Sleep is for the wise

Bedtime doesn’t happen as early as it should in our house. Well, the kids usually come down looking for a glass of water or to say they can’t sleep, but actually they’re not so bad when the initial “OK time for bed” announcement is made – they’re usually fairly acquiescent heading up the stairs.

It’s the grown-ups who are causing all the problems. The grown-ups who should know better. The grown-ups who are perfectly aware of how tough it is to get through a day on insufficient sleep. But who are not grown up enough to just go to bed on time.

image credit IMAX.com
image credit IMAX.com

Take last night: the credits rolled on the film we were watching; the perfect cue to turn off the TV. My husband suggested as much: “we should go to bed”. “Yep” I replied. At which point he picked up his iPad, I re-opened my lap top, and instead of hitting the TV off button, we switched over to Top Gun (but it’s Top Gun!)

At 1am, after many more “we should really go to bed” mutterings from both of us, we finally did. And then the baby woke at 4.

Tough day. Lesson learned. I’m definitely having an early night tonight.

But of course I won’t.

The thing is, if I struggle through a challenging day, by the time the kids are in bed and I collapse on the couch, the last thing I want to do is go to bed. Now I want some hard-won me-time. And me-time is all the more attractive after a tiring day – time to flake out on the couch with my husband; checking Twitter to see what everyone is watching on TV; putting on a film or another episode of Breaking Bad; opening a bottle of wine.

When the time comes to go to bed – I mean the first of the many times that we say “we should really go to bed”, there’s always one more flick through the channels, one more browse through Twitter, one more conversation in a Facebook group.

And it’s not really about TV or social media addictions – it’s about not wanting it to end. The me-time, the precious me-time.

Once I go to sleep, it’s over. The next event will be either an alarm clock ringing or a child jumping on my head. At bed-time, it’s at least 21 hours until the next bit of me-time. So prolonging it just that bit longer at night is irresistible.

I’d love to have the willpower to go to bed early – I envy those who do. Or perhaps it’s not about willpower – perhaps each of us is either an early-bird or a night-owl? Perhaps where I see getting up and heading up the stairs as a chore, others see it as a blissful end to a busy day?

20140104_174455Either way, I’m determined to change this bad habit – I’ve included it in my new year’s resolutions. We’ll see … I complained recently to my sister that the kids don’t want to go to sleep at night and then don’t want to get up for school in the morning, and wondered aloud why they can’t see how irrational that is. “We were the same as kids” she replied, “and we still haven’t learned how irrational it is”. Can’t argue with that.

 

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14 thoughts on “Sleep is for the wise”

  1. I should probably put that on a to-do list for 2014 as well. But I get exactly what you mean. even when my night owl goes to bed at 10pm, I still want some me-time. regardless of the fact I have to be up at 6:15 to get read for work. I end up on Facebook or watching just one more episode of a series I like. argh!
    Muuka Gwaba recently posted…Out with the old, in with the new.My Profile

    1. I am usually sitting down by 9pm so I’ve less of an excuse than you Muuka! But you’re right – life is so busy with work, and with study for you as well, and looking after little people – there has to be a an hour or two for ourselves in the middle of all this.
      I genuinely think that I’m a happier person because of the me-time, so I’m not really going to forfeit too much of it.

    1. Emily I’m certain we won’t be on IPB after midnight tonight – CERTAIN! Nor will I be chatting to Christine on Twitter at 1am, no chance. This is the new me….

  2. You’ll hate me so. Something odd happens to me when the boys go to sleep, my body and mind tends to shut down. I usually “retire” at about 10pm. After 11 would be a very late night for me indeed. If I have a book to read, I have been known to fall into the scratcher at 8pm. But I will read until after 1am. I do NOT operate well on lack of sleep. It seriously interferes with all of my functions. I would go so far as to say, I am not safe sleep deprived.
    Wonderful Wagon recently posted…Date NightMy Profile

    1. I think you are proof that there are two different types of people – assuming you retire happily at 10 o’clock rather than reluctantly but with a will of iron!

  3. When I had a baby – and then another – I got into the habit of considering 10pm to be my bedtime, because I knew I’d be up in the night, possibly for a couple of hours. Even though I usually get a better night’s sleep these days, ten is still in my head as “bedtime”, so by the time it gets to about 10.41 I usually manage to get myself off the sofa and upstairs. I likes me sleep, I does.
    Christine recently posted…Grandad’s bedtime storiesMy Profile

    1. I guess I’m still wondering – does that mean you think “brilliant, time for bed, I love sleep” or do you think “I’d love to stay up but I better go to bed” – that’s the bit I’m not entirely sure of (I only know the latter feeling)

  4. Couldn’t have put it better myself. I used to be an early to bed kinda person, I was reared in a house where 10pm was late! When my first two kids were little the inevitable way to get them to sleep was to go to bed with them. Then when number three arrived I finally had a baby that did something akin to proper sleeping and I discovered this ME time… now I just can’t let go. even when there is nothing to watch and I am too tired to even lift myself off the couch… it’s MY TIME and I must persist!!!

    Considering I am only opening a can of beer now I reckon I’ll see you on IBP or twitter in a few hours ;0)
    Naomi Lavelle recently posted…A year of blogging – a look at some favourites!My Profile

    1. Go you and your late night beer Naomi!! I was thinking about it today and I’m pretty sure it’s to do with family and upbringing and presumably genetics too. My siblings and my dad are all night owls and none of us are amazing at jumping out of bed in the morning,

  5. Ditto here as well, can relate to the entire post. I do not want the me time and peace and quiet to end. I managed to get to bed by midnight last night which was the earliest night for a while. I really had to force myself tho’ as I need my sleep. I guess things will be back to normal routines tomorrow after the holidays…

    1. Glad to hear I’m not the only one Jasmine Rose!
      Yes tomorrow is a good time to start anew. Clearly not tonight, since it’s nearly midnight now, oh dear…

  6. Ha ha,

    As I read this I have just put another episode of scandal on the laptop… Snap on the post bedtime feet up , trying to make the free time last as long as possible !

    1. Yep, we’re all eeking out as much couch-time as we can! And Scandal – now that’s one I want to watch, you’re giving me ideas 🙂

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