Monday, March 21, 2011

Your Sleep Position?

I DVR CBS' Sunday Morning every week because I am 70 years old.

This week featured a Ben Stein segment speaking about sleeping; it really got me thinking. Watch the video, it's short.

I know I don't sleep enough. The truth is that I do not like to sleep. I get a lot more done because I am awake (incontrovertible fact!) (but also anecdotal and not from an unbiased source!) I like being by myself and not having to concentrate on anything but the task I'm attempting to do.

I also know that it's not good for me. When I have the opportunity to sleep uninterrupted (pause for general merriment) I naturally sleep between 7 and 8 hours, and wake without an alarm. I usually sleep between 5-6 hours, and that is rarely without interruption. Last night I supposedly slept 5 hours, but really, I was awakened 3 times. That can't be good, no matter what I wish was true.

Part of me wants to say "Whatever." The baby arrives in about 90 days. My sleep will be so fragmented and nuts at that stage that it's hardly worth trying to sleep as much as I can now--you can't really store up sleep for later. It's GOOD that I'm used to a minimal amount of interrupted sleep and getting a nap or two in during the day because pretty soon I won't have a choice about that. Surrender in the face of the advancement.

The other part of me says, "Maybe you should sleep while you have the chance." It's going to be awful after the baby arrives (until you've had a baby [or been a POW] you have absolutely no idea what sleep deprivation is like.) Perhaps I should sleep more now and try to be well-rested when baby arrives. Sure, it's going to be harder to sleep through the night as the baby and I grow, but I should really give it a shot. Fortify and defend in the face of advancement.

There's a family history of sleep problems hanging over my head: my mother and brother don't sleep well. Sometimes I have insomnia (which is when I want to go to sleep but can't, instead of the usual case of I don't want to go to sleep but could.) Usually I just have the I-don't-want-tos. I am jealous of people who only need to sleep 4 hours a night--like Martha Stewart. I don't want to BE Martha, I simply want to have her sleep tolerance. A new study shows that "short sleepers," as they are called, have a genetic mutation that allow them to naturally function on less sleep. This is a gene mutation I want to have. It's a gene mutation I pretend I have.

But Ben Stein (of all people) might have me convinced to try sleeping more. What are your thoughts?


Rachel said...

I seriously wish for the mutation. 9 hours is good for me. 10 would be even better!! It's kind of ridiculous, but I'm much better off when I've gotten it. This need, of course, has come on post-children. In my college days, 6 was usual--and sufficient, with an 8 hour night thrown in for good measure every now and then. I long for those days. The PRODUCTIVITY!

As for you, please soak it in while you can before the bambina.

whitneyingram said...

I agree with him. I am a better, more patient wife and mother if I am well-rested. I get more done too.

I have recently been reading about the relation of sleep and weight loss. Sleep-deprivation is a culprit of weight gain.

Damn it.

Tiffany said...

I DVR Sunday Morning, too, and then treat myself to it later in the day or week as if it's a giant brick of chocolate.

I used to have that genetic mutation. It left me around age 30. Waaaaaa!

Marge Bjork said...

I think Ben Stein's voice is kind of hypnotic, to be honest.

Fig said...

I'm hugely pro-sleep. I feel "deprived" on less than 9 hours. So having a baby ruined my life, basically.

There are so many physioogical issues linked to insufficient sleep. I'm married into a family of bad sleepers. Sucksville fo them.

dmarie said...

i used to get 4-5 hours and be good. then i turned 40. if i don't get 7-8 hours on a weeknight, i may as well stay home. on the weekends i crave 9-10 hours at least one night. then i nap. something about my oldness. and i LOVE my bed and my pillows, and snuggling, get it. i love sleep.

Mojo said...

Laquina's a light sleeper too. Your thoughts are exactly what I thought before the last sleep stealer. I'm going to say stay with the little sleep, one less thing to readjust to.

The redhead said...

I heretofore testify that the worst thing is wanting to sleep, knowing you need to sleep, and not being able to go to sleep. Such is my life. I probably get 5-6 hours a night. I'm a night owl so insomnia is semi-enjoyable. But when morning comes I am a beast, an absolute horrible morning person.

I feel bad for my family and am trying to be better. One step is making my bed absolutely luxurious, which is a little hard since there's a man sleeping on one side of it, but I'm talking new mattress, sheets, pillows etc. My bed will beckon me and I will come. Here's hoping anyway.

Emily said...

