Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sleep - Catch It If You Can

Sleep. Oh how I would love to get some! I don't remember the last night I got a full forty winks. Last Sunday night, I didn't even get one full wink. Lord only knows why... The power went out in the evening, so I couldn't read, and I always have to read in order to go to sleep. So I just lay there, my mind spinning in a million different directions. And then, the power came back on! And I was able to read! And I thought I was going to be able to sleep, but at 4:30 I gave up trying and just got up. Needless to say, I felt a bit like a zombie on Monday. But it did inspire me to think about my sleep patterns, and how they have changed over the years. And if there is one thing I know about sleep, it is that it is important. Especially for me!

I have always been one who needs my sleep. When I was a little kid, it didn't come easily to me. My mom has told me I would get more and more wound up the closer it was to bedtime. I can remember laying in my bed for what seemed like hours, waiting for sleep to come. As a teenager, I became more nocturnal and would stay up late and sleep until noon. How on earth did I do this? When I was in my twenties, I could still stay up late, but I could only sleep until about mid-morning. I remember I had a job that required me to get up at 5:AM, and I thought it was the most awful fate in the world! I dreaded my alarm clock every morning. To sleep in until 10:30 was a dream come true for me, back then.

Then came my thirties and my babies, and although I was desperate for sleep, it just wasn't possible. Up all night, up all day, it seemed. I remember when I worked at the Law School, the Dean's Assistant said to me, after asking me how Brailey was sleeping and me telling her that she never did, "Well, nobody ever died of sleep deprivation!" I didn't appreciate her lack of sympathy then, and I still think that remark was a bit rude. I, for one, would never say that to a new mother. But the truth is, she was right.

Nowadays, I go to bed early, and I get up early. Sometimes I am awake as early as 2:30. And sometimes I can't sleep at all. Irregardless of how much sleep I end up getting, I am almost always awake by 5 in the morning. I know! Can you believe it? I get up early to make my little B's their lunches and then fix them a hot breakfast - no cereal for breakfast allowed around here. Cereal is only allowed during the summer and on weekends. That is a family tradition I have carried on from my childhood - never once did I start a day without a hot breakfast. Granted, my hot breakfasts aren't as elaborate as what I ate, but they aren't sugar and carbs.

I have turned in to one of "those people," the ones that can only sleep in their own bed. I can't sleep in hotel rooms. I can't sleep at my parent's house. I can't sleep in a car. I can't sleep anywhere except my own bed, and I can't even sleep soundly in it! Keeping in mind I used to be the girl that could sleep in a horse trailer with generators running and traffic going at all hours, or in the pickup going down the road, pretty much anywhere! What can we say? Things change, right?

I have to admit I have found myself laughing about my sleep issues. I can't believe I used to be the person who would sleep the morning away! Now, even on days when I can sleep in, I still wake up early. If I sleep until 6:30, it is a miracle. One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to get up early, before everyone else, and to read and drink my coffee. I love that time. That's my time. I never dreamed when I was younger that I would have trouble sleeping in my future. I do wish I could sleep soundly. But on the other hand, I am able to get a lot of stuff done before most people even get up. And that's what being a mom is all about, right? Time management. Still, I would happily sleep the night away. If only I could!

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