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Scalyfreak socializes and tries to sleep


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2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Scents are very powerful triggers, and we humans tend to forget about that a lot of the time, because of how visual we are. All my skin care is without fragrance (sensitive skin), but that's not the only way to add fragrance to a routine. Maybe lavender. My brain already associates that scent with relaxation and calm.

 

Actually, why haven't I tried lavender already? What was I thinking? Sheesh, this is why I need help with this challenge!

 

Exactly what I was thinking regarding scents, although I don't think I've seen any thoughts on using them to reinforce sleep routines. Lavender is a great idea - I can be very sensitive to skin products and smells too, but am usually okay with them as long as it's not some artificial "parfum" concoction. 

 

2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

She is, which probably is why I just nodded and went along with it. I assumed I had mentioned her gender identity at some point in a past challenge. :D 

 

 

Let's just say I have great memory rather than internal biases 😅

 

2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

This is my problem. I see sleep as time spent being completely unproductive, as a net negative. I could be playing my game, reading my book, et cetera, instead of wasting valuable hours laying like a sedate lump on a piece of furniture like this.

 

I have come to realize that attempting to get more sleep, and better sleep, is going to continue to fail as long as I keep thinking of sleeping in this negative way.  One of my goals with this challenge needs to be to change my attitude towards sleeping.

 

Out of curiosity, do you have protected reading, gaming, etc. time during the day? 

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My evening routine includes laying out clothes for the next day, giving the cats fresh water and scooping the catbox, washing my face and brushing my teeth. I have noticed recently that I fall asleep easier when I use the electric toothbrush instead of the traditional one. Maybe two minutes of gentle vibration near my ears is a cue?

 

I am working on implementing an earlier screens-off time. I have learned that I should knit or spin if I want to take time to do something fun. Reading gets my brain too involved and it does not want to let go.

 

If you have stiff or tense areas, doing some stretches or a soak in a warm bath can help.

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4 hours ago, Alanna said:

Out of curiosity, do you have protected reading, gaming, etc. time during the day? 

 

Most days, yes. It's not formally scheduled on a calendar, but it exists and is respected.

 

2 hours ago, Mistr said:

My evening routine includes laying out clothes for the next day, giving the cats fresh water and scooping the catbox, washing my face and brushing my teeth. I have noticed recently that I fall asleep easier when I use the electric toothbrush instead of the traditional one. Maybe two minutes of gentle vibration near my ears is a cue?

 

Interesting. I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep for about a year now, and it has led to tense and tender jaw muscles. I frequently use my evening skin care routine as an excuse to give myself a facial massage to ease the tension. I wonder if an electric tooth brush would help with that as well?

 

And using the evening to prepare for the next day is a great idea! Thank you for suggesting that. Hmmm... I can set up the coffee pot, I can set clothes out... I can work with this, and add lavender towards the end. :) 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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5 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Is the sleep problem that you don't feel ready to go to bed and thus don't do it when you need to, or that you aren't tired when you do get into bed and can't fall asleep while lying there? 

 

Yes.

 

(Sorry, didn't see this post earlier.)

 

The problem is that I don't go to bed until I feel sleepy, and that happens pretty late. When I do go to bed at what mature adults call "a reasonable hour", I tend to stay awake and that gets boring after the first hour or so. So I start to think, to keep from getting bored, and my anxiety-fueled brain does not stop thinking once it has gained momentum, and I don't fall asleep until it's very late. So naturally I assume that if I'm going to be awake anyway, I might as well stay up and do something I enjoy.

 

And the cycle continues.

Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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1 hour ago, Scaly Freak said:

The problem is that I don't go to bed until I feel sleepy, and that happens pretty late. When I do go to bed at what mature adults call "a reasonable hour", I tend to stay awake and that gets boring after the first hour or so. So I start to think, to keep from getting bored, and my anxiety-fueled brain does not stop thinking once it has gained momentum, and I don't fall asleep until it's very late. So naturally I assume that if I'm going to be awake anyway, I might as well stay up and do something I enjoy.

