Thursday, September 25, 2008

Walking Zombie

So I've been shifting my schedule earlier all week. Part of the motivation has come from the numerous articles I've read about the advantages of getting up early. Part of the motivation came directly from talking to a good friend of mine who goes to bed early and gets up early (I figured if I'm more aligned with her schedule, I'll be more likely to meet more people like her). This is day four of waking up a half hour earlier (not a half hour earlier each day, just one half hour earlier than I'm use to). The experience so far has taught me a lot of things.

First, if other people are as tired as I am now, but on a normal basis, that would explain a lot. I'm irritable, crabby, lazy and quick to anger. My fine motor coordination has dropped significantly, I almost feel like I'm drunk. Today on the way to work, I honked at a few people and maneuvered around them because their driving, which was pretty on par with the standard poor driving, was too much for me to be on the defense for. I just wanted some separation from everyone else because I knew I wasn't going to have the reaction speed necessary to do emergency maneuvering if they started edging into my lane or cut me off.

Second, I understand this addiction to coffee that everyone seems to have. While I personally have not submitted to drinking coffee, I have bought myself some candy bars the last few days just to try and get a boost that will help carry me through the rest of the day. The idea of a 9-5 work day seems really stupid in my eyes. Personally, I'd be more productive if I had just stayed in bed until I got enough sleep to function correctly and then came in and worked the rest of the day. I see how this isn't the employer's fault, but allowing a more flexible work schedule as long as the work gets done cannot possibly be a bad thing. I'll have to reevaluate once I've fully adapted to the new schedule.

Finally, this has been my experience with the change. So far it has been almost impossible to actually fall asleep earlier. I imagine I could take some supplement like melatonin or serotonin (whichever it is, memory problems have also started to occur with sleep loss) and that would help me to fall asleep. I did fall asleep a little on the early side last night, only to wake up 4 hours later. This had the unfortunate side effect that taking a nap when you really want to go to bed for the night would. I couldn't fall back to sleep for about 3 hours after this. On the other end, waking up has taken a little more effort just with the initial step of getting out of bed. I've read and found to be true that if you get up when your alarm first goes off you are more likely to stay awake and the process is easier. The only additional difficulty has been going through my normal morning routine with less fine motor coordination. I've actually run into a few walls, I guess because I figured that I had walked far enough to get around the corner or through the door.

I'll report further once I have adapted to the change better, but so far the costs have been outweighing the benefits. I'm hoping with the daylight shortening, I'll at least have the benefit of enjoying a little extra sunlight than I would have gotten. If this does start to work and I end up pushing earlier, I hope to be able to exercise some in the morning before going to work. I'm not sure how early I'll have to get up in order to do this, or what the best time to get into work in the morning is, but that'll be thoughts for down the road.

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