Finding sleep

It’s 3am and I’m wide awake.

This is not completely abnormal for me, because I’ve always been a night owl. My mother tells me that I was an excellent sleeper as a baby. She also says that putting me in morning kindergarten was the worst thing she could have done. One of my earliest memories involves me sitting on the edge of my bed (with the Raggedy -Ann sheets), eyes half-closed and head lolling around, while my parents got me dressed; one gently pulled my shirt down over my head and the other stuffed my arms into the sleeves, in what I imagine was the usual morning ritual before school.

At sleepovers as a kid, I was always one of the last to fall asleep. As a teenager, I was late for school more than I care to admit, because getting out of bed was not as important as staying in it, especially on those cold winter mornings, and I had a wonderfully warm heated waterbed. (Ah, the 80s and 90s.) Even in one of my first jobs working for a downtown law firm, I loathed getting up at 7am and getting ready for work, to trudge downtown or get on a crowded bus to the office. I resented waking up in the morning, and I still do.

I love night-time. It’s quiet, private, and I feel like I can enjoy being alone and peaceful. I read, write, research, and sometimes just watch an old movie that I know no one else in this house would watch with me. But I pay for it the next day, and the older I get, the next day is less and less pretty. Up until a year or two ago, I could stay up nearly all night and get up the next day with nary a yawn. Now, I’m yawning all day and sometimes I find I’m a little unfocused.

I know I need to go to bed earlier like everyone else and get a good night’s sleep. I know that lack of sleep is a factor in premature aging and health problems, so to avoid those I need to change my habits. But to be honest, I feel as if I’d be giving up my “me” time, and when I go over the schedule of my day-to-day life, it just isn’t there except after everyone else is in bed. I resent that, but I guess mothers give up a lot when supporting a family. You have to fight sometimes for the stuff that’s just for you.

Reading this over, I’m thinking maybe this is a goal I need to set for myself. New bedtime, 10pm every night this week. Must find a different time for “me” time. I wonder what benefits I’d realize from doing it. One week, starting tomorrow night. I’ll report back.

In the meantime, zzzzzzz…

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