I like my sleep. I’ll fight for it tooth and nail if I have to. My husband will try to wake me up in the morning and I’ll give him the look of death. Recently though it’s been having a negative impact on me physically and mentally. I’ve been grumpy and irritable and hard to get along with. I’ve been getting enough sleep every night though, so why have I been this way?
I had a talk with a friend recently who mentioned that what time you sleep matters almost as much as how much sleep you get. You can get 10 hours of sleep every night, but if those hours are from 1am to 11am, your likely going to feel like a zombie. I had to do a little more digging in to this because said friend is a medical expert, and who actually listens to those?
That’s how I learned for the first time about something called “Circadian Rhythm“. Basically it’s all this sciencey stuff about how our bodies and sleep cycles are affected by environmental ques. The sun rising and setting, for example. There’s something in there about how each person has a different rhythm making you either an “evening person” or a “morning person”, and that’s about where I stopped reading and decided to experiment. (My brain can only take so much science.)
I started my experiment about a week ago. My plan was to start sleeping at a different time than I have been. So instead of staying up past midnight and waking up by lunch time, I was going to be in bed by 9 (hopefully asleep by 10) and up by 7:30 the next morning. Every day.
The first night, I had so much trouble getting to sleep. I had already slept in pretty late that morning, so my body just hadn’t started shutting down yet. I made myself get up at 7:30 anyway, which meant I was probably running on 5 hours of sleep at best. My husband didn’t think I could do it, but I proved him wrong. Nobody is going to tell me hat I can’t do. I had a splitting headache and I was exhausted by 2pm. I took a nap for maybe 30 minutes(two hours), then made myself get up to start dinner. The headache wouldn’t go away and I was back in bed again by 9, listening to my kids giggling in the next room until 10, and finally asleep by 11.
I woke up at 7:30 again the next morning, laid in bed for another 15 minutes until my husband said he knew I wasn’t going to last, and then I was up and making breakfast. The kids and I had some cinnamon quinoa porridge with a banana sliced into it, and I gave my husband cereal because I hated him that morning. I don’t think he cared though, he hates quinoa.
I managed to get to sleep by 9:30 that night. Woo hoo! It was much easier to wake up at 7:30. I would start each morning with breakfast, and a 30-45 minute body weight workout. I’d go about my day as usual, and strangely I had a lot more time to do things. Weird how that works. I’d go for a 30 minute walk in the evening after dinner and before bed just to burn off any extra energy, cause I had that too, and then I’d be in bed and asleep again by 9:30. I found I could even sleep past my night owl husband gaming in the living room.
After about a week of this, I found I felt much better. I was getting the same amount of sleep, but I was sleeping earlier and waking up earlier. I’ve been a lot more productive, I’ve felt more energized, and I have a lot more daylight to get things done. No more headaches either.
Bottom line it’s been a lot better for me. I’ll likely keep up with it for another few weeks before I forget and stay up late again. Now I just got to get my husband on the same schedule…