I’m trying a new approach to my ongoing problems getting a reasonable amount of sleep: comparing myself to others.
I’m hoping that with feedback from many people about how much sleep works (or doesn’t work) for them, I might be able to convince myself that going to bed earlier is a good thing to prioritize. Alternatively, perhaps I will discover some new strategies to cope with chronic sleep deprivation so I don’t have to increase the number of hours I sleep.
Please answer the following questions in the comments:
- When are your usual go-to-bed and wake-up times? (If you don’t have usual bedtime and wake-up times, what is your usual range/how many hours do you usually get?)
- Do you sleep straight through, or do you wake up in the night?
- Do you feel rested when you wake up?
- Do you feel like you get the right amount of sleep for you, or would you rather get more or less sleep?
- How can you tell when you’re getting enough vs not enough sleep? How do you feel physically/mentally?
If you’re comfortable doing so, include any details about your sleep that you think are pertinent (like if you have a newborn at home or if you work third shift or if you use no electric lights or something like that).
To kick things off, here are my answers:
- My go-to-bed and wake-up times vary pretty dramatically (well, my wake-up time usually stays the same (+/- 30 minutes), but my bedtime could be anywhere from ~7pm to ~2am). My kids have regular, early-ish bedtimes (the little guy between 7 and 7:30 and my daughter between 8:30 and 9:00), so I can’t blame them for my getting to bed late. I’m trying to figure out a way to blame my spouse, but so far nothing’s stuck. Lately I’m in bed by about 1:30am and get up around 6:30 or 7:00am.
- I wake up two to three times in the night that I notice. Sometimes it’s because of a cat or a kid, but even if everyone else is sleeping soundly, I seem to wake up at least once.
- No, I do not feel rested. Or sometimes I feel rested when I wake up, but that fades by the time I get to the kitchen to make breakfast.
- I think I could use more sleep, but I don’t want to sleep any more hours. Instead, I would like my body (and brain) to run well on the amount of sleep I get.
- Not enough sleep: I feel run down, have more aches and pains (esp neck and back), more anxiety, more negative self criticism, more cravings for sweets; I yell at my kids more. Enough sleep: This happens rarely, but when it does I feel energetic and optimistic; pretty much the opposite of “not enough sleep.” I’m also more likely to exercise when I’ve had enough sleep (it doesn’t seem to work the other way, though, unless I’m just not exercising enough.)