Okay sleep, I will grant that you are a useful activity. I admit that I am powerless before you and that you humble all from queens to paupers. And I will also admit that for someone who has ferociously insisted on her children getting enough sleep I have done a terrible job of guarding my own slumber.
When quite Depressed I slept a lot. It was very hard to get up in the morning and I fell exhausted into bed at the end of the day. Now I have more energy. So in addition to finding that I can no longer rely on extreme fatigue to let me know when to stop exerting myself-- I find that I can't just wait until I am so tired that I can't keep my eyes open. Because that is happening later and later.
I find that I have to relearn good sleep habits. Before: read, knit or watch Netflix until I notice I am starting to fall asleep. Then quickly brush teeth and fall face-first on the pillow. Now I am trying to make a conscious decision to go to sleep. You know, look at the clock and think: I have to get up at 7:00 tomorrow. I should be getting to bed about now.ug
See now that I am writing this down it seems absurd.
But last night I followed through on my plan to be in bed before midnight. 10:30pm I finished up a cup of hot chocolate, changed into pajamas, brushed my teeth and read a few chapters on digital photography. Turned out the light and closed my eyes long before I was accidentally dropping the book on my head.
Now I find that I don't need a nap with the daughter (who is sleeping now) and am quite alert in the middle of the afternoon. Curses. I feel like sleep is one of those addictive things. Like I am now hooked. And before I had all this imaginary time in which I could do anything. Finish editing my novel. Conquer the world. You know, the basics.
Yup. That's my new theory: sleep is a gateway drug. Soon I will be doing things like daily exercise and forgoing sweets by choice. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs... why can't I have this one vice? Why can't I just stay up and have another life in the quiet of the evening?
I remember finding that even when I wasn't Depressed, if I got fewer than six hours of sleep per night (on average over the week) I began exhibiting the signs of Depression.
Fine. I will get some sleep. Regularly and routinely because it is the responsible, grown-up thing to do. But I don't have to like it.
Grateful Crap: being able to function in mid-afternoon, local swimming pools both indoors and out, new lenses for my camera that are fun to use, not being a single parent (being a double parent?)
Quaker, teacher, parent,