Exercise for Sleep

Tpuppy snuggleshere are multiple excellent reasons for exercise. I write about them constantly.

One I rarely talk about is the fact that it helps me (and most people) sleep soundly.

I have a lot of energy. I’m a pretty energetic person. I’m actually really aware of my energy level because it’s a good indicator of my inner mood. If I’m exhausted midday, it’s likely because I’m doing something I don’t want to be doing. If I’m sleepy at night just before bed, it’s been a good day of accomplishments. If I’m still anxious when I’m going to sleep, odds are I didn’t exercise and/or be productive enough that day.

Exercise, for me, is the opportunity to not only clear my mind and gain some perspective on what does and does not actually need to be done in the day. It also gives me a place to let out some of the pent up steam from various projects or interactions throughout the day. It energizes me if I’m feeling drained (and know it’s not from lack of sleep) and it calms me for the rest of the day.

I use my energy level as an indicator. And it typically directly corresponds to my exercise consistency.

Yet another reason to add to the long list of why getting up and getting moving is good for you.

 

Break’s Over

scheduleI got busy. Reeeeeeeeally busy. I tend to stay busy anyway (as you can see from a quick perusing of my website… I like to produce lots of content). In the past couple weeks, I became even busier for various reasons. Which is fine by me. It feels good to be challenged.

And last week was one of the most challenging weeks I’ve had in a long while. I was getting very little sleep and had very limited time to get done a number of projects. I slept probably 12 hours all week. And on top of it, had some things go down Sunday that made it difficult to relax during the little sleep time I did have.

I didn’t exercise. I let it go for over a week. That’s the longest I’ve gone in a couple years. It didn’t feel great because I like to be balanced. But truth be told, I didn’t even have time to worry about it. The little bit of sleep I could get during the down times was the one and only priority I had. I just watched what I ate (which is easy when you’re already stressed and feeling down) and accepted the fact that everything is cyclical. I kept telling myself just make it a little it further.

And this morning I finally got back to it. I didn’t have time to make it to the gym, but I did some basic exercises in my apartment. And it felt good. I got some sweat on my skin and endorphins in the brain.

As long as you’re actively seeking balance- and recognize that it’s ok when it doesn’t happen- you can recover from and get through anything.

 

Sleeeeeeeeeeeeep

I have a creative mind. Which I’m passionate about and proud of.

My creative mind is really good at coming up with creative ways to get around problems.  This serves me 90% of the time. My mind has come up with an alternative or solution before I even realize there was an issue.

Unfortunately, my creative mind seems to think waking up at a reasonable hour is a problem that needs a solution.

No matter what I do to try and “trick” myself into getting out of bed early so I can have a productive and efficient morning, my creative mind is two steps ahead of me. The new “trick” will work for a day- maybe two. Then my mind will fix the “problem” before I know it, and I will somehow out-smart whatever trick I tried employing and will sleep in.

People say “Have a routine! Have a bedtime! Stick to a schedule!” and while I know in my heart and mind that they’re right- that would help me more than anything else, I would like them to live in my world for a week and try and wrangle this mind, ideas, and goals into a routine schedule. It’s nearly impossible. When you get really excited about a new project you thought up at 11:24 pm and need to spend the next three hours working on it, you need to spend the next three hours working on it. You can’t convince your mind to shut off at midnight so you can go to bed. You can only create. You don’t really have a choice in the matter. It’s a compulsion that you want to serve. Creativity sometimes comes in brilliant flashes that you have to just ride out until the light fades.

And sometimes, you’ve finished a show and should come home and go to bed, but instead you want to get a drink with the people you’ve just spent time performing with. Sure, you could technically skip out on this, but a huge part of performing is performing with people you like and you can’t know if you like people or not if you don’t spend any time talking to them with words that were not prewritten.

I know I need to recognize that my body needs to rest. I know I need to respect the fact that I push hard, and my body need sleep as a result. And I know I should give myself a break and not expect to be able to go to bed at 2 am and wake up at 6 am totally awake and refreshed every day. That won’t fly with my body. Fine.

BUT THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN THIS WORLD. I NEED MORE TIME TO DO THEM ALL. AND SLEEP IS UNPRODUCTIVE!

So if anyone has any new ideas, tips, or tricks for helping motivate to get up refreshed, I’m totally open to them.