Thursday, June 26, 2014

How do you sleep?

It is 11:07 pm ... should I go to sleep?

My entire life I've struggled with my sleep schedule.
I am a night owl. I always have been, and I am afraid, I always will be.
I come alive at 9 pm, and am happy to be awake through all of the nighttime hours. 
No matter how much sleep I get, I hate being woken up in the early morning.
I also seem to need many more hours of sleep than most people deem appropriate.
My mother's mother always was a short sleeper. 
She would go to sleep around midnight, and was up at 4 or 5 am every day to see my grandfather off to work. She didn't go back to bed after he left, and she never took naps, claiming that this was all the sleep she needed.
I, however, am able to sleep like it's my job - and I am employee of the year.
I can easily sleep 10 - 12 hours, no problem, and also stay up for 18 - 22+ hours easily as well.

If I were a childless artist, this wouldn't be a problem. 

Unfortunately I live in the real world, and have two kids who have to be up, dressed, washed, fed, and out the door to school at a very specific time ever. damn. day. 
I am on a first name basis with the attendance secretary at their school.
Why are we late? Again?
Because...because..because we JUST ARE, OK?!

There was a study done - I forget where and I forget by who because I'm bad at sourcing my facts - that essentially isolated a group of people, and allowed them to sleep and be awake 100% on their own schedule, so long as certain tasks were completed within a 24 hour period. In the beginning of the study, almost everyone stayed on their current sleep routine - going to bed around 10 or 11 pm, rising between 6 and 8 am. The majority of people though, were very sluggish and unproductive in these early morning hours. 
As the study went on, the group broke off into three main sleep schedules:

People who stayed up late, were highly productive at night, and slept through most of the daylight hours, and for longer stretches of time. 

People who went to bed very early, rose very early, and were productive on an off through out the day, with several naps at various intervals. 

And last, people who slept for a few hours at a time, were awake for an almost equal few hours, and then went back to sleep for another chunk of time. This group typically experienced a larger chunk of wakefulness in the late morning/early afternoon, where they were also the most productive. 

The study basically showed that there is no set amount of sleep that each person needs, nor is there a "right" or "wrong" time of day to be awake, and productive.
Still though, I feel like a total loser for staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning, and then sleeping until noon. Or, going to bed at 10 or 11 at night, and sleeping until 9 or 10 the next day. 

I feel like an order to be a "responsible" adult, or a productive member of society, I have to be awake by 8 am, productive all day, and in bed by 10. 

I'm not sure it will ever happen, so if you ever need someone to talk to and make tater tots with at 2 am, you know who to call. 

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