So I think it’s safe to say that journaling about my day has been a bust. It really does activate me to just keep working, and I see this uncleared list as a failure, not merely a reflection of what I need to do. I find myself using these lists as an excuse to stay up and keep working. It’s not something I plan on keeping in my daily sleep hygiene routine. I have found an app that is really helpful, though. It takes me through some guided meditation and that really has an effect on my relaxation. In the past week, I’ve used it four times and it’s helped put me to sleep twice. I think this is working really well, and I’m going to stick with that.
This process of trial-and-error with my sleep habits is something I would not have considered, before starting this journey. I think it was really easy for me to be resigned and just accept my poor sleep as a permanent feature in my life. But now I think that’s changing. My husband sees it, too. We find ourselves making my sleep habits (rather than just my sleep history) a part of our conversations. Rather than talking about last night, we talk about tonight. How am I feeling? What’s my plan for the rest of the evening? Rather than being reactionary, it feels good to be proactive and preemptive about my sleep habits. I can set up a plan after dinner, to wrap up any work, slowly wind down with some quiet activities, and have a plan in place for a good night’s sleep.
My husband’s even been supportive about the sleep affirmation cards I’ve made. He will point them out to me, and read them aloud. He also feels more empowered now to tell me to turn off my phone, or close the laptop. It seemed sort of silly before, for him to police my electronics use, but now it’s a part of the conversation about my sleep and my health. It makes sense for him to be supportive in this way, when I slip and work late at night.