 

Some of this I have suggestions for. First, see how you react to a hard workout right before bed. That's usually on the naughty list, but I've found that the combination of exhausted muscles that want to relax and post-exercise endorphins can be really good. Second, try shutting up the anxiety brain instead of trying to outlast it - put someone else's words in your head first. Get an audiobook, one you will only listen to in bed, that you like enough to listen to but don't feel the need to stay awake for, or are willing to rewind a bit the next night. Start Harry Potter over again or go through all the Agatha Christie novels or something. Discworld. Books on sleep for a really meta experience. Keep the volume very low so you have to lie basically still. Set the sleep timer to two hours and close your eyes.

 

The thing with routines involving brushing your teeth and stuff is that I don't see how they solve the problem. They're meant to become some sort of Pavlovian bedtime signal, but, first, how are you supposed to make the result follow the cue to set it up in the first place, and second, it's so far removed from the problem, which is that your brain becomes too anxious to let you sleep. Having a signal that it's bedtime doesn't change that. And if you're not going to bed on time, what changes to make you get ready for bed on time? It's just pushing back the problem to an earlier step. I'm skeptical.

 

The real problem seems to me to be twofold: you have negative associations with the anxiety-brain and boredom happens when you try to sleep so you avoid it as long as possible, and you can't stop your brain from a cycle of agitated rumination that keeps you awake when you do manage to get to bed. Both of those revolve around breaking the rumination pattern.

 

I'm very anti-rumination. Ever since I read that women's higher rates of mental health issues seem to be linked in part to a tendency to ruminate on things where men distract themselves, and realized that it was a way of burning patterns into neurons, I've been trying to break the habit everywhere I see it. Distraction is good. You want to break and weaken rumination patterns. You need something you can do lying in bed with your eyes closed that is distracting and doesn't let your brain get a word in edgewise. Make MP3s of the audio of every Star Trek episode and visualize along with them. Anything. But someone else's words. No verbal thinking from your own brain allowed.

 

So not to contradict your therapist and all, especially since she's trained and I'm not, but I really doubt the problem is that you don't have a trigger to tell you it's bedtime. It's that there's a problem waiting for you right after bedtime. Your brain attacks you and it wins, and right now your only strategy to fight back is tiring it out too much to launch a good attack. There may be additional issues of shifting your sleep patterns back and whatever, and maybe triggers and cues are decent approaches to that problem, but what's going on isn't that you're simply night-shifted by a few hours and need a new trigger for the habit. It's that you're very sensibly trying to protect yourself from repetitive anxiety by avoiding it. You need ways to do that which don't involve avoiding the right conditions for falling asleep.

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

First, see how you react to a hard workout right before bed. That's usually on the naughty list, but I've found that the combination of exhausted muscles that want to relax and post-exercise endorphins can be really good.

 

I sleep fantastically great after hard workouts. This is one of the reasons I am resentful about the unvaccinated masses at my gym. I am convinced that if I could go to the gym and lift barbells a few evenings every week, I would sleep much better those nights.
 

2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

The real problem seems to me to be twofold: you have negative associations with the anxiety-brain and boredom happens when you try to sleep so you avoid it as long as possible, and you can't stop your brain from a cycle of agitated rumination that keeps you awake when you do manage to get to bed. Both of those revolve around breaking the rumination pattern.

 

It is very annoying how everything keeps coming back to the stupid freaking anxiety. Embracing the pyromancy flame and learning to live with it is all well and good in theory, but those second degree brain burns that keep happen while I try to figure out how to do that, are becoming really irritating...

