Sleep, she is precious

Some public radio show wanted me to do an interview at 5:30 in the morning.  I just can’t do that.

You know how one of those job interview questions is about what your biggest weakness is?  My biggest job weakness:  I like my sleep.   — ditto me too

My strong desire to sleep in and to get enough sleep and so on has lead to opportunities missed, advancements not made, classes not taken…

In high school I qualified to take a big fancy math exam (the AIME) after getting a high enough score on the ASHE.  I skipped out because it would have required me to get up an hour earlier than usual.  Not worth it!

There are a few things I will get up for:

Flights (so long as I can sleep in the airport, car, or plane)

Giving birth

Occasionally child-related activities if DH can’t handle them.

Having a child has shifted the schedule so 7:30am no longer seems as obscene as it once did.  It’s a testament to how much I love DC that my day no longer goes from 10am to midnight.

I have a super-productive colleague that doesn’t sleep much.  It doesn’t seem fair!  Her normal amount of sleep is around 4 hours per night.  Some nights, she says, she doesn’t sleep at all, and it doesn’t bother her in the least.  She’ll just sleep 4 – 5 hours the next night and feel fine.  ARGH!  I need 8 -10 hours to feel good and at least 7 to function (though having only 7 on a regular basis leads to extreme exhaustion).  Of COURSE she has more grants and publications than I do.  Biology is against me!  Argh!  (That means I have to work harder and smarter…)

“Not a morning person doesn’t even begin to describe it.” ~ Pin from high school.

How do you and sleep get along?  Has general grogitude and refusal to sacrifice ever hindered anything in your life?

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36 Responses to “Sleep, she is precious”

  1. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    I absolutely 100 percent refuse to accept any meeting requests for before 11AM. Period.

  2. Everyday Tips Says:

    I used to be a such a morning person. Six hours of sleep max was perfect. I got up at 4:30 to get to work early so I could be done by 3:00.

    Now, if I had to get up at 4:30, I would cry. I feel fine with 7 hours of sleep, but I would sleep for 9 if I could. I don’t know if it is because I am getting older or my schedule has changed so much but even 6:00 makes me cringe.

    I have been thinking about really researching how to get my morning ‘self’ back. Maybe I am a lost cause.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Just reading your post makes me cry.

      The other night I woke up around 4:30 because of a sudden temperature change. I’m covered in bruises, including an incredibly impressive shin bruise, just from trying to get to the thermostat and back. Nobody should be awake at 4:30.

      • Perpetua Says:

        I am routinely awake at 4:30! Not by choice, though. My kids are early-to-bed-, early-to-rise. I’ve always been a morning person, but I go to bed early, because I need a LOT of sleep. Unfortunately, so does my partner, so having kids was brutal for us. They (the kids) sleep reasonably well, but it’s not unusual for them to go through long stretches of waking up at 5:00 or 5:30, and sometimes at 4/4:30 for weeks at a time. The 4s kill me, but the 5s I can handle. But triple yes! I wish I were one of those folks who only needed 4 hours of sleep. They are biologically engineered to be more successful and it doesn’t seem fair. I need 7-8 or I am a *mess*.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        The sacrifices we make for kids…

  3. Liz Says:

    I admit I am a morning person – more accurately, a nature person. I get up with the sun and generally prefer to quiet down when the sun hits the hay. Lately, however, I began to freak myself out and not want to get out of bed until at least 7am (my usual before was 6am), and would not want to go to sleep until 11pm.

    I suddenly realized that it wasn’t ME that changed, but the time. Spring forward the clocks! Once I had the epiphany, I came to terms with being a sudden “night owl.” After all, I don’t think you can call someone a night owl when at 8pm it’s still light as anything outside.

    I say, embrace your schedule – don’t fight it. You’ll lose more productivity (and sleep) trying to be someone you’re not.

  4. Linda Says:

    I need 7-9 hours of sleep, too. If I get less than seven hours, I’m dragging myself around all day.

    No matter how much sleep I get at night, I also love naps. If I could set aside 30 minutes every afternoon for a nap I’d be so happy.

