Hi. My name is Susan. Sleep was never something I was good at and it has nothing to do with my love of coffee. (Yes, that’s me holding my favorite nectar!)
I am an early riser…like a way too early riser. It started in college of all places. At first, I couldn’t sleep past 7:30am…even if I went to bed at 5am. I remember running into friends who thought I had been up all night. Sometimes I lied so that everyone would think I was a party animal. It’s embarrassing, I mean, who wakes up early at college?
Working a real job was better suited to this issue. I never had a problem making it to work on time. In fact, I was always the first one in the office. (P.S. I love going into the Ladies room at an office when the seats are still up.)
Time has not helped. Around the baby birthing years, I started to wake up even earlier. I was gassy—I woke up. Braxton Hicks—I woke up—crying infant—I shot out a bed like a torpedo. Next thing I knew, my feet started hitting the floor at 5 am and it has been like that ever since. My husband finds my early rising extremely annoying and I am grateful that he doesn’t own a taser. Over the years, I’ve become really good at slipping out of the bedroom undetected. The first thing he asks me when he gets out of bed in the morning is:
“What time did you get up?”
“About 5 minutes ago” I answer and this is the only time I lie to my husband because I can’t stand his lectures about not being normal. Truthfully, normal is so yesterday.
I’ve taught myself to love the mornings…it’s the late afternoons that I hate. At a recent check up, I complained of fatigue. Seriously, who doesn’t? When asked if I got enough sleep, I bragged about FIVE HOURS A NIGHT. The doctor told me that I had serious sleep debt.
There is an equation for that:
Average adult sleep 7-8 hours per night (recommended for optimum health) – (YOUR SLEEP HERE) = Hours of Sleep debt.
I computed mine right there in the office and I realized that I had accumulated 43,800 hours of sleep debt so far. If you do the math, that’s 5 years.
“Not very healthy” the doctor said. I worried that she was going to say something about premature aging but instead she said, “We have medication for that, you know”.
Even though it’s considered a debt, an extra five years rang through like a bonus.
What would you do? Would you medicate?
Not me. When my eyes open in the wee hours, I’m all in.
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