 

In my case, the rumination is fueled primarily by the anxiety, and routines have proven to have a soothing effect on the anxiety, and lower it from blazing flames to a low glow.  The purpose of building a bed time routine is not so much to create a bed time trigger, as it is to contain The Flame and encourage it to relax by providing a routine framework for the brain to lean on. Once the routine lowers the anxiety, the rumination pattern dissolves on its own (assuming, of course, the pattern from my other routines holds true here), and I should be able to actively work with my brain to achieve sleep at that point. In theory.

 

I have tried audiobooks in the past, and they have not worked for sleeping. My brain recognizes that there are words being spoken and absolutely refuses to stop listening and paying attention and trying to hear what the words are saying. It even tries to do this with the coffee shop sounds on mynoise.net, which is a bit annoying, and hopefully illustrates how severe my brain's word fixation is. I have been exploring the sleep music and soundscapes in the Insight Timer app, and I have found there definitely is a benefit to listening to something that distracts the nervous thought fidgeting of an anxiety brain. It just needs to be word free, and these are, so I intend to explore them further.

 

2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Your brain attacks you and it wins, and right now your only strategy to fight back is tiring it out too much to launch a good attack.

 

This is not a winning strategy. I do not recommend this.

 

You are correct that I need to pay attention to and address what happens after going to bed and before going to sleep.  Getting to bed at a reasonable hour is pointless if I lay awake for another 2-3 hours before falling asleep.

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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18 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

I sleep fantastically great after hard workouts. This is one of the reasons I am resentful about the unvaccinated masses at my gym. I am convinced that if I could go to the gym and lift barbells a few evenings every week, I would sleep much better those nights.

 

Gah, those jerks. Bodyweight? Throw some HIIT at it, and you might get away with the lack of iron.

 

20 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

It is very annoying how everything keeps coming back to the stupid freaking anxiety.

 

And in turn, the lack of sleep probably doesn't help the anxiety.

 

21 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

I have tried audiobooks in the past, and they have not worked for sleeping. My brain recognizes that there are words being spoken and absolutely refuses to stop listening and paying attention and trying to hear what the words are saying. It even tries to do this with the coffee shop sounds on mynoise.net, which is a bit annoying, and hopefully illustrates how severe my brain's word fixation is. I have been exploring the sleep music and soundscapes in the Insight Timer app, and I have found there definitely is a benefit to listening to something that distracts the nervous thought fidgeting of an anxiety brain. It just needs to be word free, and these are, so I intend to explore them further.

 

Definitely a better plan than never sleeping because you're listening too obsessively. If you can visualize without it getting in the way of sleep, maybe some of the very location-specific mynoise sounds. There's so much going on in some of those that you could be mentally drawing pictures for quite a while before getting bored. (Also, the cat purring one? Sometimes it's just nice to lie there imagining a GIANT SLEEPY CAT.)

 

Another thing that's useful is learning a body scan meditation, to see where you're holding tension and release it. That can be super, super helpful with falling asleep when you just won't. There may be a lot of tension going to bed with you, especially if a hard workout helps.

 

I believe I'm also supposed to advise you to complete the stress cycle, or something, and remind you there are ways to do that without exercise in the book.

 

And Epsom salts in your evening bath. The topical magnesium is good for muscle relaxation. Most people are deficient.

 

29 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

In my case, the rumination is fueled primarily by the anxiety, and routines have proven to have a soothing effect on the anxiety, and lower it from blazing flames to a low glow.  The purpose of building a bed time routine is not so much to create a bed time trigger, as it is to contain The Flame and encourage it to relax by providing a routine framework for the brain to lean on. Once the routine lowers the anxiety, the rumination pattern dissolves on its own (assuming, of course, the pattern from my other routines holds true here), and I should be able to actively work with my brain to achieve sleep at that point. In theory.

 

That is awesome. Routine and I have a much more troubled relationship. :D

 

32 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

This is not a winning strategy. I do not recommend this.

 

I know it all too well. Sadly, it is not my sole reason for missing bedtime, because I've got that one mostly under control these days.

