Wednesday, January 25, 2023

My Terrible Sleep Schedule

As you can guess from the title of this post, my sleep schedule is awful. After a long day of work, taking the kids to their activities, and then getting them to bed, all I want to do is have time to myself. There's often laundry or trash or cleaning the litter box, but when that's done, I sit on the couch and turn on the television. I generally see what shows I have recorded on the DVR or turn on a sporting event. We also have Netflix and Amazon, but I find that I don't use streaming services nearly often as I should.

With the kids asleep or at least in bed, I have a set up with the television on and the laptop or my phone right next to me. It's time to enjoy the long list of shows and movies that I want to watch while also updating my fantasy sports teams, writing blog posts, answering trivia questions, playing chess, or some combination of all of these. Some nights, Ziggy jumps on the couch and curls up next to me.(That's either before, after, or both the multiple times that Ziggy eats paper or the Kleenex box in order for me to give him food. This happens at least 3-4 times a night even though his bowl is full.) And then, I fall asleep on the couch.  

From there, it might be anywhere between 20-30 minutes to a few hours before I wake up. Now if I was smart, I'd go directly to bed. I'm not smart. I'll check my email. If it's after midnight, I might play Wordle. I do just enough to get my brain going again, and then I go to sleep. While I'm still able to fall asleep quickly in my bed some nights, some nights it takes time to fall back asleep. Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck. Some nights, I call it a draw. (There's 1-2 bad words in this song/video.)

On weeknights, between the time I crawl into bed and wake up in the morning, I generally get about 5-6 hours of sleep. This is not nearly enough. The other problem is that this isn't continuous. Approximately every other night, Ziggy wakes me up. Sometimes it's just to jump on the bed and curl up at my feed, but usually it's about him getting older. He's 14.5 now. I carry him to the basement so that he can use the litter box, and then I shake his food bowl, since heaven forbid you can see any portion of the bottom of his bowl. 

This pattern repeats itself almost every night. Any suggestions on how to break this? I really want my time to watch TV and do things I need to get done. However, I know that I need more sleep.


Amy said...

I love sleep, and in my life sleep is the ultimate "time to myself" - so this schedule sounds horrible.

I think you have to set a schedule and also timebox things. I would try to do 1 hour of leisure activity after kids are in bed but before you actually go to your bed. Just pick one thing per night - watch a show, write a blog post, etc. Set a timer then make yourself get up and go to bed. Or if what you're doing that night can be done from bed (reading, phone stuff), just do it from there. There is not much of a solution to the cat thing so you need to get maximum time in bed since you already know that will be interrupted. 8-10 hours of interrupted sleep is way better than 5-6. But the goal is to be in your bed as early as possible, even if you're not actually sleeping yet, so when you get tired, you just go to sleep right there.

As they say when kids are babies "sleep breeds sleep" so I think when you start to get more sleep you will more naturally continue to prioritize it.

I'm usually in bed reading or watching TV by 9, and now that my kids are older, they come tuck me in and say goodnight and I'm asleep by 10 :).

Sean said...

Amy - This is helpful. Thanks!