    After many, many years of working in offices and having pets, I normally rouse at first light. (The pet part is important here, because they want to be up and about as soon as it’s light outside; they’ve got squirrels to chase or bugs to catch or something, right? Gotta keep to their schedule!) So I pretty much stick to a standard schedule of being in bed by 10 PM and being up at around 6 AM. During vacations and weekends I still do this for the most part. Even if I stay up late, I still wake up at first light; as soon as I move a muscle, the dog springs up from her bed and I’m on duty. Sometimes I can go back to sleep, though.

    I guess I’ve turned into a morning person…*sigh*

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have water gun to deal with early morning pets.

      • becca Says:

        Does that work on kids? /worst parent ever

      • Linda Says:

        I used to keep a nerf gun near the bed to deal with the cat when she was moving around in the early morning. Water usually rolled right off her long hair and never fazed her. That cat is now in kitty heaven, though. The dog, unfortunately, woudn’t be fazed by either. She’s vocal and starts making “rooing” noises and pacing around in a noisy fashion.

        The chickens, now…well, I felt guilty if I missed first light since they were locked in a coop with no food and were usually *starving* after the long night. I guess pets are worse than kids in that regard; you can’t teach them to open the door to take care of their toileting needs and to help themselves to a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

  5. First Gen American Says:

    I get up super early, but go to bed early too. I need about 3 more hours of sleep to function than my husband does. It just isn’t fair.

    Because of the amount of hours I worked and my major, I slept very little in college. One of my rewards for getting a real job was to a) not have to work weekends and B) I get to sleep as much as I want.

    Sleep is such a wonderful luxury.

  6. Kellen Says:

    I get up early to walk our dogs every day, but no one at work seems to understand that I need to be in bed by 10pm not to be cranky. Actually, my roommates don’t seem to get it either.

    I definitely resent the fact that so many people I work with in public accounting seem to function fine on 5-6 hours of sleep a night for months on end. I *need* about 7.5, or 8, and if I only get 6 for a couple of nights, I get very miserable and unhappy!

  7. Donna Freedman Says:

    I crave sleep. It’s my favorite indulgence. If I don’t get 7.5 or more per night then I feel fatigued most of the day.
    Noticing more fatigue (thanks, menopause!) lately but am fortunate to work at home — it means I can go lie down for a 40-minute nap in mid- to late afternoon. Keeps me going through what needs to get done.
    The not-fun part about working at home when “home” is Seattle: Getting up to do early-morning interviews with East Coasters. Sample dialogue:
    Them: “How about 9 a.m.?”
    Me: “Eastern?”
    Them: “Yes.”
    Me: “Um, that’s 6 a.m. my time. By any chance is there a somewhat later slot in your schedule?”
    Them: “Sure! How about 9:30?”
    Me (silently): “Oh, hell, no…To be compos mentis at 6:30 a.m. (and able to sit up straight) I’ll need to be up by 5:30 a.m. to stretch, take meds and drink tea — and my days often don’t end until midnight or 1 a.m.”
    Me (out loud): “If that’s the only slot you have available that day, then yes, I’ll call you then.”
    It was worse when I lived in Alaska — that’s FOUR hours behind Eastern.
    I’m going back to bed.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Donna– you can totally interview me on your schedule! Those east-coast centered interviewers are CRAZY.

    • Linda Says:

      My boss is in LA. I’m in Chicago, and most of the folks we work with are in eastern time zone, Europe, or India. Another reason why I am an early AM person: I have to be on the phone by 7 AM CT most days. I feel sorry for my boss having to take calls at 6 AM PT, but then I remember that I’ve often started a day with the 7 AM calls and closed the day with a call to him that ends at 7 or 8 PM CT.

  8. Ally Says:

    I’ve always said I’m neither a morning nor a night person, but rather I’m a “sleep person” =D (I do tend to go to bed before midnight)

    I would tend towards being a night person though – natural tendency would be to stay up late and sleep late… It’s not entirely an amount of sleep thing though – I started backing my bedtime up once in an attempt to find out the best amount of sleep for me… I learned that if I have to be up at 6:30, it doesn’t matter whether I go to bed at 8:30 or 11:30, I’ll still be groggy and sleepy in the morning – so I gave up on losing that much time on a regular basis if it didn’t help any – but there are still nights when I’m sleepy enough that I’m ready to go to bed at 9 as soon as I’ve taken the dog out for the last time before bed…

    I can’t sleep real late anymore though – no later than 8:30 – doesn’t mean my preference isn’t to remain in bed til 10 or 11 though =D

  9. Dr. O Says:

    I can do 6 hours of sleep for a couple of days, then I start to fall apart. 7-8 hours is optimal. More than that makes me feel icky. Less than 6 hours, and I’m a bitchy zombie.

