5am Start

Nearly two weeks have passed since deciding on a change. For two weeks I’ve been waking up at 5am every day. No matter what. Even on the weekends, that time when adults and children alike can shun the disciplines of daily life. I opt to instead shove myself out of bed, two and a half hours before anyone else in my house wakes up and certainly before I need to start readying myself for work (given that work is home based when not traveling…).

Easy is one way that does not describe this endeavor. It was all started on the eve of finally getting treatment for sleep disorders. Knowing that there is a high potential to be finally able to claim to have a good, refreshing night of sleep has ignited a newfound desire to right the ship, in a manner of speaking.

Sleep has never been refreshing for me, at least never as long as I can remember. The diagnosis is apnea, an affliction that is caused by a collapse or blockage of my airway during sleep. There are three treatments that are available: lose weight, get an oral appliance (meaning a device that helps to hold the jaw and tongue in place to prevent the airway from collapsing), or get a CPAP (a device that gives constant air pressure to again keep the airway from collapsing). Losing weight isn’t a cure-all like the other two treatments are meant to be, but that isn’t to say that it isn’t helpful, but my weight loss/fitness journey hasn’t restarted yet. To solve apnea for me, I am getting the oral appliance.

When making changes in one’s life, there are two ways to do things: one and a time or all at once. As a person tended towards the scientific method, if one wants to measure the effect of a variable, then the best option is to make changes only to one thing at a time. Change one variable; measure the effects. When changing many things at once, it can be tough to figure out what changes had impacts. In the world of life-betterment (aka self improvement), walloping everything at once can lead someone to make meaningless changes that in fact have no net impact. One could argue that it doesn’t matter a single variable’s contribution in this case so long as the overall impact is positive, but in this case, I want to see what effect my treatment has.

This is all preamble to what is going on. Why am I bothering to torment myself by waking up hours before I need to?

For starters, a recommendation that surprised me started the idea. Upon some of my research prior to getting sleep therapy, I stumbled upon a basic rule: wake up at the same time every day. It felt like a strange rule. I figured that it would be to set the same bed time up or maybe just make sure that one gets eight hours of sleep. Nope. According to several sleep experts, it is more effective and beneficial to wake up at the same time every day. Weekdays and weekends. Holidays and all.

It wasn’t so bad as my dog was fairly reliable at getting me up by 7:30 every morning. Unfortunately when I travel for work, I get up at 5:00 instead. See the disconnect? That’s only one, but the biggest point.

Eventually, the idea came to me to use that time for something greater. Although there are plenty of times I get “me” time to write or do as I please, it is never consistent. I decided to make it the same time every day.

More preamble for the whole crux of the story.

Effectively, for the last two weeks I’ve been trying to convert my mornings into writing time. Yep, it’s for writing. (Who could have guessed that?) For two hours before anyone wakes up, the goal will be to write, post a blog, and get other writing related things out of the way. Then after having started the day with the right ink, any extra time that is gained in the day is a bonus.
This is the first step in a long journey to getting back on the correct path— one that promotes the lifestyle that is spouted off as the one that is lived. Who wants to be a writer? Why not act like one and write? That is the beginning of reclaiming that title. Part of doing that is to find extra time to do write. Waking up early does that.

It hasn’t been perfect, often digressing into non-writing things such as reading the daily comics. Most days so far has been a trial. Can it be done? The short answer is yes, although the proof hasn’t been forged.

When the sleep appliance comes, the hope will be to see an improvement in the first week or two of using it. If I had tried to do this after getting it, it might have given the appearance of the device not working. Or maybe it would have been easier? There’s no way of knowing. All that could be said is that there was to be no waiting for the device to make the changes. Writing has to start now. Getting a guaranteed time to do it every day had to be taken, sleep be damned.

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