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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Must Not Sleep, Must Warn Others

"Warn" might be too strong of a word.

During my 15 miles yesterday, I came across this graffiti underneath the 1st Street bridge. For any number of reasons, it made me laugh, but mostly because my recent revitalization stems primarily from my decision to sleep fewer hours.

While I have, of course, no professional training, and any and all advice that I give in this little blog is entirely based on my own experience and whatever article I've recently read in Runner's World, but I highly recommend regulating your sleep schedule as a way to take control over other aspects of your life. For most people, this means making sure that you get enough sleep, but in my case, it meant making sure I didn't get too much.

Last night, we went to an event for Love-A-Bull, a dog rescue group here in Austin, and when we got home, we put on a movie. This combination meant that I got into bed a little later than I had the rest of the week. Instead of 11, it was 11:30, but instead of getting less sleep, I just moved my wake up time back by half an hour. I would love to be awake at the same time every day, but I think it's more important that I get the same number of hours.

I've learned a lot just by getting up a couple hours earlier in the day. For example, I learned that just after sunrise, our living room wall looks like this:

I also know that my energy level is through the roof when I get myself moving. Despite the fact that I'm getting less sleep, I feel more rested. I want to do more things throughout the day, and when I get into bed at night, I fall asleep far more quickly. And when I have a Sunday morning without a scheduled run, I can do anything I want. So what I wanted to do this morning was to head down to the lake and play a little piano at sunrise.

A while back, I mentioned that the city of Austin had put out a few pianos throughout the city for anyone to play. I thought that they had only been out for the Art City festival, but they're still out there, as I saw them on my run a couple weeks ago.

Considering my newfound love of early mornings, I thought about how nice it would be to go down there an play at sunrise next to the water. Today is a cross-training day, which meant that I would be heading to the gym to do some lifting, so my theory was this: I would walk down, play for a while as the sun came up, and then head back home, using the walk as a warm-up, and do my lifting. When the alarm went off this morning, I considered, as usual, getting back into bed, but the whole image of this adventure got me moving. 

And it went just the way I'd planned, with one little exception: there was no sun. It was still a lovely morning, even though it was overcast.

Now that's a way to start a Sunday. I played for about 30 minutes, and then went back and did my workout. I was home by 8:30, which is earlier than I normally would even be awake. Having this much time in a day really opens up all the possibilities of life. I'm very excited about the next month and all that I can do with the extra hours I'm not spending in bed.

Today has already included a workout, music, and a trip to Starbucks. Still ahead is a rehearsal/film shoot and a free evening for whatever we like.

Sleep is overrated. I must warn others.

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