I have to agree with Stein yet I can't seem to make myself get more sleep. I just drink more caffeine. But I do notice a difference when we actually take a vacation sans kids--we sleep in, nap and relax and I am a much happier, less grouchy mom and wife. I say stock up while you can! (Of course we can't stock up, but how nice it would be if we could!)

ali said...

I only like to sleep in the morning.

Queen Scarlett said...

I love that quote...never waste any time you could be sleeping.

So... I better sign off and go snooze.

I'm like you - I enjoy the quiet of the evening, doing things I want to do alone. I am also a grumpier person if I don't get enough sleep. The older I get, the more I seem to need, not to be grouchy.

So... maybe I better skip to it and not feel so lame going to bed at 10 or earlier.


Caroline said...

I am answering before I read the comments, because that's how I roll. Also: my comment is related to sleep, but probably not pertinent to your post. AND YOU'LL LIKE IT ANYWAYS.

A) I have never heard of this before, but I love it so hard. I would totally classify myself as a short sleeper, because for the past 2 decades, I have "functioned" on about 3 hours of shut eye a night. And some days, I didn't sleep at all.

B) I would be a fabulous CIA agent because of this.... and also because I'm a good liar.

C) I am now on sleeping medication because it's apparently unhealthy to only sleep 3 hours a night. OR IS IT. At any rate, I am on heavy duty drugs, because I have an abnormal tolerance to medications, and my husband took half of one of my pills and slept for 12 hours. I have to take four times the amount to even FEEL it.

D) I may have a drug problem.

E) Is that a new shirt? You look amazing.

Likely said...

I am totally going to bed right now.

I always wish you could store things like sleep in jars and pop hem open when you need them. Sleep jars would be next to sunshine jars and smell of the ocean jars.

Likely said...

and exercise jars.

you can buy those kinds of jars from like marathon runners and yoga instructors and stuff.

I am going to be a millionaire.

Kalli Ko said...

I need 8+ hours to be my happy, productive, pleasant self. Any less just doesn't cut it. I am mean, resentful, accusatory, impatient and any other negative personality characteristic you can imagine. It's not pretty, which is why the last 6 months have been something of a trainwreck. Wheeeee!

La Yen said...

The ONLY rad thing I have ever found about clinical depression is that, generally, I can sleep for 20 hours, get up, have some cold cereal, and then go right back to sleep for another straight 8. Then wake up feeling refreshed.

Britty said...

I totally agree with Benny Boy. I have figured out that 9 hours is optimal sleep time for me. I don't get it lately, but I get pretty close. Sleep is a major priority for me. Sorry you don't get the uninterrupted sleep. I'm prego again too, so I know what you mean about a very crappy quality of sleep!

Candybottomgirl said...

Oh Ben! You can even make even sleep sound interesting.

I agree that it is a great investment. I wish I could do more of it. I also wish I had the magic sleep gene. Instead I have the magic overachiever gene. Wish I had something to show for it besides the awesome bags under my eyes.

soybeanlover said...

More sleep is awesome. Do it, and maybe just maybe you'll give birth to a miracle baby.

So because of rolling blackouts, my honey can start work at 6 and leave at 2:30, but that means he has to get up at 3:45 to make his train. This results in him crashing at 9pm, and a lot of times I'll join him. All I can say is FABULOUS! It is great feeling well rested. Try it, you'll be a believer.

Bebe McGooch said...

Ah hahaha. Sleep jars. And La Yen, I have SO been there!

Man, I've missed reading comments on your blog. Missed out!

And oh how I now know sleep deprivation. I KNOW. I'm a fan of 8 hour sleep, even more so now. And I'm convinced that I would be able to lose baby weight/get my body back into shape until I can get more sleep. Without good sleep, my body just remains in survival mode. The body is not going to let go of its fat stores during survival mode. Oh my, noes.

Bebe McGooch said...

Make that *wouldn't be able*, obviously.

Eliza said...

I definitely agree with him as it pertains to kids. My kids are so much happier if they've gone to bed at a decent hour the night before. (like long before 8.) Too bad I am terrible at getting them to bed at a decent hour. I want to change that.

I would probably be able to go to sleep earlier at night myself if I had Ben Stein's voice in my ear. I love old men's voices in general--they totally make me feel calm and relaxed--and his is great.

I am 8 months pregnant and blessedly have been able to sleep a little better since my baby dropped. I'm not sure why--maybe because I can breathe more easily? I definitely can't walk very well when I do get up at night. Or in the morning.

So sad that you can't store sleep, but I guess I could try to get into good habits now as far as earlier bedtimes (for me and for my kids). The first year of both my kids' lives was a little blurry for me. Here's hoping I get better sleep this time.