Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's dawning on me I'm not a night owl...haha, get it?

I have without a doubt come to realize that my internal clock wakes me up at 5am. Obviously by stating that I believe there is such a thing as an "internal clock." A few years ago I'd have guffawed at anyone talking about it--okay, okay, I don't guffaw but it sure seemed like a good word to use; I'll use "scoffed" instead: a few years ago I'd have scoffed at anyone saying we have internal clocks.

Then came the time when I started needing to get up very early in the morning to do my college coursework in almost complete quiet. (almost because seriously, even when all the human creatures are still sleeping, the dog will start doing her "I'm so excited you're going to take me for a walk you are going take me for a walk I'm going to go out let's go come on let's go" dance) I tried 6am first but that didn't give me quite enough time before the usual 7am first riser, so I shifted it to 5, wondering just how long it would take me to drag my butt from bed to the computer, and if my eyes would be open even once at the computer.

Guess what? When my alarm went off at 5 I was wide awake!
So of course I hit the snooze button, because it was still very dark and it made no sense to me why I was wide awake and maybe I was still dreaming or something. At 5:15 when the snooze alarm went off,
I still felt wide awake.
Weird, strange, and since I am comfortable with weird and strange I got up and probably had one of the most productive days I had had in years.

Since then I have played around with the alarm clock time, but have come to realize that when I allow myself to sleep past 5:15, I go into another cycle of deep sleep and that is why it is so hard to then wake up. Then I am dragging myself around, trying to figure out how to wake all the way up and Thing One usually wakes up in that process which gives me a perfect excuse to plop on the couch with him, which then leads to tasks not done and frustration and inevitably a strong irresistible NEED to nap, which leads to tasks not done get the idea.

All these years have gone by with me believing I was a night owl. I was proud of it, I wore it as my badge: "I am a Night Owl but still get up early with my kids!" I had myself convinced that was just how it was. I had it all figured out: I didn't have deep sleep until after 7am, and that was why I always struggled getting up early.
I was--wait for it, wait for it.....--WRONG!

It was a second deep sleep that I would fall into when I didn't wake up when my own natural cycle was telling me to. After all this time, it turns out I am a morning person. I like it. I like how quiet it is. I like that the sky is just beginning to get that incredible bright twilight blue glow just before the sun appears. I like that I have time to watch the news, write, do schoolwork, and yes even do housework, though I do tread lightly in fear of waking anyone up too early to invade my quiet.

While I am not a sleep doctor nor an expert in any area of sleep study (that was my disclaimer in case you were wondering), I would still say to anyone still reading this that struggles with morning time, maybe you can try this, too. If you end up finding your circadian rhythm--you are very welcome, I will gladly take all the credit. If you end up cranky and cursing the person that suggested you try it, well--that's where my disclaimer comes in to play.

Linda is now going to fold clothes because it is dangerously close to first ariser's wake-up time...

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