Saturday, January 31, 2015

Night Owl to Early Bird

I have always been able to stay up into the wee hours of the night with little effort. After 9 pm? The ideas start to flow. I've come up with some pretty awesome ideas at night. My mind races and I feel inspired and motivated.

It sucks.

I envy people (like my husband) who can just quiet their minds and fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Even with my nightly dose of melatonin, it can take up to an hour for me to finally doze off.

While doing some reading about this, I found an article that truly could've been written about me.

This was especially familiar:

3. Difficulty Waking
More than 80 percent of adults with ADHD in my practice report multiple awakenings until about 4 a.m. Then they fall into "the sleep of the dead," from which they have extreme difficulty rousing themselves.
They sleep through two or three alarms, as well as the attempts of family members to get them out of bed. ADHD sleepers are commonly irritable, even combative, when roused before they are ready. Many of them say they are not fully alert until noon.

Sleep of the dead? Check. In fact, I've often said that waking up often feels like I'm coming out of anesthesia.
Sleeps through multiple alarms? Check.
Commonly irritable and even combative? Check (I was going to insert a gif of the exorcist girl here because when I asked my husband what I'm like when he wakes me up, that was his immediate answer. However, all the gifs are way too scary for my little blog, so click on that link at your own risk).

Turns out that people with ADHD tend to be night owls and that we often have "disregulated circadian rhythm(s)". 

This week (and hopefully beyond) I'm conducting a little experiment to try and transform myself from night owl to early bird. My theory is that most of our behavior is purely habit based. I've already proven that I can change many of the choices I make simply by making it a habit- from the foods I eat, to working out, to my obsessive use of my iPhone (hey, I didn't say they were all good habits).

The plan is for my husband to get me up before he leaves- around 6:30 am (heaven help him), and a strict 10 pm bedtime (lights out, computer/kindle off). I'm hoping this helps me work my morning walk/bike ride back in (bringing my exercise up to an hour + per day) and will help me get away from doing my runs at 8 pm (which keeps me wired long past my proposed 10 pm bedtime).

Wish me luck, guys. This will probably be even more of a challenge than running post-ankle break, no lie.

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