Sleep Survey

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:

  1. 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?)
  2. Do you sleep straight through, or do you wake up in the night?
  3. Do you feel rested when you wake up?
  4. Do you feel like you get the right amount of sleep for you, or would you rather get more or less sleep?
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)

7 comments

  1. Tina Brown · January 23, 2013

    After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s tyroiditis) I made the commitment to sleeping as much as I need. I have a strict bedtime (10 pm) and I wake up, well, when I wake up (usually about 7) I usually need about 9 hours of sleep a night. It has taken me a long time to realize that sleep and diet are the most important things that I can do for myself and my children. Since chronic stress will only make my disease worse and harder to diagnose (chronic tiredness is one of the symptoms) I get as much sleep as I NEED, not how much I think I need, or how much I want to get.
    I usually wake up one time a night.
    Even though I may not get as much done everyday, the happiness I get from not being sleep deprived is worth it.
    Also, during the winter I need more sleep.
    How well I sleep also depends on what part of my cycle I am. (pre-ovulation I sleep GREAT!, Post-ovulation I have to work at staying asleep.. Meditation tapes and boring books help.
    When I am sleep deprives, the world is just horrible and I pretty much hate everyone!

    Like

    • CJ · January 23, 2013

      I have Hashinmoto’s, too. I hadn’t thought much about how sleep and stress play into it, but that makes sense. My docs put me on meds, check my levels once a year, and don’t pay attention to symptoms. Perhaps I should be paying closer attention to my symptoms, though.

      Also interesting links to cycle. I should keep an eye on that, too.

      Like

  2. CJs husband · January 22, 2013

    1) I go to bed at 9:30 – 11 pm; get up at 5:30 – 5:45 am on weekdays; get up with the aforementioned “little guy” on weekends around 7am. I try very hard to get 7.5 hours of sleep a night, and I really do not like getting less than 6.5.

    2) Most nights I will have a single bathroom break, and I will also get awakened by kids or cats, but some nights I will sleep very soundly.

    3) Sometimes I feel rested when I wake up, but most days, I have 30 minutes of grogginess.

    4) I would like to get a little more sleep (a consistent 8 hours a night), but usually scheduling stops me.

    5) It is pretty painful for me to have too little sleep. It “hurts” in a way, and I find it very challenging to remain awake, as the urge to sleep is very strong if I am sleep-deprived. When I get enough sleep, all my problems seem surmountable, and I am in general a more optimistic person.

    Like

  3. Courtney · January 20, 2013

    Your new sleep study post isn’t allowing comments, at least not from me! Just a heads up 🙂 going to comment later when I’m at a computer and not a tiny iPhone!

    Like

    • CJ · January 20, 2013

      Thanks for the note! I’m on it!

      Like

  4. Pingback: Sleep Survey, Revised « Imperfect Happiness
  5. Ellery Davies · January 19, 2013

    1. I go to bed very, very late. I am an “evening person”. I love to work after everyone is asleep and I also like to catch up on a favorite show when there are no interruptions. My answer…

    Anywhere from 11:30 to 4AM, but typically between 1:30 and 3:15AM (This morning, I went to bed at 4AM).

    2. Typically no wake ups. By the time that I fall asleep, I am zonked!

    3. I only feel rested on weekends, when I finally ‘catch up’ on sleep deprivation. Suddenly, instead of 3 or 4 hours, I get 9 or 10.

    (4 & 5). You asked “Do you feel that you get enough sleep?” and “How can you tell?”

    4. I can function just fine after 1 or 2 days of minimum sleep (3.5 or 4 hours) or 1 day of NO sleep. That is, I still feel good after forcing myself out of bed and into daytime activity. The idea that one can “bank” a sleep reserve and then “spend” it on shorter sleep days is valid, but only or 1 or 2 nights of under-hour sleep.

    5. If I fail to get enough sleep on the 3rd night — and even more to catch up — then I will be a mess. It could lead to danger while driving or even a fever. In very rare cases, it leads to hallucinations. (No kidding).

    Like

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