 

34 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

You are correct that I need to pay attention to and address what happens after going to bed and before going to sleep.  Getting to bed at a reasonable hour is pointless if I lay awake for another 2-3 hours before falling asleep.

 

There's gotta be some way to turn around the experience of being in bed so that it's a pleasant thing, rather than a difficult or anxious chore when it goes badly. Do not fear the bed.

 

But you know, being in bed and being still like you're sleeping, while not as restful as sleep, is still pretty restful to the body. So if it was lying awake for two hours to get tired enough, but it was a pleasant two hours, I'd make that happen any way you can. Even if it is audiobooks for two hours while your body chills out, and it automatically shuts off to let you sleep, that's better for your rest and habits than two hours of being active and not letting your body start to rest. Like, maybe take this in stages, or don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, or something. Maybe build the routine and also break the anxiety in bed habit, but don't stress the actual sleep yet if it doesn't happen. It's still rest. Sleep is not quick to fix, and it's not a failure if it doesn't happen all at once. That was my strategy to fixing the long stretches of awakeness in the middle of the night, and 90% of the time, it's either okay or managed well enough. (I used to spend a long time unable to sleep in the middle of the night because I was super anxious about not being able to get back to sleep, which is the sort of delightful circular reasoning half-asleep tired brains do. Finally, I sorted it put with one part "waking up four hours in is the normal preindustrial sleeping pattern, not sleeping failures" and one part "the next best thing to sleeping is resting, so I'll just figure out how to spend the time resting, and stop worrying about not sleeping".)

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Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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9 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

The problem is that I don't go to bed until I feel sleepy, and that happens pretty late. When I do go to bed at what mature adults call "a reasonable hour", I tend to stay awake and that gets boring after the first hour or so. So I start to think, to keep from getting bored, and my anxiety-fueled brain does not stop thinking once it has gained momentum, and I don't fall asleep until it's very late. So naturally I assume that if I'm going to be awake anyway, I might as well stay up and do something I enjoy.

 

I'd suggest winding back your bedtime by about 15-30 minutes/week, although you might be able to get away with slightly larger jumps with sleep/relaxation aids (like magnesium). It's not surprising that you can't sleep after a drastic change in bedtime! Even relatively small changes like daylight savings (I'm guessing your schedule is "off" by more than an hour?) can really throw people's sleep schedules out of whack.

 

7 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

The thing with routines involving brushing your teeth and stuff is that I don't see how they solve the problem. They're meant to become some sort of Pavlovian bedtime signal, but, first, how are you supposed to make the result follow the cue to set it up in the first place, and second, it's so far removed from the problem, which is that your brain becomes too anxious to let you sleep. Having a signal that it's bedtime doesn't change that. And if you're not going to bed on time, what changes to make you get ready for bed on time? It's just pushing back the problem to an earlier step. I'm skeptical.

 

A routine is helping me during this challenge by making sure my brain has time to wind down and turn off before bed. As such, I become sleepier earlier and I don't lie awake for as long when I do shut the lights off. That said, I already did the work of winding back my bedtime by a couple of hours during previous challenges, so I'm not using the routine in isolation to fix my sleep issues. However, I'd argue that it has synergistic effects in combination with other strategies. 

 

4 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

And Epsom salts in your evening bath. The topical magnesium is good for muscle relaxation. Most people are deficient.

 

 

I second magnesium - I use it at night, too, and I've found that it makes me sleepy. You can take powders/tablets if that's an easier form - just make sure it's a form that is readily absorbed (not magnesium oxide!) and start gradually because it can cause diarrhea, even if it is one of the forms that is well-absorbed. I'm using a spray right now because I ran out of my powder, and that also seems to work. 

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10 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

And in turn, the lack of sleep probably doesn't help the anxiety.

