20130725

Sleep Discipline

As I noted two and a half years ago, I often find myself awake at 1:00am for no good reason.  I don't want to go to sleep, because sleep is death and I'd rather be reading reddit or playing chess online.

My new plan for a better life goes like this.  I will trick myself into heading towards bed!

At 10pm, it's time to plan my next day.  Preferably on paper, so that I'm not looking at a screen.  The planning is done totally from memory.  The point is to identify things I want to accomplish, which will be a useful reference for tomorrow.  It will get any worries or concerns out of my head and onto the paper.  It also will create an awareness of things I would like to get done, which of course I can't get done very well if I go without the sleep I need.

Next step is to get into bed and read a book.  Arek recommended REAMDE recently.  It's huge and interesting but not so interesting that I won't set it aside and pass out once I'm warm, and in bed, and my sleepiness takes over.

Objectively, I like this going-to-sleep plan way better than my previous one.  My previous one was, in retrospect, a little naive.  Every night at 11pm, my calendar is programmed to put a pop-up onto my screen that say "You MUST go to sleep now, or read this!"  There was some attached hellfire-and-brimstone text I was supposed to read if I thought I should stay up later.

In practice, I would just dismiss the warning and rumble on into stay-up-late disaster.

I expect this plan has better chances because it is intrinsically interesting to me to plan my next day.  There is great leverage in planning what someone else will do, even your future self.  I get a dopamine shot from the power of planning.

Enough theorizing.  I'll let you know how it went.

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