Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sleep (Again)

"Sleepy" is my favourite dwarf. If you've been reading this blog long enough, then you already knew that. In fact, I've written 11 posts with the label "sleep." The problem is: I have a tendency to be nocturnal -- or, at least, so I thought until I retired.

For the first few weeks, I really did keep odd hours - sleeping till noon, awake until 2:30 a.m. -- and I also still had at least one night a week of complete insomnia. (By "complete" I mean that I made several attempts to sleep, none of which worked. So I gave up, drank some coffee and toughed it out all day.)

Stephen and I both worried that by the time he retired, I'd be on a completely opposite cycle to his sleep rhythm. He is a morning lark, an early bird. For him "sleeping in" means getting up at 7 a.m. He does his most creative thinking before I even stir and is ready for tuck-in by 10:00 p.m.

But then a funny thing happened: my sleep stabilized. It didn't keep pushing back later and later. I now wake at about 7:30 a.m. and go back to bed for a drowsy nap -- without any apologies. But it is light sleep, and I am aware that Kane is downstairs having his morning nap and will soon be ready for his long mid-day walk.

The combination of the doggy alarm clock and the hour of fresh air and sunlight probably contributed to this regular cycle.

But I should warn anyone who is looking for an instant cure -- it took several weeks to get here. (And I dare say I will still have occasional episodes of all-night insomnia.)

What twigged me to write this today was a link that a friend, Raeanne Perry of Raeanne Perry Nutrition, shared on Facebook to this video by Marie Forleo.

Aside from being distracted by her ridiculously perfect hair (is it a wig?), I found the message interesting: whenever possible, respect your personal rhythms. It's possible, she says, to turn a night owl into a morning lark, but if you don't have to . . . why? We can still be productive, even if our peak hours don't coincide with our spouse's or co-workers'.

Bottom line: while I respect your drive to be awake early in the day, I ask that you also respect my body's need to get going a little more slowly and last a little later. That's all.


  1. I am such a night owl and it is soooo painful to be that when you are home with kids! I love the quiet hours when everyone else is in bed. And I stay up way too late - often feeling wide awake still at midnight. but then the morning - especially if one or more children have woke me up in the night - is way too soon. I definitely need a slower start in the morning; but my life has never been like that. Whether work, or as a mom.
    I should have been a rock star. LOL

    1. Ah, the tyranny of youngsters! But eventually, the grow up and move away. Or so I've been told.

  2. I'm seriously a night owl. If I'm left to my own devices, I will never go to bed before midnight. My favourite time of day is from 10pm - midnight. I will get up by 10am and have a mid afternoon nap about 1pm. It's perfect. If only I could retire now. Sigh.

    1. Retirement is nirvana for night owls. And because I can usually sleep in, I don't resent those days when I do have to get up early.


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