 

There's a distinct correlation between lack of sleep and anxiety (and other mental health issues), according to my therapist. That's how the topic of sleep came up during our session. (Well, that and the fact my brain apparently likes processing things I'm anxious about by giving me nightmares about them, because of course it does. 🙄)

 

10 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I believe I'm also supposed to advise you to complete the stress cycle, or something, and remind you there are ways to do that without exercise in the book.

 

Ways that work and help me relax when I remember to do them.  :) 

 

5 hours ago, Alanna said:

I'd suggest winding back your bedtime by about 15-30 minutes/week, although you might be able to get away with slightly larger jumps with sleep/relaxation aids (like magnesium). It's not surprising that you can't sleep after a drastic change in bedtime! Even relatively small changes like daylight savings (I'm guessing your schedule is "off" by more than an hour?) can really throw people's sleep schedules out of whack.

 

I would need to have a schedule in order for it to be off by a couple of hours....  one of the reasons I want to have a bed time routine is to create a schedule.

 

On that note, I will put my first attempt at a routine here, so I can look at it and remember I'm supposed to do it. Also for accountability purposes, because that has worked for me in the past.

 

Evening routine draft:

  • Prepare the coffee pot for the next morning and set the brew timer for 15 minutes before alarm is set to go off
  • Set out clothes for next day (on weekends too!)
  • Brush teeth
  • Apply sleep/night moisturizer and massage the jaw tension for a little while
  • Start the fan (for white noise) and the humidifier in the bedroom
  • Find the Insight timer recording I want to listen to and cue it up for later
  • Go to bed and read for a while
    • This probably needs to become more specific with time, as I suffer from a severe case of "just one more chapter"-itis, but for right now it's more important to draft the task list. Specificity comes later.
  • Get all cozy and comfortable in bed and actively relax. 
  • Turn off every light everywhere and start the Insight Timer recording.
  • Hopefully sleep....

 

I will also follow the suggestion to have a start time for the routine rather than an end time, and will kick this off tonight, at one hour before midnight. The Fitbit app can give bedtime reminders, and I have created one for 23:00. The goal is to gradually move this, 15 minutes per week at the fastest, until I reach a goal I will determine at some point in the future.

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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11 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

But you know, being in bed and being still like you're sleeping, while not as restful as sleep, is still pretty restful to the body. So if it was lying awake for two hours to get tired enough, but it was a pleasant two hours, I'd make that happen any way you can

Huh that's interesting. For me going to bed too early (usually when attempting to be all sensible) results in either a) I wake up at 3-4 am wide awake if I do manage to fall asleep, or b) I end up resting as you say, but then I get gradually more and more awake and can't fall asleep at all. For me the best thing is to go to bed when I'm already tired. And not go beyond that in case I catch a second wind, because then my sleep is screwed. 😛 Resting like this can be super helpful for me during the day though, when I want to take a nap but can't fall asleep.

 

If my brain won't shut up I like to write it all down to get it on paper and out of my head.

 

The evening routine sounds nice Scaly! Hope it will help. 🙂

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I think you have a good first draft of a plan.

 

I'm with you on finding that having an evening routine lowers anxiety. I can tell my brain that I have taken care of the important things and I don't need to remember them for tomorrow morning.  Having a set of things to do also has the side benefit of taking a person away from screens for half an hour or so before bed.

 

I've tried @sarakingdom's recommendation of resting when I can't sleep and it often helps. Last night Dumbledore woke me up when he came to bed. I had a hard time falling back to sleep but I was able to relax in the nice comfy bed and not think about anything. That was reasonably restful. I make a distinction between being tired and just slow to fall asleep and when my brain won't cooperate. When my brain is being really difficult I will get up and go read in the family room. I used to keep an old physics textbook for this situation. It was guaranteed to put me to sleep when I was in college. Either that would happen, or I would learn something. More recently I have used really dense books on zen. Knitting can work too. That gives my hands and brain something calming and repetitive to do. You want to pick something that you can put down when you get tired, not something you will want to stay up to finish.

