Yes, I confess, I have a problem. I have trouble getting enough sleep. And my problem has multiple sources.

  1. I often train in the evening, and when I don't, my husband does and I tend to stay up because it's not super friendly to welcome him home with my snoring. I've read a few marriage books and not a single one of them says "by all means ignore him and go to bed instead." Which is really too bad. (Mind you, he bugs me constantly about the need to sleep more, so maybe he'd get off my case if I did ignore him? Hmmm. Possibly worth a try...) But mostly it's me training late.
  2. Even when I don't train in the evening, like for instance when I'm at the lake, I tend to stay up a bit because that's one of the rare times when the kids are quiet in bed and I get to focus on my work without being disrupted every third second.
  3. I also like getting up early. Around 5 am usually. I like it for several reasons. Everyone else is asleep so I get peace and quiet to do things without being interrupted every third second (mama puts a big premium on "not being interrupted every third second", it's kind of a thing). I love morning light, and I especially love being up while everyone else sleeps. I enjoy that kind of solitude. Plus I train in the morning, too - jog with the puppy when in the city, swim with the snakes and who knows what-all when I'm at the lake. There is something extraordinarily satisfying in having finished a workout before anyone is even up.

I like sleep, and I tend to do it well. I don't, generally speaking, have trouble sleeping, and my sleep is usually nicely restorative (although it appears perimenopause is sometimes tempted to mess with that, the insufferable b*tch).

But I also like being up doing things. And yes, I'm perfectly aware that sacrificing the ZZZs can lead to trouble. I've had four burnouts already, I think I'm starting to learn that lesson.

What saves me is napping. Back when I worked in morning TV, getting up at 3 am, I had to have naps pretty much every day just to survive. The kids were little back then, and I would buy myself some time by putting a movie on and letting them watch it while I slept on the couch behind them, sometimes for as long as an hour. Now they're too big for that (plus there's a limit to how many movies your kids should watch), so I will typically give them a writing assignment or give them free reading or play time after lunch and snooze on my chair in the backyard for 15 or 20 minutes. Sometimes just 5 minutes. I like sleeping sitting up better than lying down these days. Well, scratch that. It's not that I like sleeping sitting up so much, but I find it more restorative when I do that. Lying down to nap (which is what most experts recommend - I'm not saying you should do what I do), encourages me to sleep longer than I really ought to, and I tend to wake up groggy as a result. It kills my afternoon productivity. By contrast, snoozing sitting up (reclined a bit, mind you, with my feet up on another chair) lets me rest without making me groggy at all when I wake up. I started doing that during our most recent UK trip. I was doing all the driving and every now and then we'd stop at a rest area and the kids would read quietly in the back while John worked on his computer next to me and I'd just shut my eyes for 10-20 minutes. This was a life-saving trick in more ways than one, and it taught me something about myself that I didn't know I could do; sleeping sitting up, which is a great way to survive intense traveling schedules.

Oh, I know. It would be better if I went to sleep at 9 pm and slept like the dead until 5. That'd give me a wonderful, straight, 8 hours of beauty sleep. But it's not going to happen anytime soon so second-best measures are called for. I hope the gods of sleep karma will forgive me.