Kicking the habit of going to bed late and waking up late is not easy. Even on nights when I have stuff planned for the next day and have to be up early to catch the subway train, I find myself thinking up excuses to delay shutting off my lamp. The worst is physically being in bed with the lights out and still worrying about whatever tomorrow has in store for me. If I don’t fall asleep. If I don’t fall asleep for another half hour. If I sleep badly and wake up with a headache. If I sleep poorly and am too tired to be motivated to go. If I do go out. If I don’t go out. If I get there early. If I get there late. If I change my mind about my plans. If I show up but get too nervous to tell anyone there that I’ve arrived. If I get lost on my way there. If I get there but don’t go in.
I’d like to be well rested and wake up early. I know wishing something was true won’t change anything. Nothing can happen without effort on my part to change my habits. The nights in which I am obligated to set my sleep schedule to an earlier time, I feel myself subconsciously resisting it as the minutes tick by. It’s like telling myself in my head that in a half hour, I will put my phone on silent for the night and go brush my teeth. But I don’t. Most of the time, depending on what I do before bed, it’s usually something to distract myself with and help me unwind. Listening to a podcast. Working on a cross stitch. Reading a book chapter on my Kindle.
The bad part is although I mean for these activities to aid in relaxation, I find that after I finish something, like the podcast episode has reached its end or I completed a section on the cross stitch or I read to the end of the chapter on the Kindle, it seems my mind is still running at high speed. I’m unsure what word to use to describe it. Sometimes it does feel like I want more, but other times it feels as if I want it only because I’ve finished something and am bored. Almost like I can’t stand the stillness around me and need more activity to keep me going. The downside to this is I end up doing stuff but not being fully present or fully paying attention to what I’m doing at the moment because I can feel my body getting tired yet somehow my mind continues to want a distraction. I wonder if this dysfunction is because of anxiety. My theory is that because I don’t get to experience the everyday fulfillment of interacting with people frequently and regularly with consistency, my mind is often bored and searching for ways to entertain itself at inappropriate times at night when I should be spending my energy on sleeping. I do think it’s an innate instinct in humans to want to be social and I believe this is true for me even though I tell myself I’m fine with mostly being alone.