Change sinks in as you sleep: Your subconscious is working even when you aren’t

When it comes to my daily routine, often I find the most difficult part for me right now is the evening, going to sleep, shutting everything down in a way that works and it gets me ready for the next day.
Because every part of our day except sleeping, it seems like we have some kind of control over it.
We can choose what to do.
Now of course, not to say it’s easy to just make ourselves do whatever we should do and don’t feel like doing, and not do the things we feel like doing but shouldn’t do.
Of course, those are their own challenges, and not to minimize those.
But there’s something special about sleeping, because we can’t make ourselves go to sleep.
We can’t apply discipline and say “I’m just going to make myself do it even though I don’t feel like it.”
Going to sleep is something that happens passively to us.
So we can take actions to prepare for sleep, and shut down the bright lights, shut down the intense stimulation, control what and when we eat dinner and the conditions of the bedroom, the temperature, the light, the sound.
All these things we can do to prepare for good sleep.
But in the end, we have to kind of let it happen to us.
And that I find harder, because often I don’t feel like going to sleep in the evening.
Throughout the day I’m warming up, my head is filling with all the new things happening in the day, and I have lots circulating in my mind, and then before I know it, it’s the evening, and oh, it’s time to go to sleep so I can start again tomorrow.
And I don’t feel like it.
I I’ve just gotten rolling.
Why is the day so short?
Now maybe working harder during the day, and there’s ways, maybe as I learn to make better use of my days, then I’ll become more used to this cycle and just be ready to say “OK, I’ve done everything I can do in that day and I’m ready to sleep.”
So there’s all kinds of factors involved.
But one thing that I find is helpful for this is to remind myself that when I’m going to sleep, when I’m ending the day I’m not really just stopping everything.
It’s not like all the progress I do during the day, I go through the day, progress, do things, useful things, and then I stop, and then start up again the next day.
In some way, it’s like this, and when it comes to active, directed activity, I am stopping all activity and will be picking it up the next day.
But it’s not like everything stops.
Because some part of our mind, some part of ourselves, is continuing to work at all times.
Could call it the subconscious, whatever that means.
Whatever parts of ourselves that are not directly consciously controlled and we’re not directly aware of, but our emotional states, our sense of who we are, these sort of foundations of our habits and our behaviour: There’s something going on even when we’re not working.
It’s like we we work all day and do useful things and somehow advance whatever we’re working on, but then it’s like overnight it’s like something is setting in.
It’s like we sort of mold ourselves, we make a new shape of ourselves, and then it sets, it solidifies.
Whatever we do in that day, overnight it’s almost like it sinks in.
It becomes more part of who we are.
Whether good or bad, whatever we spend the day doing, that’s something that we’re kind of adding to our identity, to our way of being.
And when we wake up the next day, a little bit of that yesterday is baked in, or settled in, or solidified into ourselves.
So if we spend a day doing useful things and getting closer to what we want, then we’ll find, we wake up the next day, we are a little bit closer.
And if we do bad things and get further away from a good result, well, that’s what we’ll wake up into.
So I like to think about this and think that when I go to sleep, when I shut things down in the evening, there’s this necessary kind of work going on in the background, like a digestion, a settling, that is happening out of everything I did that day.
And that work is going on all the time.
This is not something that ever stops, I think.
So whatever we do, it needs time to settle in, become built into ourselves.
And that seems to be what’s happening overnight.
So it’s one thing to look forward to as I’m sleeping: well, I’m going to wake up as a slightly different person.
And that action of that happening is going to happen as I sleep overnight.
So I find this an interesting way of looking at sleep and non-action.
And as usual, I’d love to hear what you think about this.

#changesinksin #eveningroutine #subconsciouswork

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