    I’ve started getting up at 6:30 in the morning to get a shower in before Monkey wakes. That’s been tough, and requires me to go to bed at 10pm (so I’m asleep by 10:30pm). Inevitably he wakes up some mornings before 6:30am, usually when I dare to stay up until 11pm. And then my entire day is screwed.

    As far as morning meetings go, I insist on 9:00 am or later, cuz that’s how long it takes to get myself ready, Monkey to daycare, and myself to work. With a 6:30 wake-up call. Any earlier, and I just won’t make it.

  10. MutantSupermodel Says:

    This post is perfectly appropriate for today because last night my cousin showed up at my house distressed and armed with two bottles of wine. She kept me up until two in the morning trying to work through the issues she is having with her man. My alarm clock begins to ring at 5:15 in the morning. I’m a HOT MESS today. I snoozed it to 6 but it did nothing for me. I love sleep. I always have. I love naps. I love laying in bed and staring into space. My bed and the beach are my favorite places in the whole wide world.

    Oh and like everyone else, I’m up at 5:15 because I have little ones and I’ve learned that I need to be up for at least half an hour before they are so that I’m capable of waking and prepping them properly.

    When Ex was with me, one of the biggest things I hated about the drinking was that I never got to sleep in on a weekend morning because he was too out of it to watch the kids for me. A couple of times he tried and I’d be woken up by total chaos and find him asleep on the couch.

    I want my bed.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Oh jeez. Yeah, after a certain hour I’m no longer sympathetic. Too bad you couldn’t have slipped her a sleeping pill (or you know, done some Vulcan pinch to enable you to get some sleep)!

  11. darchole Says:

    I’m more of a night owl, not getting to bed until midnight or so. Glad I’m in research, because most days I can sleep in until 8 or 9am and get into work by 10am. I better have 7-9 hours of sleep or I’m a cranky b**** and can’t seem to get anything done. Unless I’m sick I can’t take a nap during the day either.

  12. eemusings Says:

    YES. Sleep and food – I need 8 hours and regular meals. Liking my routine and having some semblance of a normal schedule, however, is not an advantage in journalism.

  13. Cloud Says:

    Left to my own devices, I’d get about 8.5 hours of sleep a night.

    Unfortunately, since having kids, I am not left to my own devices. My first was an amazingly bad sleeper and I learned that my actual minimum sleep need to function is 4 hours uninterrupted. If I don’t get that for more than a few days in a row, I go to pieces.

    My first sleeps through the night now (in her own bed! and falls asleep on her own!) but my second, who would probably be a pretty good sleeper if she could stay healthy, has some sort of weird thing going on with frequent fevers and a lot of congestion. So she occasionally wakes me up a lot in the night now.

    My husband needs far less sleep than me. He’d LOVE to hold our baby in the middle of the night sometimes. Unfortunately, she screams like she’s being cruelly tortured if he tries to hold her in the middle of the night, and then no one sleeps (not even kid #1). It is so unfair.

    To actually answer your question- I turn down social invitations left and right if we’re in a bad sleep phase.

    Oh, and kid #1 is still an early bird, so I consider it to be sleeping in if I get to sleep until 7 a.m. I’m at work between 8 and 8:30 most days.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Why are kids so against parent sleeping?

      And thank goodness DC was into daddy holding hir at night because mom sure wasn’t going to get up. No siree. Ze could nurse if ze wanted to, but it had to be lying down in the bed so mommy could sleep.

  14. Rumpus Says:

    My sleeping patterns seem to vary a lot over time, but I think I do best with 8 hours of sleep. If I don’t get up then, I do not feel any better after I do get up.


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