Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deep Sleeper

For those of you who don't know, I'm a very deep sleeper. It's caused a few problems in my life, mainly that I'm late for things that I can't be late for because I slept through my alarm. But also, at family events, I'm always the last one up, the last one in the shower, there's no hot water left, and everyone's ready to go. A few times, they had to go on without me. Rude. It's the worst feeling when you wake up and realize everyone is ready to go and you have five minutes to get you AND all your kids ready or you're gonna miss out on whatever is going on. I always wonder why someone doesn't simply wake me up? Especially since they always assure me they will for sure wake me up bright and early.

Hmm. Sabotage, maybe?

Anyway, in my freshman Psych class a few years ago, I learned a few tricks for giving myself the best odds of hearing my alarm clock and waking up in the morning.

Here are the rules I must follow:

First, if I must wake up before getting at least 7 hours of sleep, do not set my alarm for a half hour mark. (meaning, it's better if I try to wake up after 5 hours of sleep rather than 5.5). The half hour mark is when I begin my new sleep cycle. Waking up after 5 hours is easy for me because I'm just coming out of my long REM (rapid eye movement) stage, so I often plan on 5 hours of sleep if I'm concerned about sleeping through my alarm, and it always works--but obviously it's not ideal.

Second, do not sleep longer than 7-8 hours. If my alarm goes off after I've been asleep for say 9.5 hours, I will sleep through it. I'm close to death at that point. Plus, I start having crazy lucid dreams.

Oh, Quick Tangent: I hate it when people insist on telling me about some dream they had (except for S. Meyer), so please forgive me. But once, I had this dream that I got in a car accident with this guy, and our cars were all tangled up and a cop was trying to help us untangle the cars, and we were all arguing about whose fault it was, and that's when we suddenly become all tangled up in each other's clothes, and when we get untangled, the guy was wearing my under garments on the outside of his clothes and I'm sweating bullets, hoping he doesn't notice...

OK, back to point. Those two rules for myself aren't universal, they just work for my sleep patterns. You might be different.

So, what was my point? That tangent threw me. Oh yeah. The night before last, I didn't sleep at all. Yes, not at all. That's my other sleep problem. I had one really bad year in which *I solemnly swear* I hardly slept at all, and never went to sleep easy. I've never taken anything to help me sleep because I'm pretty sure I would never wake up, and besides it's purely psychological. Mind over matter. I seem to function all right after a sleepless night anyway, not that I enjoy it or anything. I even blogged yesterday. And showered.

So, what was my point? Oh yeah. So after having that sleepless night, I went to bed unusually early last night, and had a LONG night's sleep. So, in accordance with my rules, it was no surprise that I slept through my 7:30am alarm this morning.

At exactly 8:30am (the time I normally shove the boys out the door to walk to school), Cord shakes me awake. I'm like, "whoa wha where am I? unicorns? candy mountain?" and Cord goes, "We're leaving mom." I see the time and jump out of bed, and I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh, we're SO late." But then I put on my spectacles and see that both Cord and Gus are standing by my bed, showered and dressed, their hair parted on the right sides, their giant backpacks on, ready to go.

"You got up and ready on your own?"


"Did you have breakfast?"


"Brush your teeth? Deodorant?"


"Ah, I'll go make your lunches."

"We already did. Bye mom."

"Er, bye."

So now I'm wondering if I even need to worry about all this waking up business?


Landee said...

This opens up a whole new world...if it were me, I'd never wake up with the boys again. But it will never be me. I spend at least 5 minutes every morning trying to get the boys out of bed. And I have to think of something fun they are doing that day to motivate them... "Hey gize! Wake up! ::said all singsongy:: Guess what? Tonight we're going to Chick-Fil-A for free kids' meals!" and stuff like that.

Question: Do you not sleep because you are up doing stuff? Or do you lay there all night spooning Anthony and waiting for sleep to take over?

ajesplin said...

L--It's very common for me to stay up late doing things I want to do. I'm a night person, so I function best at night. I know it's unhealthy, but 5 hours of sleep has become my norm, as I'm not willing to go to bed early, yet I need to wake up early. Lately, I've had lots of good stuff going on, so it's been easy for me to get up in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed. It's very rare that I ever take a nap--probably because my life is so exciting, I don't want to sleep through it.

