Wednesday, January 21, 2009

morning times...

I am not a morning person... never have been. Certain responsibilities require me to rally in morning hours and I always have and always can. I am envious of morning people, particularly when the sun sets so early - that sunrise should be capitalized upon. So part of 2009 resos is for me to turn myself around a bit. Most days, I am expected at work at 8:30 AM. I live minutes from the office - actually driving takes the longest, seconded by walking, and bicycling is the most expedient. With my new responsibility in the form of a puppy, I have made efforts to rise early, give her a good walk, blender up some nutrition and get to work on time. I haven't been doing so well. I like 8 hours of sleep. So I calculated back eight hours from seven AM, and would go to bed by 11:00. I'd fall asleep quickly. Anytime between 2:30 and 5:00 AM, either Gracie or I would wake up with a bladder that needed attention. We'd go...(me inside, she out!) and return to bed and sleep. The alarm would sound anywhere between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM. I'd always hit the snooze. and snooze and snooze. Oh, I was usually awake, lying in bed mapping my day, revisiting my dreams, just loligagging feeling how fine the comfort of my bed really is. Enjoying the sights and sounds of morning. I would wait until the absolute last minute to get out of bed. I have taken careful note of this "abusive" behaviour particularly this week, as I have made determined effort to go to bed with ample sleep time. When I do get up and go to work, my head and my eyes are clear, I feel GREAT! (and look great, I'll say!! ;) ) but...I'm just squeakin' by in time...
You "morning folks"? What gets you to throw your legs over the side of the bed and ditch the covers? What gets you on two feet? A point of humor, in my younger days, growing up in a very Catholic household, my father would stand at the top of the stairs, and declare: "Rise and Shine!Be about your Father's Business!" ..and then call each of us by name..." Jenene! Kathleen! Deborah Jean! ..." and down through all ten.. "Are you awake?!!" (sleepy responses ..yes..) Are you out of bed!?!" (yes) ARE YOU ON YOUR FEET!!? Ten it was: "Wash your face, comb your hair brush your teeth?!" ...yes... I CAN'T HEAR YOU!! YES SIR! "Shoulders back, chest out, stomach in!
Most of my married life, my (then) husband worked earlier than I did - and I had the responsibility of dressing/ feeding/ driving (etc.) the children to the day care/sitter. I would be up several times in the night with one child or the other. As they grew to teens it was some project or homework or special assignment.
I will continue to attempt my realignment. Last night I went to bed just before 11:00 PM. I set my alarm for 6:30 AM and said, " I will get up when the alarm goes off." Well, Gracie and I got up at about 5:00 AM, and when the alarm sounded at 6:30...well..."just 15 minutes more...for 5 or 6 more times!
Dang..!
not a morning person........but a work in progress!

1 comment:

Roderckdhu said...

Sleeping

I am an early morning person. Furthermore, with rare exceptions, I never use an alarm clock. I just decide what time I want to get up in the morning and I wake up. In those rare exceptions, I use the alarm clock if the consequences of being late (such as a missed flight or a missed teleconference) are high.

I have parasomnia disorder (sleep walking, sleep talking, loud noise syndrome) so for a while when I was younger I went to a sleep specialist. They could not do anything about the parasomnia (it is just is), but they did help teach me how to go to sleep and how to wake up. It seems strange, but they taught me a couple of things that really made a huge difference. I will share them with you.

First, when you are going to sleep, lie down, close your eyes. Breathe deeply and count backward from ten with each breath. As you do this, tense and release the muscles in your body, starting with your extremities (feet, calves, thighs, hands, fore arms, upper arms). Just tense them, hold for a few seconds, and release them. For whatever reason, it makes me fall asleep and sleep deeper.

Then, when you awake (regardless of how you wake), just lay there in bed, and count upward from ten with each breath. Then, get up and lightly stretch your entire body - and then start the day.

The really big thing I learned was to respect your own natural rhythms. Go to bed when you are tired. Get up when you wake up. Nap when you want to. We live in a hugely complex and demanding society that presents us with all sorts of unnatural tempos, many of which are subtle and complex. Part of re-learning to sleep well is simple learning that it is okay to ignore those unnatural rhythms.

We humans invented time, so anything that has to do with a clock is an unnatural rhythm. Now, of course, we have to concede to some of the demands of modern society - but, we can structure our lives in such a way that we can minimize those distractions.

Fun and Games with Parasomnia

Of all the assorted symptoms of parasomnia, the strangest (to me) is loud noise syndrome. Basically, what it means is when you are just about to drop off to sleep you hear a loud noise. In my case, it sometimes sounds like someone shouts right in my ear, other times it sounds like a fast gaggle of voices, and still other times it sounds like the roar of a jet or the cascade of a crash. The first couple of times it happened (probably in my twenties) it scared the heck out of me, especially when it took the form of someone shouting or the gaggle of voices. For me, it generally happens when I am over tired.

The other thing that I frequently do is sleep talk - sometimes one side of what is apparently an entire conversation, other times just random phrases. The sleep talking may or may not coordinate with any dreaming events.