Thursday, January 15, 2009

The joy of sleep

How many hours of sleep are we supposed to get each night? I believe the requisite eight has been drilled into our heads, but I beg to differ. A delightful soul by the name of Julie Rottenberg happens to agree with me, and she has a fantastic article in the February issue of Real Simple that drives home my point. I would post a link to her article, but unfortunately they haven't deemed it worthy of website content (yet, anyway), and Google reveals zilch when I attempt to search for anything specifically related to it. If you're really interested, go out and buy the magazine. I love it. can just take in my ranting on sleep for the next couple of paragraphs and get a general feel for it. My wonderful friend Kami, who thrives on the AM hours, commented to me today that she understands me and my passion/need/longing for sleep even better after reading this article, so here comes a little insight into me and my need for zzzzz's.

I think that each person's body contains a gene that determines how much sleep they need (science may disagree with me on that one, but I know that a lot of really important stuff is stored on genes, and sleep is really important, ipso facto...sleep requirements = gene info), and my body happens to be one of those that requires...well...a little bit more than what most other people would refer to as "normal." Not only does it require a little bit more, but my body prefers that this sleep happen during a less socially acceptable timeframe...namely, falling asleep in the AM and staying that way until the PM. If I had my druthers, I'd regularly climb into bed at 3 AM and peacefully snooze away until 1, 2 PM-ish. Unfortunately, there are many who disagree with me, namely the traditional school system, corporate America, and basic human instincts ("hunt & gather when light, sleep when dark" - I mean, it's logical). I don't know if there's ever really been a time in my life when I could truly operate on my preferred schedule, considering said schedule makes it difficult to perform such tasks as attending daycare/school (enforced from such an early age!), watching anything on television other than paid programming or terrible movies, or interacting with co-workers who conform to this whole "daylight is awesome!" business.

I have found ways to adapt. Fortunately, I've discovered a career that embraces working excessive hours during certain portions of the year, often into the early AM, which then coincides nicely with the second wave of energy I get around 11 PM or so. I'm so productive! We're also pretty flexible with hours at work (at least right now...I think I might need to be a little more "traditional" during this D.C. gig) - co-workers know not to worry about me unless I don't show up for lunch (which is precisely at 11:30, by the way, and I simply adore food). College was fantastic when I could manage to schedule all those afternoon classes, and weekend mornings have always been a bit of a saving grace. I think my parents were genuinely concerned about my ability to consistently sleep until the afternoon hours, but a few additional years of research have proven to me that this is perfectly natural. When all is said and done, I think all signs may point toward me embarking on a career that embraces this much as I love the concept of my bakery, many have pointed out to me that this would require some early AM hours to bust out those breakfast pastries, and I just don't know if I'm up for it. I think I'll stick with the D.C. gig for now.

Molly is also aware of my tendency to sleep late, and she thought I might appreciate three smart things about sleeping late. I'm telling you, it makes sense! I mean, if there were no lightbulbs in the world and we all had access to really fantastic black-out curtains, how many hours do you think you would sleep?

Speaking of sleep, it's running a little "late" for "normal" people who have to work tomorrow...12:10 AM CST. Time to go to bed. Well, I have to get ready for bed, and then I'll probably read for a little while...but I have a haircut appointment at 8:30 with Drew, and while my body doesn't prefer this time, he is aware and will provide me with multiple cups of coffee to ensure that I am coherent, especially by the time I get to work.

Friday night/Saturday morning, please.


Trinity said...

No wonder you were up when I called at 8 am. You had to be.

Erin said...

I would have given you that information then, but my brain wasn't fully functional yet.