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That looks like a nice routine! Though I'd personally nix the book reading in bed because I'm terrible with 'one more chapter' too and the association that bed is for sleeping-and-nothing-else has worked for me. 

 

On 6/21/2021 at 11:20 PM, Scaly Freak said:

 

We do canvassing. This time of year it means volunteers go door to door in neighborhoods and talk to people about political issues and the bills that were passed in the most recent legislative session, in an attempt to draw attention to the really bad ones, and to try and hold the legislators who sponsored them accountable to their constituents.

 

Pretty much, yes. I live in what is known as a "red state", with a large rural population that mistrusts anything that has to do with academia, science, or the government in general. They also don't want masks, and have held demonstrations against Covid restrictions, arguing that both restrictions and face coverings are a violation of various individual rights, and in addition to that, the anti-vaxx movement is very strong in this state. Combine all these factors and I will consider it a miracle if we reach a 60% vaccination rate state wide. If we do, it'll be several months from now.

 

Due to lack of understanding how these things work, and the media and various agencies doing a piss-poor job of educating the population on hoe vaccines and medical science actually works, many who are not anti-vaxx are reluctant to receive doses of a Covid vaccine, because they believe that "emergency authorization" means that vaccines are an experimental and untested technology that isn't safe yet, and they are worried that unknown side-effects will kill them a year or so from now. That's not the case, but it can't be disproven, and thanks to social media and the misinformation it is spreading, trying to educate the general population this late in the game is a bit of a lost cause as well.

 

Ah well. I am vaccinated, and everyone in my family is, and we are still being careful so we are safe. I've reached the stage where I don't care about other who don't. Let them make their choices, let them face the consequences, and as long as they leave the rest of us alone we can all go back to what we were doing. :) 

Sorry I'm late replying to this- but I had never heard the word canvassing before, I like expanding my vocabulary, thank you ;) and it seems like good work too! I wonder if people do that in my area too.

 

About the anti-vaxxing.. yea. Live and let live is probably best for your/my brain at least. My dad refused his, but it's impossible to talk about because you have to proof that something doesn't exist, as you say.. he linked me some of his 'information' which is just attacking straw men and// ugh I won't bother you with it. I'm getting mine on Sunday o/ 

 

On 6/24/2021 at 7:34 PM, Scaly Freak said:

This is my problem. I see sleep as time spent being completely unproductive, as a net negative. I could be playing my game, reading my book, et cetera, instead of wasting valuable hours laying like a sedate lump on a piece of furniture like this.

 

I have come to realize that attempting to get more sleep, and better sleep, is going to continue to fail as long as I keep thinking of sleeping in this negative way.  One of my goals with this challenge needs to be to change my attitude towards sleeping.

Ok I really love this sleep talk- but this is very insightful and might be the most important bit! Since a lack of sleep makes everything awful I've come to view it as very very precious and a very valuable use of my time. 

 

Main Quest: becoming a decent kettlebell lifter and a great coach

Current challenge: KB Girl stomps on some frogs and goes to sleep (maybe)

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That's a great draft routine - fingers crossed it helps with your sleep!

 

I'm curious what scent-free/sensitive skin moisturiser you use, if you don't mind sharing. 

 

4 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I would need to have a schedule in order for it to be off by a couple of hours....  one of the reasons I want to have a bed time routine is to create a schedule.

 

 

That's completely fair - I guess my point is more that don't feel like you have to have a "perfect" or "responsible adult" bedtime right away. Even chipping away at it and bringing down the average, or narrowing your range from 12 - 3 am to 12 pm - 2 am for example, is a huge improvement. 

 

 

-:- THE LIONESS -:-

Challenge 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 

 

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4 hours ago, Mistr said:

You want to pick something that you can put down when you get tired, not something you will want to stay up to finish.

 

Yes, I have noticed this makes it easier to put the book away. I recently started rereading a number of books I enjoyed for just this reason.

