Friday, September 9, 2011
Have you heard all of those different opinions about how much sleep the average person requires each night? There are so many opinions out there, it's unbelievable (and exhausting). I've heard of studies that suggest the average adult should get 8 hours of sleep each night. Come on ... seriously? On what planet? And do they have a nanny, a home chef, and a personal assistant? In the 'REAL' world or at least mine I'm lucky to average 5-6 hours a night (and that might be only a few nights out of the average week).
Over the years I've listened to people talk about how much sleep a baby needs during their first few months - how they seem to be asleep more than they are awake. Then you move on to toddlers ... once they start becoming mobile they play hard for awhile and then literally crash for a few hours of satisfying zzz's (satisfying to both of the parents as well as themselves). When my children were little so many people would tell me to take a nap when my children were napping. That is something I never could do ... while they napped I did the laundry, the cleaning, opened the mail, started dinner and usually vacummed. The vacuuming part went against a lot of their suggestions, but my husband and I figured that if they could sleep happily while the vacuum was being run under their crib then 'no one' would ever have to tip toe and whisper while they were sleeping.
I worry a little about burning the candle at both ends and letting myself get run down, but somehow I always convince myself that I'll get as much sleep as I need and that my body will let me know when I need more. This morning was that kind of morning. I've been tired lately, but then who isn't? It's been a long first week of school for my high schooler and my husband and I. We've all worked or been in school all day and then had some place to be or something to do each night. Even as I sit here in the library typing this blog I am watching the clock, because I know I only have an hour until my husband and I need to leave for the high school football game to watch our daughter in the marching band. I work longer hours Mondays through Thursdays so that I can have Fridays off. Fridays are usually filled with errands and appointments. Today has been no different. I woke up this morning and drove my daughter to the bus stop at 6:45 a.m., then indulged in some well deserved personal time (30 minutes of uninterupted 'Curious George' on PBS). Nothing clears my head after a long week and gives me fresh perspective like that quirky little curious monkey. Then guess what happened? My body suddenly said 'TIME OUT'. My head dropped to the pillow on the couch like a sack of potatoes and 90 minutes later I rolled over, looked up at the wall clock and thought 'WHOA'. Guess my body knows when enough is enough.
So how much sleep do we really need? And is there really such a thing as burning the candle at both ends? I guess the bigger question besides asking 'Is it time for a nap?' is whether it's ok for a 40something year old wife and mother to admit to her readers that she watched Curious George for 30 minutes ... lol.