don't do that" doesn't work. With doggies, you need to say, "don't do THAT, instead do THIS." Followed, of course, with a pat on the head.

I won't be patting myself on the head, but I do need to change my habits that are keeping me unhealthy. Stress makes sleep difficult. Lack of sleep makes stress inevitable. Fatigue and poor physical health follow. My body's chemical balance is out of whack. My complexion has gone to heck. The dark circles under my eyes make me look like I'm half way to zombie land.

So, for at least the next 3 months, I'm going to put myself through sleep training.

My new self imposed rules for the next three months:
  • Get up at the same time each day, 7 days a week. Set an alarm on weekends.
  • No snoozing the alarm. Let go of the dream and leave the room.
  • Turn on up-beat music and do one or more of the following: Chi Gong, dance, stretch, rowing.
  • Shower after exercising. Showering before would just put me back to sleep.
  • Have a yummy, healthy protein shake for breakfast.
  • At work, have juice, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt etc. for mid morning snack.
  • Walk the quad at work at least one time per day (it's a good long way around, and all indoors.)
  • After work: Additional outdoor exercise as often as weather allows, walking, biking, kite flying, archery
  • When weather is not good, make sure to take a break to exercise in the evening, well before bed. (Consider getting a recumbent stationary bike.)
  • Sensible lunches.
  • Sensible dinners.
  • Before bed: 10 or more minutes of quiet meditation and prayer.
  • Get to bed and be ready to sleep by 10 PM every day. No exceptions allowed until good habits start to develop. Set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me when it's time to start winding down.
  • Take meds at the same time each day.
And if I screw up and miss something, no hitting myself over the head with a rolled up newspaper. Doesn't work with dogs or people. Just get back on track for the next step, and keep on moving.

I want 2008 to be a year of improved health.

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