Now that the nights are drawing in, I'm trying to get into a proper sleep routine. This has been helped by discovering a sleep function on the exercise app I use (Argus, by Azumio, premium version c£22 annually). I use it to give me some idea of how much sleep I'm actually getting and also to get into the habit of going to sleep before 11, because so much research shows that this is a good idea.
I wanted to see how a sleep routine would help my energy and mood levels. There are so many nights that I've read a book online or watched Netflix and ended up at 12 or 1 still awake and then found it difficult to drop off. As I wake up with the dawn, which got earlier and earlier as the year wore on, this meant some nights I was averaging five or six hours, which left me often feeling under par – as though I were operating with a layer of skin less.
Early indications are that it's really helping. I've felt pretty upbeat since about the third day of doing it – I feel as though I'm getting 'me' back and feel a lot more confident and motivated. I've also got more energy and am able to concentrate more.
Because I'm also keeping an eye on what I eat and drink, using MyFitnessPal (free version) and exercise on Argus linking through the Apple Health app (you can use Google Fit if you're on Android), the nights that I've woken up and been unable to sleep I'm able to see if there are any patterns with what I've eaten or drunk or done. Like Moodscope, measuring and tracking has been a great way to consistently see what the triggers are.
Sleep builds energy, increases memory and stimulates creativity. It also means our brains shrink allowing space for cerebrospinal fluid to flow into and throughout the brain, gently cleaning it of toxins, which is why we need good sleep so badly. Here's an article that I came across recently, which explains it all really well (and links to the study on cerebrospinal fluid). It's called Sleep: The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Career, but think of it as what it can do for your health: http://bit.ly/2elrxw6
There's also an interesting video on the same subject: http://bit.ly/2e0hlpw
A View From the Far Side
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