When I was young, I used to sleep like the dead. And I mean this in the most luxurious way possible! Not only would I sleep through the nights, I could often sleep until noon and just loved the feel of my body buried in covers, down in the dark of my cozy and eerily silent basement bedroom.
Now things are different. I believe it started when I was pregnant with my daughter. I just couldn’t get comfortable. I’d roll to one side, roll to the other side. Tried experimenting with pillows. It was no use.
Then after Katarina was born, it got worse. My new-mom, cat-like reflexes took over, and I could hear my daughter let out the tiniest sigh and I’d be out of bed and half way to her room before I was coherent enough to realize what the hell I was doing. (As a side note, I would have been a brilliant lookout in the army!)
Now, 13 years later, strangely enough, I’m awake when I should be sleeping and can’t keep my eyes open when I should be awake! This gives a whole new meaning to the term “morning person” as I’m consistently wide awake starting at 2 or 2:30 am every morning. Every morning! Usually I just roll around for the next few hours until I feel it’s acceptable to officially get out of bed. But the other morning, I leaped out of bed at 2:30, sat down at my computer and did the most focussed and productive work I’ve done in a long time until 5:45 am and then returned to bed until 8 am.
Now, 13 years later, strangely enough, I’m awake when I should be sleeping and can’t keep my eyes open when I should be awake!
What is that all about? I work best in the middle of the night?
Maybe there’s actually something to my experiment. Something more than meets the eye. What if my body spends most days overwhelmed by today’s modern world, over-abundant with electronic gadgets, rays and currents continuously flying around? What if my body and my mind feel much better in the quiet of the night when everyone else is sleeping and there’s less radio waves buzzing around. Everything is off. And I turn on.
I have thus far been trying to ignore my inconvenient biorhythms in order to maintain a somewhat normal life. Recently, I’ve been forcing myself to keep my eyes open until 11 pm at night in a twisted Clockwork Orange style – and this is actually helping me sleep through the night. But at what cost?
To complicate matters, I’m a zombie between the hours of 8 pm until 2 am; it’s literally torture to stay up past 8 pm. So by forcing myself awake between 8 and 11 pm is a complete waste of those hours because it takes too much energy to stay awake. I can’t do anything else except watch TV as a bribery method. So what’s the point?!
I believe there’s only one solution.
Society needs to adjust its ridiculous expectations of waking/working hours.
The better solution is for me to start journalling and recording about my sleep schedules each day, including when I’m the most productive and when I feel like I’m going to fall asleep standing up. If I can first be aware of my tendencies and secondly make my days more friendly to them, I believe I’ll be much happier — and more productive.
So what if I enjoy working in the wee hours of the night. People won’t think “well she definitely wrote this article at 3 am, she’s off her rocker!” Nope. No one will know and no one will care. And when I’m napping when others are working, they will be jealous. Ha!