Once again I sit here at my computer past the hour when I should be in bed. Why? Because I don’t want to go to bed! I don’t like going to bed. Oh sure, I’m perfectly happy once I’m there (most of the time) but the little kid in me still thinks I’m somehow going to miss out on something if I go to sleep.
This thinking, fortunately, doesn’t extend to naps. That’s good news, because by the time the weekend rolls around I usually need one. My sleep debt hits its peak and I have to make up for it somehow.
Back in the day, I used to stay up late reading. Then I went to college. It seems like nothing fun ever began before 11:00 pm, so my natural night owl tendencies were rewarded and strengthened. After college my first real job started late in the day, so I still had no reason not to stay up late. This pattern continued for a while, until I decided to go to graduate school to become a teacher. What a rude awakening that was (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Student teaching on the far side of town during the winter months of snow and ice required me to get up by 4:30 each morning. It was hell. I was used to just getting home around then. Still, I was motivated, so I adjusted. I also collapsed every day when I got home from school. I remember that time of my life as being sort of zombiesque.
Over the years I’ve managed to function pretty well in the regular world, in spite of my preference for late bedtimes and later wake up times. I’ve even begun waking up at about 7:00 am on the weekends for no good reason, other than it’s better than my weekday time of 5:20. Still, over my breaks from school, I find myself staying up later and later and then sleeping in more and more. At one time I figured I would do best sleeping from about 2:00 to 9:00 each day, but now that I’m older, I’ll say about 1:00 to 8:00. Honestly any seven hours in a row would do me a world of good. Maybe it’s time to get off the computer and go to bed, but then again, I might miss something if I do.
What kind of hours do you keep? Are you an early bird or a night owl? And how much sleep do you typically get each night? I know that sleep patterns change over time; have yours?