This may sound like a lame excuse to write on some days (like today, when I messed up my schedule) but I’m trying to no longer keep my computer on after seven o’clock. According to a recent story published by the Huffington Post, sleep expert James B. Maas, Ph.D. lists looking at electronic devices too close to bedtime as detrimental to going to sleep on time. He likens looking at computer screens to daylight, which is an alerting mechanism. That’s why I’m trying to speed through this blog post tonight as I didn’t get to start it until six-thirty. Maas recommends not looking at screens at least an hour before going to bed. My bedtime throughout the week is eight, so that means I stop at seven.
Normally I try to stop by then anyway. My normal routine has me either jog or work on music from dinner until five, then two hours spent on writing. I try to experiment switching the writing and the music but the schedule doesn’t change very much. Let’s ignore for the moment that I haven’t been sticking to schedule much lately. By the routine’s design I stop looking at a computer screen at seven. Then I’m usually doing other things to get ready for bed or listening to podcasts. Occasionally I’ll watch a movie but I usually reserve T.V. for the weekends. I find an hour to relax before going to bed helps anyway.
The other rules listed in the article tend to be troublesome for me, especially keeping a seven-day sleep schedule. I can’t help trying to stay up late on Fridays and Saturdays. I don’t always succeed on Fridays but on Saturdays I usually go out or something. If anything I make a point to stay up late because I can. Secretly in the back of my mind I know that it messes me up for a few days so I have a hard time getting back into the groove of things early in the work week.
But keeping a schedule, including when I stop looking at the computer screen, will hopefully help my writing in the long run. Getting enough sleep should make me more productive in anything. I didn’t studly Maas’ credentials too closely but they all sound like they make sense. It’s worth trying. I just wish that I didn’t mess things up today. I haven’t gotten any writing done. Unless I break out a notebook I won’t. I doubt that will happen. I have some things I need to take care of before going to bed once I get home. I’ll probably spend my last waking hours reading. Fortunately, my Kindle isn’t back-lit.