Monday, February 20

For Those Who Ridicule My Early Bedtime: Ha!

Words cannot express to you how thrilled I was to see Sarah Boesveld's article in the February issue of Chatelaine called "The Sleep Cure".


Yes, you could call me "early to bed". If you take it back thirty something years, I am told I did not sleep well. I can remember as a young girl begging my parents to "sit with me" until I fell asleep...and the crazy loving people obliged! Wow, were they nicer parents than I am. (See previous posts about sleep training.)

I can't recall any sleep problems throughout my childhood or teenage years, and I pulled as many late nights and all-nights as the rest of my friends.

Until my first year of university, when I was hit by mono and spent months living in a fog of exhaustion which no amount of shut-eye could cure. Thus began my paranoia about getting enough sleep. You have no idea how absolutely annoyed I was when the bars in Ontario started staying open until 2 a.m. instead of 1. That just meant everyone arrived an hour later than they used to...and the fun started happening when I was ready to nod off!

I also worked weekends and summers and had to be up just as early those days as when I was in school...and I could never understand how people could function without at least six (preferably eight) hours of sleep. I had fun, but maybe not enough, because very few experiences were worth being up all night. (I said there were few, not none!)

And then I had babies. Though I've had three and a half years of sleeping-through-the-night bliss (except for Maggie's occasional request for a midnight tuck-in) but I haven't lost that survival instinct of sleep-when-the-sleeping's-good. Hey, if I could guarantee that I could sleep through 'til 8 a.m. on the weekends, a midnight bedtime would suit me fine. But try explaining this new rule to the kids.

Since I have had to suffer so much ridicule for  being a snoozophile, I feel more more than a little validated by Boesveld's article. For example:

Can you really tell me that you don't want to lose weight, slow aging and have glowing skin and more energy? Avoid diabetes and heart disease and boost your immunity? How about an edge at work? And of course, wealth, fame and a better love life. Okay, I made up that last sentence, but who knows?

I will no longer be ashamed when I am the first to leave book club, when I turn down late movie dates, and  unplug my phones on random nights at 8 p.m. just so I know I won't be awoken.

And honestly, if you aren't getting eight hours a night, you truly don't know what you're missing. Although a coworker recently said the same thing to me about eating vegetables, so I guess to each her own.

6 comments:

Mary said...

Kate,
I too like my sleep and don't answer the phone after 9:30pm on any night of the week.
On weekend, I've tried telling my kids that tomorrow is Saturday and we don't have to go anywhere so they can sleep in, but it never works! They just seem to get up earlier.
Late nights at book club are my once a month exception for staying up past 10:30.
Very interested in reading the article - might just save it for bedtime:)

Your advisor said...

You need to lose the maid, and have another kid, heck maybe a couple more wouldn't hurt!:)

This Mom said...

Honey (and I say "honey" because I'm pretty sure I know the identity of my helpful yet anonymous advisor) I'm willing to bet that I spend more time tidying, cleaning and organizing than any average person who doesn't have a biweekly housecleaner!

Instead of a third kid I went for the blog, which takes even more time! But at least it doesn't wake me up at night...often!

Sally said...

Ah sleep. Traditionally have been a sleeper-iner but four kids sort of wreck that- unless I am really cranky then occasionally hubby puts me back to bed. I have actually started ignoring the phone sort of all evening, a lot of nights. I have a lot to do in the evenings, I like to read in bed for 30 minutes before I go to sleep and if I make it under the covers early I'm pretty sure I won't be jumping back up for the phone. If it rings at 9pm I can't chance the hour that might take out of my night. That being said, I can't say I'm very good at actually turning the lights out before 11 (usually 30 minutes of reading turns into 60, hubby comes to bed late and chats, then mommy bladder kicks in and I need to get up before I can go to sleep anyway).
I have started setting an alarm this year, and actually get up with it at 6:30- impressive, I know. My kids are only occasionally late for school (much improved from last year) and now I am also almost routinely at work on time. Yup, I have to agree with you. Sleep does help a girl function. Somehow it doesn't make doing dishes or cleaning any more fun though...but I'm still hopeful that you can clear that up for me someday!

Helen said...

It's 11pm on Family Day Monday and I'm just settling in for a few hours work before bedtime (& procrastinating with This Mom Loves)...I just tried the "heavy breathing" exercise from the article a few minutes ago to see if I was a bit tired and would maybe go to bed early tonight. My husband thought I was hyperventilating and told me to go somewhere else so he could get his marking done :)

Tawny said...

I was born with a heart defect and have always been told that I need a lot of sleep to keep my heart healthy. So while all my friends were pulling all nighters, I was asleep sometimes by 8:30 on a school night. As a result, I'm a super duper fun morning person. So bright and cheery first thing in the morning because I've always been sure to get my 8 or 9 hours of sleepy time each night. :) Good on you for doing the same! Your heart will thank you (and who can turn down glowing skin?)