The More You Know

It’s a lazy sunday. I slept in, just like I’ve been doing for the entire week. Woke up when the first ray of sun seeped through the curtain, but decided to get more rest since it’s the precious weekend. And weekends are made for rejunivating and recharging.

So after breakfast – or brunch, since it was already 11am, I sat on the sofa and read the Sunday papers. It’s a favourite routine of mine – nothing planned on the Sunday, sleeping in, tucking in a hearty breakfast and just read the newspapers. I love Sunday papers, they are different from the usual weekday news coverage. The topics are considerably wider, and they appeal to the weekend warrior inside me. Less focused on the breaking news, and more on columns that are more personal and reflective.

In this particular section, a title reads “Sleepless, with a million thoughts”. Then it begins “What is a good time to wake up in the morning?” I’ve been asking myself this question too, especially from the articles I’ve read in recent years, the common traits among top executive, creatives and writers are those who make time for themselves. This means getting up early. Really early, before the day breaks. Before their peers are up. This brief period of tranquil allows the mind to focus, to be at ease with the surrounding and to gather all the thoughts in preparation for the day ahead.

But there’s a line between getting up early and waking up much earlier with anxiety.

Instead of the much touted early bird timing of 5am-ish, 4am is the unearthly equivilant of witching hour. At this time, most people should be in bed, tucking in under the warm blanket, and way too early to leave the comfort of the pillow.

The writer explains “There is a physiological explanation to why stress or anxiety can wake someone up at 4am or even 3am.”[…]”This is why people say that sleep deprivation begets further sleep deprivation. And it’s a phenomenon that can also be explained psychologically. People worry about no getting enough sleep, becoming angery with themselves at night, worsening a cycle of what becomes a more and more dangerous culmative sleep debt.”

Speaks for me, because I’ve problems of insomnia. I tend to worry about things and these thoughts kept me up at night. It’s not uncommon I go a few nights without much sleep. It’s stressful physically and mentally but on those occasions I just couldn’t get a wink of sleep even if I’m physically wore out. Such is the constant thoughts running through my mind, never stopping even when I’m dead beat on the bed begging for some sleep. Those who haven’t experience such occurance will never understand.

My problem is seldom about waking up early than about falling asleep. Problems seem to creep in. I’m beginning to write the worries and problems I’ve now on a notebook. It does seem to help, a little.

I’ve made no secret of my admiration for products that marries that great design and functionality. Jawbone Up24 is one such fine product. Despite the numberous complains about its lack of durability, the subtle but lovely wristband stands out amonst the sea of fitness tracker everywhere. In fact, I think it’s the best-looking tracker. I’ve long wanted to get one, but I thought with all the data, figures and charts, what am I going to do with it?

It’s nice to know how many steps I’ve taken for the day, and how far off target I’m on a lazy day. It might spur me on to be more active, to do things that might appear crazy on first look. But there are certain things I would rather not be awared of, not on a constant basis anyway. Things like the hours I’m sleeping – the actual time I’m asleep, the quality of rest etc. How do they judge how well did I sleep? And after knowing these information, would I be more stressed out, subsquently putting further pressure to ensure I would get a more restful night.

I would rather not know this. Ignorance is bliss. By knowing less, I can focus on things that are more important. Like developing a pre-sleep routine. Having a routine and developing habits before sleeping are proven to ease our mind and body for a better sleep. For the past few months, I’ve developed a rountine of my own and they seem to be working pretty well. I brush my teeth and read for at least 20 minutes before turning in. Also, no computer and iPhone at least 15 minutes before bedtime. This way, I find my mentally and physically, I’m conditioned to be ready for bed around the same time everyday.

Do more with less. Whatever data I’m missing out on with fitness tracker, I’m accomplishing more by paying more attention to the world around me, rather than staring at the screen and wonder, how many steps have I taken for the day.