My First Experiment: The Humble Alarm Cloak

It’s shameful to admit this, but since lockdown started a week and a half ago, I have been sleeping in until 1:30pm! It’s not like I go to bed late either, sometimes I’m in there by 9:30pm.

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I guess I get sick of my family being around all the time. So much noise. So much talking. So much you’re sitting in my chair “MOVE”. And then there’s the toddler standing on the dining room table. Don’t have kids. It’s a bit of a disaster trying to get some work done while sticky fingers are playing with the powerpoints and climbing everything. I say that I get up late to avoid it, but the noise is there the entire time I’m awake. I would be better off getting up at like 5am to get some alone time with my internet provider.

So anyway… the experiment. Obviously, I can’t spend the rest of my life sleeping for half a day everyday and expect to be in paid employment. Maybe, I should join a sleep study? tempting. Or maybe I could marry a farmer? I stayed at my friends house once, and her father was a farmer, and the alarm blared for like an hour. I got sick of it because it was talk radio and it was LOUD, so I got out of bed and into the parents bedroom and I was shocked to see the dad still asleep. I was mortified.

Anyway, onto the experiment… (lol)

I have set my alarm to go off every half an hour from 5am to 1:30pm, and I am going to let these alarms go off until I either throw my phone off a cliff or have better sleep/awake times. Wish me luck!

I will update here later with the results. 🙂

Results:

Day 1- I didn’t sleep the previous night, thanks to the help of an energy drink. At 5am, I started working on this blog, and the alarm faithfully went off every half hour until about 9:30am. By then my eyelids were feeling very heavy, so I went back to bed for a few hours.

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Day 2- I woke up at 5am… and 5:30am, 6am, 6:30am etc… Every half an hour I had a different dream, it was awesome! I can’t remember any of them though. I think in the last one, I had a car and the wheels ripped off. I got up at about 10am and had some toast and a drink, then had a disagreement with someone and went back to bed for several hours. I think I need a reason to get out of bed and stay out of bed.

Day 3: I tried going to sleep. I think I had coffee too late in the day. I ended up getting up at about 2am and making many draft blogs and playing Egg Inc. I went back to bed a few hours later and tried meditating. Nope. I turned off most of my alarms and ended up falling asleep. I woke up at about 7:17am. I think I’m going to stay awake now that I’m up. I would consider that a success. Just before I woke up, I had a dream that I started a podcast. I dreamt that I made many episodes, but somehow died after two episodes. I died when I was very old, but a mere youth in spirit. I dreamt that I died in my fathers arms and with my family around me in heaven. This made me very happy. Dreams are interesting aren’t they?

Day 4: Today I forgot to set my half an hour alarm cloaks. I woke up at about 6:43am. I am improving!

Day 5: I got out of bed at about 8:30am. Ready to face the day and go for a walk! I woke up several times before this, but couldn’t bear to get out of bed because it was too cold! I think I need to buy some warmer pjamas, a kettle, a water bottle and a cup, so I can put the kettle on when I wake up and have a hot drink! Not sure what to do about the milk though. Wouldn’t want it to go funky during the night.

Day 6: I woke up about six times, before getting up at 9am. I would have gotten up earlier, but we had a guest and I didn’t want to disturb her. Up the time I did get up, I felt sluggish. Might go back and sleep a bit more or go for a long walk and see if I feel better.

Day 7: I got out of bed at about 8:30am. The alarm went off several times and I was too tired to turn it off. My room was freezing cold. The reasons I stayed in bed for so long was because I was cold, I was waiting for my tablet game to reset and I wanted my phone to be fully charged before I went for a walk. I went to take my phone off the charger, but it was only at 60%.

Day 8: I woke up at 5am and wanted to get up, but we had another guest. I got up at 6:30am and made dad breakfast in bed to encourage him to go for a walk with me, but he ended up being busy, so I went for a walk by myself. I think getting some morning exercise is good motivation to get up early. Hopefully he’ll join me in the future.

