July 3rd, 2019

I did a few experiments with my evening yesterday, and while the sample size is small I think I have confirmed that if I screw up the Sunday-Monday sleep, there is not a lot I can do. Case and point: I hit target by 4pm yesterday with something that was not WHT. Note, this was not my intention, but I took advantage of it when it happened. I wrote in my journal my suspicion that using this as an excuse to deliberately expend a life would have little benefit.

So I did it anyway.

This proved an interesting little test. I already knew my evening is less pleasant if I have to cram my writing in after 7pm. This is because of a combination of habits, all of them around the theme of 7pm being the “end” of the day. So I had 1K in the bag, but no WHT words. I let myself rest instead of pushing for story content. Then at 8pm, I got into bed.

So here’s where the cracks began to show. It seems I can reset my biological clock, but it takes a few days to do so. If I get a late night on Monday, I can’t just go to bed early on Tuesday and expect that to work. I fell asleep at 10:46pm. That gave me 9 hours of sleep, but this is an outlier, not a corrector for a previous deficit.

It would seem that if I do not have a rest period to overcome a sleep deficit, a good night does not break me even. I look at it this way: when I get a 7 hour night’s sleep, I am still “resting” for a few hours split either side, winding down if you will. That means when I get 9 hours of sleep instead of 7, but I have been chaining 7 hour nights, all I have achieved in the short term is being unconscious for 2 extra hours.

So I took this gamble in the full suspicion that it would not help my generation of content or feeling of wellbeing. You would be forgiven for wondering why I would do that. I like to experiment, and I need to as well. I knew that I would gain little from an early night vs accepting this is a bad week, and still took the rest-up option. Now when I am tempted in future, I can look back and say “even when I stacked the deck in my favour, this did not work”.

As it stands, I calculated that I had produced around 2,000 minimum more words than I realised I had, so I could afford to do this little test. I still could use more data, but my hypothesis is much stronger now: a restful weekend is the key to a positive week. So now, I need to start ringfencing my weekend and figuring out how to minimise the impact of other people stealing my time. I have to assume they will continue to try.