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Behavior Change Changing a Behavior:

This should take me to approximately eleven oclock (or earlier when I have less school work). Even if it still takes me an hour to fall asleep, I will have gained one full hour of sleep over my television watching days, and the payoff should be immediately observable.

The Implementation

Though I broke with my plan on the weekends (Friday and Saturday nights only; twice I fell asleep watching television on the couch and I watched more than my allotted hour the other two nights), I managed to restrict myself to single hour of television at a specific time every evening. Keeping track of exactly when I fell asleep was difficult (completely impossible, actually), but I was generally in bed and trying to sleep an hour to two hours sooner than I had been while watching television. I also appeared to be falling asleep sooner, as my last-remembered glances at the clock grew closer and closer to the time I had shut the lights off. Again, however, it is impossible to state this with any certainty, as I did not have a research assistant present to time the exact instant when I truly fell asleep.

I can say with a fair degree of certainty that I awoke less during the night then I usually do, starting on the third night. For the duration of the experiment, I kept a simple tally sheet next to my bed to mark the number of times I awoke (that is, the number of times I was conscious enough to make a tally mark). This number dropped off from a height of five on the nights before the intervention, to only two on the third day and only one every few days in the second week. I still felt exhausted waking up at six-thirty in the morning (and Ill intervene with my boss about that next), but I perked up much faster and felt generally more rested and energetic throughout the day, also starting after the third night of the intervention.

The increased sleep and/or the more restful sleep were definitely having an effect.

There was not as obvious an effect on my mood, though this was not especially bad to begin with. I was certainly pleased that I didnt feel as tired, especially in the mornings, but moods are subjective and influenced by a great number of variables, so collecting data on this point seemed not only moot but also nearly impossible. The results of the data that was collected show that less time spent watching television directly led to more time a sleep, and a more uninterrupted and thus more restful sleep, as well.

Reflection

This intervention plan was highly successful without nay adjustments or changes being made. I found myself getting my schoolwork done faster than usual, especially during the second week of the intervention, which allowed more time for sleep and other (non-television watching) leisure activities. The fact that I was so organized with my time definitely helped me to succeeded in this intervention. Without such a clear organization, I might not have stuck to my new behaviors. long enough to see the full benefits.

Emotionally, I was at first apprehensive but gradually I grew much happier with the new behaviors. I think that having the schedule allowed me a certain period of forcing myself through — there was a determined course of action, and not something easily mutable. I definitely wouldnt change this if trying to alter another behavior; I think the rigidity of my plan really helped me to succeed. I enjoyed this project immensely because it shows how simple real change can be..

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