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Bed by 11 - Post Week 4

Misheel Batkhuu
Oct. 18, 2021, 7 a.m.

I used to think habits took a month to stabilize. After 4 weeks of sleeping by 11, however, it’s clear 6 weeks is a better estimate. Challenges are still prevalent as ever, if not more as we dig past the orientation first month of the school year. It would be nice to say our participants are equally determined, but a look at their reflections reveals that 2 more weeks isn’t going to be easy. Much has changed, and much more can change:

As of now, how do you feel about your decision to try this challenge? (were your expectations realistic, idealistic, do you have any regrets)

Keren (Grade 10): “I think my expectations weren’t realistic, because I didn’t take into account something that could happen out of the blue that would cause me not to go to bed at 11.”

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I don't regret my decision about trying this challenge and I'm glad to have accepted it. As for my expectations, I feel that they were pretty realistic although the challenge has proven to be more difficult than I had initially thought.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “My expectations were somewhat realistic, as I realized that the ultimate goal of fixing my sleep schedule entirely would take a while to achieve. I did reach a few small victories though, and because of that I don't really have regrets!”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I feel pretty good. I'm just glad I made this "official" because it really motivates me to take it seriously. I guess it really fits into what you call a SMART goal (throwback to Grade 9 Gym!) because it's so easy to measure and assess yourself. It's also lasting exactly 6 weeks, but as of now, I've decided I'm gonna keep going with this even after. My expectations were actually pretty realistic. I've found it's absolutely possible to sleep by 11 if I put my mind to it, and it's paid off. I still doze off at at least one random point during the day, but at least I'm not looking for every opportunity to nap like I used to. I'm performing better academically too.”

If you hadn't taken this challenge, what noticeable difference in your life (routines, efficiency, productivity, and performance) do you think might exist?

Keren (Grade 10): “Lower performance because of the lack of sleep, I also think I’d have a longer bedtime routine and a shorter morning routine.”

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I think that I would be more tired throughout the day because my sleep schedule would be very inconsistent. My routines and efficiency wouldn't have changed that much because I liked having routines even before partaking in this challenge and having them efficient.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I definitely would've been stuck in a severe spiral of feelings of self-hatred, I had always felt sluggish and out of control when it came to managing my day-to-day life. I wasn't working efficiently at all because I kept thinking, "I can keep working as long as I stay up". It was a total mess of pulling all-nighters and not getting any work done because of the constant lack of concentration. I also had no sense of routine anymore, not even for meal times! Sleep deprivation made me hungrier on some days than others, and I would snack randomly. However, I think the largest difference and most important to me would be how I dealt with the shock of returning to school. I believe I would've more feelings of being overwhelmed and panicked in my previous state, which would've been absolutely terrifying to handle.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I guess I would be a lot less efficient and productive, and my work and results would be much weaker in quality. I'm generally a bit on the stressed side right now, but I'm sure it would be worse if I were failing Functions because I couldn't pay attention.”

What is keeping up to date with your social life like? Are there any sacrifices (even asides from social life, like regular exercise or practicing a particular hobby) that you have had to make?

Keren (Grade 10): “I haven’t noticed any sacrifices I’ve had to make. However I did not go to bed at 11 on Thursday but it wasn’t a choice or a sacrifice that could have been made.”

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “Keeping up to date with my social life hasn't been a problem as this challenge hasn't impacted it. I haven't been able to practice some of my hobbies, however, I don't think it is a result of this challenge but rather because of school and everything that comes with it such as homework and studying.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Honestly, one of my friend groups is nocturnal I swear. It's more difficult because I can't have long conversations with some of them anymore on voice calls, which I used to do even during all-nighters. I also can't join in online activities they do for that long, as they usually start pretty late. I've deleted Instagram as well, as sleep deprivation made me easily rely on instant gratification to deal with stress. I haven't really looked at posts sent to me anymore, I've just been checking for messages from time to time. I've sacrificed being able to go to my apartment gym regularly, though I've been more physically active at school anyways. As for hobbies, I've actually gained some rather than lose any! I've gotten back into playing my old instruments (I'm not good at all but I really enjoy it for coping with stress).”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “It's hard! Luckily I have friends who are very empathetic, relatable, and understanding, but it is hard. In particular, a lot of entertaining conversations occur at night around 9pm and 10pm when I should be studying so I can get in bed in time, and it's very hard to pull myself out of those. Well, actually, I haven't been recently, and the consequence has been more stress as I cram-study.
My exercise routine is also going down the drain. I used to be able to squeeze in a few sessions every day consistently, even if that meant a midnight yoga practice. As of now, I haven't run or worked out or trained in over 2 weeks. I feel terrible about it, but it's just so hard to balance all the work, priorities, etc, and still get in bed on time. The moment I get out of bed, I can't exercise because I have to jump right into studying and other work. However, I guess at the end of the day, my entire social life could be the end sacrifice I make to keep my fitness up...”

Is this getting more natural or more difficult? (do you think it will keep getting more natural or more difficult)

Keren (Grade 10): “Much more natural. At first, I wasn’t necessarily tired at 11, but now I definitely always am.”

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I feel that it's getting a bit more natural and will continue to be so.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Getting more natural, as I've figured out a routine!! I find this one really works well for me so far.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “It's definitely becoming more natural, but it's also getting more difficult in the sense that I'm realizing how much I will slowly lose if I keep trying to make this habit while not changing other bad ones like spending away too much time on Discord. I can no longer stay up past 11:30 (I get suuuper tired), I'm used to waking up in the dark and cold, and I can't imagine not feeling guilty for staying up later than 11. Still, I'm also realizing I'm doomed if I don't fix other habits in correspondence.”

How do you feel moving on with this challenge for Week 5?

Keren (Grade 10): ““Not so good.”

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I feel good moving on with this challenge for week 5.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Now that I know how to have a sustainable routine and manage a decent workload, I'm feeling a bit more confident now! Let's do thisssss”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I can do this! I can do this... I. Can. Do. This.”

Which best describes you right now?

Keren (Grade 10): Option 7 (eyebags, weary)

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, content)

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 10 (popcorn, vibing)

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 1 (angry, determined)

If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9

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