Operation Zzz

I look like death warmed over. There are deep bags under my eyes, my neck muscles are vise-tight despite a massage on Saturday, and my face has that hang-dog, puffy look that comes from one too many nights spent sleeping far too little.

This is actually an improvement.

Things were worse in December and January, which were hell on sleep in the Newquist household as the kids forgot how to sleep through the night, family emergencies smashed our piece of mind, and a nasty stomach virus had my wife and the baby fighting to keep food down. And while it feels like we’ve been under siege for the last three days fighting this virus. Not all of my sleep deprivation is family induced though. There was a marathon session of Civilization IV of Saturday night, and more than a few late night DVD forays to watch the two Resident Evil sequels, the first two discs of Doctor Who, Season 3, and the Futurama movie Bender’s Big Heist.

Some days, I’m my own worst enemy.

So with that in mind, I’m initiating Operation Zzz, in which I’ll spend this week trying to get more sleep. My goal this week will to get to bed by 10 p.m. every night, and sleep until 6 a.m. My hope is that by going to bed earlier, and getting up earlier, I’ll be able to get done in the morning what I used to get done at night, namely working on stuff for Nuketown or my various freelance projects, as well as a few household chores.

The challenge will be threefold:

  1. Actually hitting the sack AND going to sleep on time.
  2. Getting our toddler Neutronlad to go to sleep as well and not fighting us until 11 p.m., which is what he’s been doing for the last few weeks.
  3. Getting up without waking up the entire house.

To help with #1, I’ll be re-doubling my efforts to get to the gym or pool each day; I sleep much better if I’ve exercised. #2 is tough, but doable; #2a, which would be getting the kids to stay asleep, is outside of my control. StarGirl and NeutronLad’s late night/early morning wake-ups have been killing us the last few weeks, and sometimes I find it impossible to get back to sleep once I’m awake. Still, if I get to bed earlier, I should get more sleep overall even if the kids wake up screaming at 3 a.m.

#3 is probably the hardest of these tasks. The dogs, the cats, the kids — all of them have hair-trigger motion sensors that the slightest sound can setoff. The key is to navigate the early morning house without setting them off, because once they’re awake — particularly the kids — any hope of getting work done in the morning evaporates, and that will doom my productivity.

But if I get more sleep, even that could be worth it. My immediate goal, after all, is not to write more (I did that in November), it’s to get rid of these raccoon-eyes I’ve been saddled with for the last few weeks.

Wish me luck.

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