Monday, October 11, 2010

It's been a hard day's night

image found here

I am an admitted NIGHT OWL. I have been ever since I can remember. I love staying up late and usually I am very productive in the wee hours. When I was young I remember writing many reports and papers and studying for tests long after everyone else was in bed. 
As a young parent my late nights were ME time. After Ashleigh was in bed I could watch something "adult" (not that kind of adult... but I was a sucker for Melrose Place and the original 90210). I could clean without someone messing it up immediately or sew, or do crafts or eat cookie dough, you get the idea. 

As she grew up it became harder to get my late night ME time. It seemed I was raising another night owl who was all to willing to stay up with me. So during her school years on weeknights I would fight to get her in bed at a reasonable hour and on the weekends we would enjoy late night movie watching, game playing, etc. We still enjoy late nights together when she is home and when she is not home it us not unusual for her to call me at 1:00-2:00am to catch up because she knows I will most likely be up.

While I have NEVER been a natural morning person, there have been times in my life that early mornings have been a necessary evil. I did what I needed to do to get Ashleigh to school and myself to work on time on a fairly regular basis. I may not have enjoyed it, but I did it. Even when I was getting up early it was rare that I went to bed before midnight, and I did just fine on an average of six hours of sleep a night.
What I have noticed though is that as I get older my night owl tendencies are not serving me well. I started having sleep issues a couple of years ago. I have a hard time falling asleep before 2:00am and once I am finally asleep I don't always stay asleep. I have tried all kinds of natural remedies and even some prescription meds all of which failed to provide the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ's I need on a regular basis. 

When I was laid off I thought, great now I don't have to fight it for a while. I can stay up as late as I want and sleep in and it won't really matter. At least that is what I thought. But as the months have rolled on I have been staying up later and later. I thought nothing of reading or scrapbooking or watching movies until 3:00, 4:00 or even 5:00am, no big deal...right???  WRONG!!!

Now I can't even get to sleep then. I find myself staying up all night several times a week and I have totally messed up my internal body clock. I feel like a newborn who has their nights and days mixed up. I have no energy, I eat at strange times and am starting to feel depressed. I know it is all related to my sleep or lack there of but I can't seem to find the reset button  (it is 3:14am as I am typing this).  

A friend of mine suggested that I try staying up for 24 hours and then go to bed at 10:00pm and then force myself to go to bed at a more normal time for a week to reset my body clock. I am going to give it a try this week...wish me luck. 

If this doesn't work I may be looking into moving to Australia, France, Germany, Hungary or Korea. I know people living in all of those places right now so at least I'd have friends.


Debra Bonson said...

you can always come to Hungary! can skype or IM with me in the middle of the night during my day time! Good luck this week pulling the all nighter. Let us know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

I hope this works, for your sanity and because all of those places are just too darn far away ;) Sending ya positive thoughts & prayers on the job front too!