 

3 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Ok I really love this sleep talk- but this is very insightful and might be the most important bit! Since a lack of sleep makes everything awful I've come to view it as very very precious and a very valuable use of my time. 

 

I'm trying to do this. Unfortunately I have lived my life on 5-6 hours of sleep, so if this is awful I have no idea. This is normal.

 

3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Btw, did you ever read the book Why we sleep? Maybe that will convince you that sleep is awesome. :) 

 

No, but now I'm going to look into it. :) 

 

2 hours ago, Alanna said:

I'm curious what scent-free/sensitive skin moisturiser you use, if you don't mind sharing. 

 

It varies, I like trying new skincare things. But the two I keep coming back to are:

 

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (the AM version has sunscreen filters and I prefer using a separate sunscreen). Almost anything CeraVe is fantastic and good for sensitive skin. I use their cleansers and soap bars as well.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. This one's heavier and awesome for dry winters.

 

I never mind talking skin care ;) 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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On 6/25/2021 at 2:52 AM, Scaly Freak said:

The problem is that I don't go to bed until I feel sleepy, and that happens pretty late. When I do go to bed at what mature adults call "a reasonable hour", I tend to stay awake and that gets boring after the first hour or so. So I start to think, to keep from getting bored, and my anxiety-fueled brain does not stop thinking once it has gained momentum, and I don't fall asleep until it's very late. So naturally I assume that if I'm going to be awake anyway, I might as well stay up and do something I enjoy.

 

And the cycle continues.

 

What do you do in the hour or two before bed? I find that things like interesting tv shows, video games, and internet browsing can mask tiredness and keep me awake artificially longer than if I were doing something more natural like reading: in theory, reading should be interesting when I'm awake and start to get uninteresting when I become tired. (Not always true with a thrilling series, but I tend to read non fiction). In any case, I think it's a good idea to pick something to do that's moderately interesting, not highly interesting so that it masks natural sleepiness.

 

Also, I'm sorry about the rumination. That's what kept me awake for years, from as early as I can remember in childhood to just a few years ago. I hope you get some relief.

 

12 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

On that note, I will put my first attempt at a routine here, so I can look at it and remember I'm supposed to do it. Also for accountability purposes, because that has worked for me in the past.

 

Evening routine draft:

  • Prepare the coffee pot for the next morning and set the brew timer for 15 minutes before alarm is set to go off
  • Set out clothes for next day (on weekends too!)
  • Brush teeth
  • Apply sleep/night moisturizer and massage the jaw tension for a little while
  • Start the fan (for white noise) and the humidifier in the bedroom
  • Find the Insight timer recording I want to listen to and cue it up for later
  • Go to bed and read for a while
    • This probably needs to become more specific with time, as I suffer from a severe case of "just one more chapter"-itis, but for right now it's more important to draft the task list. Specificity comes later.
  • Get all cozy and comfortable in bed and actively relax. 
  • Turn off every light everywhere and start the Insight Timer recording.
  • Hopefully sleep....

 

I will also follow the suggestion to have a start time for the routine rather than an end time, and will kick this off tonight, at one hour before midnight. The Fitbit app can give bedtime reminders, and I have created one for 23:00. The goal is to gradually move this, 15 minutes per week at the fastest, until I reach a goal I will determine at some point in the future.

 

Sounds good!

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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On 6/25/2021 at 5:54 PM, Scaly Freak said:

There's a distinct correlation between lack of sleep and anxiety (and other mental health issues), according to my therapist. That's how the topic of sleep came up during our session.

 

Yeah and also a significantly negative effect on self-control and ghrelin (hunger hormone) regulation, the combination of which can lead to a much more difficult time sticking to a chosen nutritional plan. I've come to learn that my desire for comfort food rises exponentially the less sleep I get. It also screws muscle recovery and cortisol levels, ultimately hampering athletic progress.