Day 9: This morning, I woke up to a nightmare about my grandma, whose ashes are currently in our house. I reluctantly went back to bed, then reluctantly got up at 5:30am, watched some Big Bang Theory then reluctantly walked the dog. I am getting closer to my goal! It should be easier with daylight savings which is a few weeks away.

Day 10: I got up at about 8am. Too tired to remember much.

Day 11: I got up at 10am. Couldn’t be bothered getting up earlier today.

Day 12: I ended up turning all of my alarm cloaks off and enjoyed dreaming and sleeping in, ahh.

Day 13: I stayed in bed because I was cold. I got up at about 9am and walked the dog.

Why this blog?

Apparently, up to one in eight people is neurodiverse, and has a condition such as tourettes syndrome, ADHD, Autism or Bipolar . I don’t know about you, but this can really slow me down.

One of the big things in the world of Neurodiversity is Executive Functioning. What is Executive Functioning? This is the ability to self manage, such as “self-restraint, working memory, emotion control, focus, task initiation, planning/prioritization, organization, time management, defining and achieving goals, flexibility, observation and stress tolerance“(https://www.cio.com/article/2443637/executive-skills–how-to-improve-your-ability-to-focus.html). These are skills that are often picked up in childhood, either by intuition, being taught or copying peers or elders.

Personally, I really struggle with waking up at a normal time, following routines and finding work. It can really suck the joy out of life when you spend most of your time watching Netflix, eating junk food, sleeping and avoiding adult responsibilities. Watching so much tv is basically just living through other people, instead of having your own adventures. I try to organise myself and get on top of my life by making routines, to do lists and bucket lists, but it makes me dread doing the things on the list. I bet if I wrote “eat chocolate” on one of the lists, I would avoid doing it. I am a strange girl. This is something repulsive about lists. That being said, sometimes I really successful with lists. It depends on my mood and how many days in I am. I can usually keep a to do list for three or four days then I either get sick of following it, or I forget to make another one up. If all I do was have a goal to make a to do list for each day, I would probably be a much more successful person.

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Another crazy thing about this, is that I consider myself someone of a perfectionist, so if I can’t complete a task to 100% completion I will avoid it completely, or if it doesn’t meet my high standards or looks too hard, I will give up before I start. Like this one time I

Another crazy thing about me, is that I consider myself someone of a perfectionist. I am an expert at giving up before I start if something looks too difficult for me or I know it won’t meet my high standards. I also avoid starting something that I know I can’t finish. The other weird thing? I am a big procrastinator, so if I have an assignment due, instead of completing it to a high standard and making an early start on it, I will wait until I only just have enough time to finish it. This was a big problem in school, because my grade point average was not achieved, and if I did finish an assignment, I would mostly only get achieved. I think I only got three or four merits, and like two excellences. I did mange to get University Entrance though.

An example of my ridiculous expectations and personal standards is the humble gingerbread house. One year I decided I wanted to make one… rather than print of a template like a “normal” person and give it a whack, I looked at many examples of houses online and decided it would be too difficult for the likes of me. Now, I am thinking that I would do well to make a few houses per year so I can improve on my first attempt and create something I am proud of.

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Anyway, I hope that explains some of the craziness that surrounds my life. My Bipolar gives me some crazy mood swings when I’m not medicated, my ADD makes me daydream, zone out and put things off, and my Autism makes me struggle to understand how the regular folk think and function. This world is not equipped for Neurotypical people, and I think the Education system needs to be tipped on it’s head to accommodate people like me. I went through school thinking that I was just there to be the class clown and to be enrolled in a babysitting service, rather than to learn, develop life skills and prepare for work. I can’t have been the only one confused like that. Being Neurodiverse is definitely a gift, but it is a gift that can make life a lot more difficult if you don’t know how to live and thrive with it. This blog will be an attempt to help lift people like me out of stagnation in life by providing helpful tips and suggestions and showing experiments in self improvement in my own life. It will also feature things like my attempts at a bucket list and anything I can think of that relates to ADHD, Bipolar or Autism. I may also interview people on the spectrum to see how they are doing in life. And post the occasional video.