I've always had a fear of missing out on something amazing.
There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother (wonderful show) featuring Jorge Garcia as "The Blitz." The name was given as a result of receiving a curse: the moment you left a party, something amazing would happen. Though I didn't watch the show until recent years, all my life, evidently, I've been afraid of being the blitz. I never want to leave the party before it ends, because I never want to hear the story secondhand.
It's part of why I tend to find white noise soothing. I'm comfortable in a party setting. As long as I can make out what my conversation partner is saying, I'm happy to be in a noisy place. I even used to fall asleep with the radio on, and more recently, with the television on. Just having something in the background helped me zone out and rest peacefully.
Or so I thought. The last week, my sleeping routine has been dramatically different, and, I feel, far more effective. See, a week ago, I stopped drinking anything that wasn't water for a personal 30-day challenge. No reason, really. I just wondered how different I would feel if I wasn't living on beer and Coca-Cola. I wouldn't say the results have been surprising, but I am impressed with how quickly the benefits took hold and how little I've had in the way of downsides.
I've had none of the dreaded caffeine withdrawal that I remember so well from the few times I tried to cut it out in college, but of course my problem then was that I wasn't drinking enough water. I've been out with friends a couple times and honestly felt better not having a drink. As a result, I've got more money, more energy, and better sleep. Going to bed without caffeine in my system has made falling asleep easier (even without the help of the television), and keeping away from alcohol has made all the sleep more effective.
I did not, however, feel any effects on my ability to wake up. If anything, the extra rest I was feeling just made me want to stay in bed longer. So, I've tried different songs on my alarm to wake me, and I may have found the solution. Crowd noise.
I decided to try Bad Fish by Sublime, figuring that it started quiet and got going a bit later, which would help me wake up slowly, instead of the panic that my former phone's vibration instilled. What I didn't know was that the noise of the crowd talking at the beginning would be enough to wake me up like a shot. The noise that I thought was helping me fall asleep all those nights may just have been keeping me awake. And it makes sense. When I'm in a crowd noise situation, I don't get sleepy. I come alive. All I needed to get me out of bed was the sound of a nearby party.
The result is a run completed before 7:00am, and (hopefully) an extremely productive day ahead. A day filled with work, entertainment and National Championship football.
And water. Lots of water.