 

I'm proud of you for coming up with such a concise plan to mitigate this issue and hope something sticks. It's likely going to be a couple of iterations of trial and error and I wish you the best of luck ❤️

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Since I try to scroll through the entire list of challenges instead of filtering, because I want to see EVERYONE but that has mixed results....I didn't actually see your challenge until today! So I am late to the party, but following for the imminent sleep successes. 

 

I started clenching my teeth after I got a ton of dental work a couple years ago and the tender jaw muscles suck. Is the massage before bed helping?

 

Good insight about changing your attitude toward sleep — I resonate with the wasted time vibe as I often feel that way about body maintenance type stuff, I'm just always tired so I always want to sleep 😂 Sleep is important for building muscle and healing injuries, so it's basically part of training, does that help? Also, if you're typically sleeping 5-6 hours a night, bumping that up by only one hour is going to be a substantial improvement, bringing you pretty close to a healthy average (though, disclaimer, of course, everyone's sleep needs are different), so even small improvements are definitely worth celebrating.

 

May the Force be with you!

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28 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

I know what you mean, but I still found equating reading with natural a bit amusing. :) 


Who are you... Socrates? 😛

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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14 hours ago, Harriet said:

What do you do in the hour or two before bed? I find that things like interesting tv shows, video games, and internet browsing can mask tiredness and keep me awake artificially longer than if I were doing something more natural like reading:

 

This very much applies to me, and is one of the reasons I have put reading into my routine draft. One of the reasons for the routine is to make me walk away from TV shows, movies, and games, and not walk back to them later.

 

2 hours ago, Hangrybear said:

Yeah and also a significantly negative effect on self-control and ghrelin (hunger hormone) regulation, the combination of which can lead to a much more difficult time sticking to a chosen nutritional plan. I've come to learn that my desire for comfort food rises exponentially the less sleep I get. It also screws muscle recovery and cortisol levels, ultimately hampering athletic progress.

 

The muscle recovery reason was a powerful motivator for me when I was going to the gym regularly.

 

I am starting to worry that I am putting too much pressure on the gym. I need to be careful that I don't accidentally convince myself that "everything will magically be better when I can go to the gym again", because it's not true, and I would be setting myself up for massive failure by setting that kind of unrealistic expectation.

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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3 hours ago, foxinthenorth said:

I started clenching my teeth after I got a ton of dental work a couple years ago and the tender jaw muscles suck. Is the massage before bed helping?

 

I think it is, but it's too early to say exactly how. The massage eases the tension, and the soreness, at least temporarily, and the act of massaging lowers my stress and anxiety, for the same reason any act of genuine selfcare does. I am also wearing my mouth guard every night, and it makes a huge difference. Highly recommend one if you are not using one already. I bought mine cheap from  the dental hygiene aisle in a department store, and then I boiled it and bit into it to mold it to the shape I needed it to be. 

 

3 hours ago, foxinthenorth said:

Also, if you're typically sleeping 5-6 hours a night, bumping that up by only one hour is going to be a substantial improvement, bringing you pretty close to a healthy average (though, disclaimer, of course, everyone's sleep needs are different), so even small improvements are definitely worth celebrating.

 

I actually sleep between 3.5 and 5 hours per night Monday through Friday and then try to compensate by sleeping 8-9 hours on weekends. Yes, I know this is neither healthy or sustainable. It factored into deciding to do sleep goals this challenge.

  • Like 2

Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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Challenge update:

 

Socialized with the volunteers by canvassing a neighborhood from 9:00 to noon. Then we watched Wrath of Khan and then I took a nap because I was exhausted, probably from earlier. Felt sort of bad for wasting time napping, but I will focus on resting as an important part of healing and recovery and strive to change that attitude.

  • Like 6

Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37

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19 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Felt sort of bad for wasting time napping, but I will focus on resting as an important part of healing and recovery and strive to change that attitude.

 

That's good, because, I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I learn best by example. And so does Harriet. 😈

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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