Monday, June 05, 2006

The dilemma of Sleep.

I don't get sleep. I mean, I get sleep- I just don't understand sleep. It seems that I can never have enough sleep. Does anyone else face this dilemma? I don't know how to tell how much sleep I really need, except that it seems when I get 9 hours I feel good. The problem is, that is nearly impossible. Especially if I am trying to wake up early to exercise. (Which, incidentally, has not gone well the past week...) I've heard several different theories about sleep. For instance, I've heard that you need to get an even number hours of sleep because of when REM cycles occur. Following this theory, it would be better to get only 6 hours of sleep rather than 7, because you will enter another REM cycle that will make you tired trying to come out of. Something like that. All I know is, it seems I am always tired, and always ready for sleep. I wish I had a solution for this. I have never suffered from insomnia.
Today, for instance: Last night I went to bed too late, at 11:30, which is really late for me. I was unable to wake up for the gym at 5:30, so I slept until about 7 when Bella woke up. I still felt so tired! I busied myself picking up until her nap at 10:30, at which time I reasoned myself into taking a nap as well. Even though Monday is typically my cleaning day, I justify this by asking what kind of hurry am I really in? I will only be able to do this now while I only have 1 child at home, so I better enjoy it while I can. So I took said nap. Bella usually wakes up at 12:30, and then takes another nap at 3:30. Instead, she woke up at 2:30. And so did I. We took a 4 hour nap. It felt great, but not so good for productivity, since now this is her only nap of the day. (I reasoned I would clean the bathrooms during her second nap.)
So what's my deal? I wouldn't even have woken up after a 4 hour nap if Bella didn't! Do normal people always feel tired? What is the answer? I would really love it if I didn't need so much sleep, and could get more done. Even though I love to nap, I would rather not need it, and continue to be productive during Bella's naptimes. Help!

16 comments:

Jill said...

Are you pregnant? That sounds like a lot of sleeping for a young, thin, healthy person like yourself.

I don't understand sleep either. I tend to go in spurts of getting up early, being super productive and feeling good then after a few days I feel weary and end up taking a nap which then leads me to staying up way too late, which then makes me sleep in which makes me unproductive and irritable, and so on. It's a bad cycle.

I do think I do better when I get around 7 hours of sleep (I didn't know about the even numbers thing) because when I sleep too long I wake up sore (bad mattress) and kind of groggy. I just wish I could get on a good rhythm and stick with it.

Can't you clean the bathrooms when Bella is awake?

Diana said...

Wow, it is so nice to know that other people are like me. I need a ton of sleep. Ever since I was pregnant with Kira I feel like I never get enough sleep. (And I know it's not the kids fault, you know what good sleepers I have)I have tried getting less sleep at night to see if that helps but it doesn't. I feel like I need 9-10 hours at night in order to feel refreshed in the morning. Before the kids I was fine with 6 or 7. I don't know what it is.
Maybe Jill is right maybe you are pregnant. I know I am not (hopefully never again)
During the kids naps, I try to do things that I want to do, like play the piano, read, sew and save the housework for when at least Kira is up. That way nap time is truly special!

TX Girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TX Girl said...

Welcome to my world. I swear I never get enough sleep and I am exhausted ALL the time. I took a nap almost every day last week.. and I have a full time job. So- I basically got home from work and went to sleep, woke up, ate, went to bed.

Maybe you just need to get to bed earlier. It sounds like although you are sleeping a fair amount, you aren't getting a restful night sleep. Have you been to the doctor lately? You might want to get your thyroid checked? Just a thought. Or.. you could be pregnant. They can also give you info on ways to improve your sleeping habits. Or.. just tired!

jt said...

No, thankfully (to my knowledge) I am not pregnant. I am always like this! And I do have a low thyroid, but I already take medicine for it... I'm just slovenly I guess.

Hannah said...

I vary from week to week. I think given the chance, I can pretty much fall to sleep anywhere-anytime, which is a sign of a sleeping disorder. So I feel for ya! I have read a lot about this online, check out:
http://www.webmd.com/content/article/122/114627.htm

This part kinda refers to what Jill was saying:
Sleep Deprivation Debits
The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a "sleep debt," which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don't seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need, while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.

Now that I am home at night, I hope to be able to get to bed by 10:30 and catch up on 4 months of sleep that has to be in my "sleep debt" bank account. We shall see how getting 7-8 hours of sleep treats me during the day :)

michelle said...

I feel much the same way. Maybe if I could just sleep straight through, never having to get up with kids, I'd be just fine. Since that never happens, I may never know. I could take a nap every day if I had the chance. Sometimes I feel kind of like Dad in that way -- if I lie down or even just sit down and get comfortable, I can fall asleep almost any time of the day. mostly I just always feel tired.

michelle said...

btw I agree with Jill -- clean the bathrooms when Bella is awake so you can save naptime for the good stuff (resting yourself or reading or creating).

rmt said...

You already know that I know how you feel! I think that I could pretty much lay down and take a nap at any given point in the day. I still tend to sleep during Daniel's naptime, and the weekends he is with his dad I don't wake up on my own until 10:00 or so. I really don't know why it seems that I need so much more sleep than other people, or if I just think I need more sleep than other people. I know that when I was taking depression meds they made me very sleepy.
I have never heard of the even numbers thing. Very interesting...
Sorry I wasn't much help; it's a mystery to me too!

Alison said...

I don't have any kids (although, hopefully, I will be cleaning my bathroom tonight) but I definitely have had periods of time where I have felt like this and usually without a "reason." Last spring, I wore myself down to the point I was put on BED REST for a long weekend (and I'm usually freakishly healthy) because I had been so stressed and incredibly busy with shows. Now, I tend to listen to my body and not think twice about it- if I need a four hour nap, or to go to bed at 7:30pm, something is going on beyond my understanding and I just do it. Also, is there yoga at your gym? Yoga and Pilates always keeps me energized. I haven't been able to go as much lately and I can tell a huge difference.

Amy said...

When did you change your blog? Love it! I know what you mean about sleep. I have a firm need for 8 hours in a row at night. By the time Kaitlin's nap rolls around I'm ready to go back to sleep. The past few days I've been sleeping way too long. I usually reserve the first hour of her nap for work and the second for resting. I know it's ok to sleep right before having this baby, but, for me napping becomes a habit. I don't really need a nap. I can power through my tiredness and overcome it by the time K wakes up. Breaking the habit is just the worst part about it.

dpw said...

Sorry, I don't have any advice for you. I have seen first-hand that depression meds sure can make one sleepy, and personally, the pregnancy thing always put me out (especially in the early stages). I'm somewhere between you and your mom. I can get by on about 6-7 hours per night, but I sure look forward to sleeping until 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. I don't like to sleep in too late--I don't feel good when I do.

mom said...

I almost always feel way better with 5 hours of sleep than six or seven--so maybe your theory is a correct one! I read in a book once(to quote your sister!) that you can never make up for lost sleep-I believe it! Even though I always think I would like more sleep, on the rare occasion I get more than ususal, I feel MORE tired! Try my regular 5 and see how you feel!

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