BUT, when I pull an all-nighter, it's because my mind is racing with thoughts that I can't seem to let go of--usually of the bitter and unpleasant variety.

diagnoses please

Landee said...

Wait, is this barely suppressed bitterness? Or outright bitterness.

This will determine my diagnosis.

ajesplin said...

Well, a few nights ago, it was outright bitterness, yesterday it was barely suppressed, and today it seems to have left my mind completely. I'm as sweet as a ripe peach, now.

Memzy said...

See my post for advice. Cuz I have lots.

And I think this kids getting ready for school on their own thing is BRILLIANT!! Can you teach my kids to do that?

Cristin said...

OH MAN, I'm so jealous for 1) your kids got up/dressed/made their own lunches...that' is AWESOME!
2) you only need 5 hours of sleep!!! That would ROCK!!! I could get so much more done...or not.
3) You can function after not sleeping...hmm would you be willing to offer classes on that???

there was a time that I could handle not sleeping but that was a long time and 4 kids ago. I now LOVE sleep, more than I should. Maybe it's because I've had maybe 5-10 nights since having kids that I slept all the way through the night. I must be getting woken up a lot on the half hour so it's disturbing my REM cycle or something.

ajesplin said...

M--I didn't teach them anything really, they're just fending for themselves. Cord wakes up super easy in the morning--this is not the first time he's heard my alarm from across the house and gotten up on his own, but usually he wakes me up. I asked Cord why he didn't wake me up, and he said that I looked sick. Huh? Maybe I was grimacing about my lucid dream.

C--It's not always easy for me to function on less sleep, but it's been easy for the last several months--it's only easy during periods of my life when I'm really motivated by something. I go through times when it's hard, and then I feel super lazy and unmotivated.

Krissy and Jason said...

Your boys are like a dream! I don't think you realize just how good you've got it...first you get paid because they are acting so good at Panda Express and then they get up and get themselves ready for school all by themselves???? You're killin' me, really!

Vegas Family said...

That is cute. I can picture Cord doing that. Lucky you! Emma and Hayley are like that.


Unfortunately, Morgan is a very deep sleeper. So...I have to go in his room starting at 6a.m. every 2 min. and drag him out of bed. He is terrible to wake up and get going. He sleeps thru ANYTHING.

I remember going to the bathroom in the night and you were sleep walking and standing in the tub in your PJs "asleep" BUT your eyes where open. It was very creepy.

Markie23 said...

I recently had a dream that I was on an island watching a Harry Potter movie with two beluga whales. Can someone interpret that for me please?

Landee said...

Mark, if that Harry Potter was the one with Cedric Diggory in it then I'd say it's that you have an unmanly crush on Edward. The whales represent society which is too big and imposing in its oppression of you having a mancrush.

That was too easy.

AJ, glad to hear that life does go on after bitterness & that your guilt-triangle-corners-coming-off thing really is true.

Amy Thurston said...

I coulda sworn I left a bitter comment on here. It must have vanished.

I used to survive on minimal sleep, but then I got married, and I realized that what I was waiting up for really didn't take THAT long. So now I get more sleep.

My motivation for waking up is just seeing the faces of my beautiful family. And then getting a head start on all that laundry and dishes, and driving, and bill paying, and more laundry, and cooking, and more dishes. See, such motivation.

Bailey does that wide eyed creepy sleep walk that Jenny used to do. Super creepy. He's looking at me, but he can't see me.

Amy Thurston said...

I love how Edward always seems to make into every single post or comment. It really can't be helped.

Jami said...

Well, it seems like your situation is under control...no need for early mornings at your house!

Jana said...

Who needs this waking up business really? Just be a stay in bed mom.

PS Sticking with the no arms look. Lazy eyes are too creepy- you never know which eye to look into.

Jana said...

I've been thinking. First thing in the morning I'm starting this Ipod parenting thing. Kids practically raise themselves.

Markie23 said...

Landee that was eerie. I'm calling my therapist now.