I come from a nocturnal family, so staying up half the night isn’t out of the ordinary for most of us. (As vampires, we tend to burn in the sun.) But since most of the world sleeps at night, I’ve adapted in adulthood to sleep when it’s dark and work during the day.
There’s just one little problem: I’m better at night. (Like all vampires. Why am I not writing paranormal?) I’m more focused and more creative. I accomplish more in less time. It helps that there are fewer distractions since the rest of the world is snoozing, but I have more mental clarity. Whether to stay up later or not has become an area of struggle for me.
I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, proper nutrition (mostly), and enough sleep. We tend to not prioritize the latter very highly. As productive members of society, accomplishing tasks sometimes takes precedence over taking care of ourselves. Our bodies aren’t machines and we need sufficient downtime/sleep. If we don’t get it, bad things happen, such as premature aging, hormonal imbalances which lead to disease and weight gain, memory loss, and lack of sex drive. Ouch. No thanks.
|Way past my bedtime...|
My goal is to get to bed by 10 PM and get up at 6 AM. When Hubba-luv’s not working out of town, I hit the marks ninety percent of the time. Unfortunately, when he’s away, I don’t sleep well. And since I know I can escape into my writing, I do. Until two in the morning. It might not be so awful if I could sleep in, but my cat has an internal alarm clock and the loudest repetitive trill I’ve ever endured. A pillow over the head does not do the trick. Neither does locking her out of the bedroom or putting duct tape over her mouth. (I’ve never actually tried the tape, but I dream of it at times.)
|Wake up! Don't make me tell you again.|
I’m a creature of habit. Once I establish good habits, I can keep going like the Energizer bunny. When my routine gets interrupted, I’m in trouble. It takes weeks for me to return to my normal. So even after Hubba-luv returned from his most recent trip, I continued to stay up until two. I put my foot down one night and said to myself, “Ten tonight. No later.” At midnight, I shut down my computer. Hey, midnight’s better than 2 AM, right? If I can keep working my way backward, then I may get in bed by my goal time in the next few days.
Is there a time of day when you’re better? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you have too much to do and too little time to do it? Please reassure me I’m not the only one who wrestles with these issues.