Nighty-night routine completely finished. I'm very satisfied with it. For one, I practice a certain amount of basic sleep hygiene, like avoiding caffeine and cardiovascular exercise before sleeping (10 hours beforehand and 5 hours, respectively). Lifting is less bad (3 hours). The routine proper is this:
1.Keep earbuds in from trip home (listening to audio Bible)
2.Get home from work
3.Drop stuff near the door
4.Put on blue blockers.
5.Go into kitchen routine A (dishes, food prep, coffee prep, clean counters and floor).
6.Warm up a mug of whole milk (2 minutes on high, ~8 oz., add ~0.5 tsp baking soda and ~1 tsp honey).
7.Drink 20 oz. of water. Water is good.
8.Move things from the door to their proper places in my room, especially important things that I lose often: shoes, wallet, keys, phone. These go in a bowl.
9.Turn phone off and set two alarms, one less annoying and the other more annoying, one minute later (punishment :-P).
10.Change into tomorrow's exercise clothes as PJs, depending on how well the heat is working. (It's cold in Minnesota.) I err on the side of too little clothing and too many blankets.
11.Prep clothes and backpack for the next day (this is usually trivial b.c. I do my laundry and ironing on weekends and I have specific clothes for each day of the week).
12.Turn lights off and lock bedroom door (sleep is sacred and my bedroom is a temple).
13.Settle into my Command Center Reclining Chair (TM) to read some fairy tales and drink hot milk.
14.About 30 minutes later, seemingly without fail, my body and mind start to shut down and I can't read any further without an effort of will. Take two steps from the chair to my bed.
Timings to follow eventually, I think.
If necessary, I do concentrated muscle relaxation exercises. But I rarely need to do this. If I haven't been exercising enough I'll usually need to masturbate to kill off the nervous energy. This routine is more of a bio level 3 thing. At bio level 2, I'd recommend masturbating every night. I hear sex is even better, but sex every night would be a pipe dream for Casanova. Do it in the bathroom toilet (no muss, no fuss) without porn. Imagination only; this also jump starts the dreaming thing that fairy tales help with.
Speaking of which…
My bedtime reading is very stereotyped because I'm trying to shut down my executive functions and turn my imagination on a bit (so as to slip more easily into dreaming). I want simple, sensory, descriptive, fictional, dream-logic fantasy stuff. I've been rereading The Chronicles of Narnia, which is the best possible example. I’ve also used Watchmen, but it was a little too cerebral. The point is to kill my rational mind and jump-start my dreaming before I even hit the mattress. Intellectual stuff in particular is verboten- thinking is the sleep killer. Practical stuff is out. Anything on a computer screen is out. Even scifi is out, despite being fairy tales dressed up in sheet metal and rivets. Even serious fantasy is out, if it has too many large words or too much military logic.
These restrictions are actually a great gift in disguise. I am a great lover of fairy tales, but it is very hard to fit it into a life made up of practical routines and such. This is an excellent excuse to get in 30 minutes of fantasy reading every night, and it’s just so bloody pragmatic that it makes me want to vomit.