Monday, January 23, 2012

To Sleep or Not to Sleep?

After the success of my initial energy boosting project I thought I'd tackle something new. After all, eating less sugar had given me a boost of energy so why not? The first thing I did was think about some of our other household rules. The kind of rules designed to make my children bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to take on the world.

The first one that came to mind was sleep.

Even though I had little to no experience with children until I had my own, it didn't take long to figure out the importance of sleep.

 In fact, I learned my lesson so well I became a bit of a sleep Nazi. When the kids were babies, if we missed their ridiculously early bedtime by more than twenty minutes I would start to hyperventilate. Past experience had taught me the loss of those twenty minutes would provide an endless round of tired-tantrums, malaise and general unpleasantness the coming day.

Almost ten years into the business of being a parent and I've relaxed a little bit. Part of the reason is because the hair triggers that were my small sleep-deprived children, have grown older. They can handle less sleep. The other part of the reason is they sleep in. It's bliss! It's delight. They Sleep In!!

Their ability to sleep-in has allowed me to ease back into my preferred sleep pattern. In an ideal world I would stay up late and sleep in until about noon. Since no world is 100% ideal I've met it halfway.

Slowly, my bedtime has crept later and later. There are just so many books to read, conversations to have, movies to see and thoughts to think. It's hard to give all that up in favor of a few extra hours of sleep.

But what if I did? What if I forced myself to pick one evening activity (instead of all of them) and then get to bed in time to make sure I got plenty of sleep. Would I get my mornings back? Would I find myself able to respond in intelligible sentences to parents I see each morning at the kid's school?

Maybe I wouldn't gear up for the day at noon.  It's ridiculous! Who is at their best at noon? Crazy people who practically need an IV injection of caffeine to get their brains up and running, that's who!

So I'm going to try it. We'll see what happens. Maybe I'll lie in bed for hours and write blog posts in my head. Or maybe, I'll wake up early and write them for real. Before noon! Now that really would be something to blog about!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I used to be able to sleep in until noon. Sometime after crossing the age of thirty, that began to change. Now if I hit nine o'clock, that's a late morning.
And staying up until midnight on New Year's Eve was a stretch...

Brenda McKenna said...

I am still in the "I'm jealous of my cats because they can sleep WHENEVER THEY WANT" phase. And I am also super-protective of bedtimes right now. It's good to know that someday they sleep in! This gives me hope. :)

Scarlett said...

*Big laugh* this morning! Love that kitty!

I fall for that old trick, ever so often, thinking a little extra sleep on a Sunday will kick my butt into gear ~ energized and ready for Life! I mean, c'mon! We deserve a sleep-in after years of little ones waking us up at the crack of dawn to watch cartoons!

It never works. I accomplish nothing and then can't drag myself out of bed the following day! See? It's Monday and I feel like the words just... can't... make... it... to... the page. It's 9am and I need a nap.

I see exercise in my very near future, if I intend to get anything done today.

*Big Smile*

Beylit said...

I can't sleep in, my body won't let me. After 9am I get sick from sleeping too long, not matter when I went to bed.

If I can stay awake until 11pm I consider that amazing. 10pm is normally about all I can handle.

Of course I have no children, but I do have horrible insomnia, so I am a bit of a sleep Nazi when I am able to actually sleep. At least when I have children I will be used to not being able to sleep, right?

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I struggle with bedtime all the time, especially since I tend to be more creative late in the evening. If I've been struggling at my writing, it never fails that I hit my stride around 10:30 pm. Which stinks, because 11pm is my outside limit on a night when I have to teach school the next day.

On weekends, I tend to stay up longer. Then my creative muse can race my oncoming exhaustion as I see how much I can get done before I end up typing more incorrect letters than correct ones ...

Nicole Zoltack said...

Right now I'm sacrificing sleep a little to get as much done before baby #3 comes along. I'm getting about 7 hours a night. Not bad, not great.

I'm a stickler when it comes to my sons naps and am annoyed when something comes up that prevents them from napping.

Jenny S. Morris said...

This is so hard for me because once my kids go to sleep is the only time I have to myself or with my hubby. So I tend to stay up late all the time. And I am horrible at getting up early.

Good luck to you on getting to bed early!!

T. L. Cooper said...

How apropos! Insomnia struck last night. I lay awake until nearly 3am and was awake before 8am!
I tend to have a fairly regular sleep schedule, but the last couple of weeks it has been totally messed up. Maybe that's why I've been feeling like a cranky child in need of a nap...LOL!
You know, you may be on to something here! And, let's not forget the importance of the bedtime story. Telling yourself one might just lull you into dreamland... I do that sometimes, but don't tell anyone.
Really hope more sleep brings you more energy!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I used to be such a night owl. Can't do it anymore though.

Johanna Garth said...

Alex, that sounds like my husband. His normal wake up time is around 6

Brenda-me too!

Scarlett, exercise is a good one too.

Beylit, I don't think you ever get used to missing out on all that sleep.

Dianne, I so, so empathize

Nicole, not bad at all!

Jenny, I know. I hate to sacrifice that time.

T.L, LOL, cranky child, but you know, I am very often that cranky child too.

L. Diane, maybe my time is still to come...I just want to be able to get up early!

Megan Dolan said...

I am so interested to see how your experiment goes. I have always been a night person and, more importantly, a truly terrible morning person. I yearn to be able to get up and be productive early, but I physically can't do it. I hope kids will change that, but gosh it would be great to get that out the way first!

Talei said...

Sleep? What is this mythical state you speak of? ;-) I find I get less sleep at the moment, so much going on. Though I do LOVE a good sleep in when it does happen. ;-)

Kelly Kete said...

I struggle during bedtime. I get only 4 hours of sleep and it does affect my mood. Insomnia sucks.

Kelly Kete said...

I struggle during bedtime. I get only 4 hours of sleep and it does affect my mood. Insomnia sucks.