Another early morning

Wednesday August 10, 2016
5:00am
Dublin, Google Office

My issue is not falling asleep in the evening, my issue is staying asleep at night...

2:33am
I've been awake for a bit now, but just checked the clock. Here we are again.

Step 1: Problem Analysis

Why the F*** can't I sleep? Is it because my mind is racing? Because some light is disturbing my sleep? Or because someone somewhere is awake and alive and making noises that prevent me from sleeping: cars driving by, birds singing, etc.?

Each issue now has a "solution":
- light: put an eye mask on
- noise: put noise cancelling headphones on
- mind racing: well, that's a several step process!

Tonight, my mind is buzzing, my heart is racing. I need to calm the F*** down. I pick up my notebook and start writing down whatever is cluttering up my psyche:
- list of things to do tomorrow (well, today) at the office,
- list of action items to finish before end of week for work,
- list of things to take on vacations,
- list of what to wash, throw away, and tidy up before leaving my flat for vacations,
- list of courses I should take for my career development.

3:01am
Now that my lists are down, I go back through them one more time. I picture myself as Dumbledore emptying his busy mind in his pensieve.

"I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure." —Albus Dumbledore

Step 2: Problem Statement and Hypothesis

Problem Statement: How likely am I to fall back into sleep?

Hypothesis 1: I will fall back asleep within the next 30min to one hour and hopefully stay asleep until later morning (my alarm is for 8am, even though I rarely get the pleasure to hear it ring).
  • No need to get up. 
  • Maybe a 10min meditation audio from Headspace could even help the process.
Hypothesis 2: I won't fall back asleep for the next couple hours, but only very close to a more decent morning hour, and will most likely end up super tired when I wake up.
  • Get out of bed and do some yoga exercises.
  • If not tired yet, read a book (I have so many books I started: on my bed side table, on both sides of my couch, by my bathtub, even in my kitchen!)
  • It not tired yet, make lists (see above).
  • If not tired yet, meditation audiotape.
  • If not tired yet, hit my head really hard against the wall (just kidding, even though I think of that option so many times a night!)
Hypothesis 3: Sleep is gone, let's face it. I know the signs now. My heart is not calming down; my head is clear yet not sleepy at all; my body is restless. 
  • Let's get up!
4:10am
Tonight, hypothesis 3 is the winner. Let's get out of here. 

Step 3: Executive Decision

People often ask me why I would not stay home when I can't sleep, instead of coming to the office. Here is the answer: staying home - in bed, or on my couch, or standing up immobile against the wall of my kitchen, is a constant reminder that I CANNOT SLEEP. And it's painful! And it makes me upset and sad. So nope, not staying home. Instead, I make the call: get up and go to the office.

I have to say I'm extremely lucky to have an employer with such a pleasant office, open 24/7.
Otherwise, I don't know what I would do.

Step 4: Action Plan
  1. Cold (more like mild temperature) shower to wake up the body.
  2. Coffee to correctly wake up the mind.
  3. Off you go!
Step 5: Life at Google before anyone else shows up

For my colleagues who may be curious of what I do before they arrive:
  • I chat with my other early birds friends. And most likely, I chat with my mom who also never sleeps. 
  • I watch TV shows in replay.
  • I read articles, spend time on Linkedin and Twitter, catch up with friends on Facebook.
  • I get breakfast.  
See you all soon in the office then!

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