On day 28, CrossFit South Arlington coach Megan, who is also leading this Whole30 program, challenged me to create a written bedtime routine, and I’ve been working on this for the past few days, thinking carefully about what I’m doing in the evenings and how I can change it to be sure I’m getting to bed sooner when possible, and falling asleep more quickly when I do actually head to bed.
I’d actually read this piece by Chris Kresser, and other similar articles, a while ago, arguing that the artificial light that surrounds most of us during the evenings upsets our natural levels of meltaonin — the hormone that signals our bodies when to sleep. And yet, I’d never really taken it to heart. It took a major lifestyle change a while ago to get me to stop eating most forms of sugar, grain, starch, etc., but that’s almost nothing compared to the lifestyle change it will take for me to give up artificial light. When I’m at home, I almost always have at least two screens going at any given time, reading, writing, watching, listening — constant input, interaction, divided attention. And it doesn’t slow down as the evening winds on. I’m surrounded by incandescent light and LCD screens until the moment I hit the sack.
Although the first step in this process is planning backward from the time I need to wake up in the morning, the biggest challenge for me will be to dim the lights and start relaxing well before I go to bed, letting the melatonin kick in for an easy transition to a full night’s sleep. I’ve already tried this out once this week, on Tuesday night, turning out almost all the lights and reading an actual physical book (rather than an ebook or dozens of articles on my laptop) with dim light at least 45 minutes before I should be asleep. I think that part of the process worked well the first time, but I still didn’t get eight hours of sleep that night. So, to be realistic, I’m going to shoot for seven hours this week, eight hours the next, and go from there.
Tonight is shadowy night no. 2, and it’s time to get started — so that means it’s also time to wrap up this blog entry.
Here are my food photos for day 32:
Saturday, Feb. 15
I woke up at 8:15 a.m. (after heading to bed at 2:05 a.m.).
Breakfast: 9:05 a.m. | 4 eggs, 2 oz. baby kale/chard/spinach mix, 2 Tbsp. red palm oil, herbs & spices
Lunch: 4:15 p.m. | 4 oz. beef sticks, 1.5 oz. baby kale/chard/spinach mix
Just like yesterday, I was at a conference most of the day today, so I brought something quick and easy for lunch. Greens this time for the veggies, instead of SeaSnax. Then I picked up a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods on the way home.
Dinner: 9:10 p.m. | Rotisserie chicken, 1.5 oz. baby kale/chard/spinach mix, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot