Tag Archives: goals

How do you get enough sleep, but not enough sleep?

Wellness Wednesday:
Week 3 Sleep Goals Recap

Well folks, I can officially declare success. Last week I hit the 8 hour target average time for sleep. Hooray.

Data Points (according to Fitbit data):

Consistent wake up times persist.

All 2016 Average: 7 hr
Pre-experiment Week 0: 7h12min (while on vacation, i.e. includes random gluts of sleeping in)
Week 1 (1/8-1/14): 7h 23min, asleep starts ranging from 10:21 to 11:46pm
Week 2 (1/15 – 1/20): 7h 50 min, asleep starts ranging from 8:51 to 11:59pm, mostly in the 10:20 area
Week 3 (1/21 – 1/27): 8h 7 min! Asleep starts ranging 9:54 to 10:55pm, mostly around 10:30.

Observation 1: Sadly, if you compare this last full week to the week 2, there are also more little pink lines, which show when I fully woke up, around 2 or 4 in the morning, and then went back to sleep. It’s exhausting! This is how you get enough sleep, but not enough.

Week 3 Win: target met! Challenge: mid-sleep wake-ups?!

I started reading this book, Dreamland, by David K. Randall.

There’s a description in there about how we used to have two sleeps. First and second sleep, waking up in the middle of the night.

Is this the second sleep?

Is this what happens when you are recovering from a cold and weird back pain recovery at the same time, and also experiencing heightened worry-nightmares about having your healthcare coverage taken away and green-card-holding relatives ejected from the country?

I didn’t have this problem before I started this project, so it’s a bit perturbing to discover it this week. That’s what the little book excerpt in week 2 sleep goal recap is about.

Observation 2: K___ and I compared our Fitbit data and found we were chalking about the same amounts of sleep, even though I go to bed later than him, and he gets up before me most mornings. Aha! When he was sick, I went to sleep earlier and when I was sick, so did he.

Observation 3: it’s 10:44pm and I’m posting this…so, that’s also how you don’t get enough sleep, you like yourself get carried away completing something.


  • Your partner’s habits matter (people or pets).
  • The mystery of the mid-sleep wake-up continues,
  • as does a gradual movement of bed times (which is fighting with being extra wired after capoeira workout fixed at 7-8:30pm), but I’m done blogging about it for now.
  • Sleep training children may be harder in other ways, but easier in that it’s an external force getting you (the kid) to sleep.
  • I can probably continue this progression, and the gains in hours should help the rest come along.

If I were to design a multi-week plan, I would try:

Week 1: Better your sleep environment, and sit down and make a pact with any co-sleepers, furry or human. Looking at eating and exercise schedules, and hours of daylight absorbed. Observe how you feel with different sleep times, and set ultimate bed time goals, divide difference in fours and add those in per phase. See: Huffington Post on 37 Science-Backed Tips for Better Sleep.

Week 2: start shifting bedtime, phase 1 + same wake time

Week 3: start shifting bedtime, phase 2 + same wake time

Week 4: shifting bedtime, phase 3

-Recover sleep on weekends as needed.

-Keep track of the quality of sleep too.

Thanks for bearing with me while I experiment with other content on this blog!

How are your 2017 goals going?


Multi-month look: gradual cyclical improvement.

Also see:

Week 0 : 2017 Goals

Week 1: Sleep Goals Recap

Week 2: Sleep Goals Recap – The Problem with Competing with Yourself

*I am not endorsing that you read Dreamland, still in the middle of it. In fact, time will tell if I’d be better off having read Edgar Allan Poe’s “Dream-land” instead. I may just go fish out my Wide Awake at 3AM book, of which there somehow ended up being two copies in my parents house. That’s how much we liked that book, apparently.
**Thomas Edison: famous for sleeping only 4 hours a night. However, also had a cot in his workshop for naps -thanks to Jennifer for alerting me to that tidbit via postcard!

The problem with competing against yourself..

Wellness Wednesday:

Week 2 Recap of Sleep Goals

First, let’s make that previous target more specific:* average 8 hrs’ sleep

Second, methods:

  • Getting off my phone a bit beforehand, switching to reading a book or staring blankly at the roku tv.
  • Rescheduled watching Vikings to dinnertime.
  • Start reading a book on sleep for more ideas based on the science behind it (see text excerpt standing in for this week’s feature photo).
  • Covered the little green lights that blare from my Fitbit and jar me awake occasionally. This worked for one night’s sleep and then I couldn’t bear to part with the data it collects via heart rate to tell if I’m asleep.
  • STill in process: change iPhone bedtime to 10:15pm, then 10, then 9:45 (gradually over 6 days) to see when it tells me to start going to sleep. Maybe it’s been telling me too early.
  • Getting some sun

Data Points (according to Fitbit data):

The secret to sleep is getting sick and needing more sleep. :p

All 2016 Average: 7 hr

Pre-experiment Week 0: 7h12min (while on vacation, i.e. includes random gluts of sleeping in)

Week 1 (1/8-1/14): 7h 23min,  asleep starts ranging from 10:21 to 11:46pm

Week 2 (1/15 – 1/20): 7h 50 min, asleep starts ranging from 8:51 to 11:59pm, mostly in the 10:20 area

Week 2: closer to target sleep time than week 1.

Success? Yes…ish.

Week 2 Drawback: caught a cold, back tweaked out again, so need even more sleep.

The problem with competing against yourself is that you can keep moving the goal post forward, and it can be difficult to ever declare victory. Exhausting.


Today’s Trial Habit-Shift Rating:

Novelty Rating: 

Lessons Learned:

  • Nothing like catching a cold to help you get more needed sleep. First my spouse, and now me.
  • On the other hand, my exercise activity is barely staying above my 3h45min per week threshold (from a previous year’s improvement project), what with back pain + having a cold. Hopefully this will even out..

Likelihood of Repeat: indeterminate. Maybe I just don’t care about this goal and that’s why it’s eluded me for years..

*SMART Objectives, per business school jargon: it’s best to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Wellness Wednesday:
What 2017 Goals Do You Have?

Warning to new parents: this post may stir up your rage nerve, as it involves talk of sleep.

With the new year comes a feeling of renewed opportunities. Even if you weren’t making up new year’s resolutions, your friends might be talking about theirs and getting you thinking. I also have a few who eschew the term ‘resolution’ and prefer to think of ‘goals’. So, in deference to them..

This January, I’m attempting a goal to finally fix up my sleep habits, which currently consist of going to sleep too late, then waking up kind of early anyway. It’s been about a two-year slide into staying up later and later, between 10:30pm and 1:30am. Current target: 7.5-8 hours of sleep. Besides, I kind of feel like I’ve tried plenty of food and exercise-related goals and this will be an interesting change of pace. I’ll try to check in each Wednesday this month for a recap of how it’s gone. Step 1 in increased self-discipline: get next week’s “Wellness Wednesday” notes online before Thursday!

I’m going to try to tackle one primary thing each month (provided previous month’s goal is met) with an overall theme of more self-discipline. Last year’s “read more” goal went well for the list of books I started with, but fizzled in momentum mid-year.

What are you resolving to shift in your life in 2017?

Inspiration: hop on over to my fellow Minnesotan and food-related blogger Lee Hersch’s Fit Foodie Finds for other ideas on getting more healthy!

For those with small children who tenaciously still red this:

Any lessons learned or reflections from sleep training your kids, that you think could transfer here?