Sleep Patterns

I was supposed to write something yesterday, and then this morning, and now I am forcing myself to write before I give up for the day. Finding time for anything these days is a real challenge.

Throughout my life I’ve had all manner of sleep patterns. When I was in secondary school I used to like nothing more than going to bed at 10 to listen to my radio. There was a phone-in on every night on a local station at 10 that I used to enjoy a lot. Pretty sad, I know, but I have always liked to isolate myself. I’d listen for an hour and eventually give up. Some nights I’d fall asleep with the radio still on, only to wake up at 2am to easy listening classics…

Then as I got a bit older, I fell out of love with the phone-in, mainly because the presenter’s views were the opposite of mine. And as my involvement with computers and the internet increased, so I would spend the evenings and nights there instead, reading and posting to forums. That turned into going to be at or around midnight, and getting up at about 7 for school.

Towards the end of school life, before I went to college, I started staying up till very late, maybe 2 or 3am, some nights longer, just because I could. I’d still get up at 7. I don’t really remember what exactly it was I was doing, but I stayed up and killed my sleep pattern. How I found the energy to do anything I don’t really know. But it didn’t seem to harm me. Not even the numerous all night sessions that I would pull at weekends, for no obvious reason other than I could.

As college arrived, I would have to get up at 6 every day to make sure I was out the house by 7. It would have made sense, therefore, to go to bed earlier, but I didn’t. I grew out of the stupid late nights, but still was going to bed at midnight. Sleep was for the weak, I used to say. You can sleep all you want when you’re dead.

University was a bit different. I started to value getting some more rest. I was still going to bed at midnight, but now I was getting up at 8am, or a bit earlier if I had a 9am lecture. In some ways, I think I added more sleep to combat boredom. When there was no one else around in the morning, and nothing to do, you might as well sleep until you’re needed.

But I’ve never been one for a lie-in. In fact, I can’t do it. Biologically, I wake up. Even if I went to bed at 2am, my body wakes me up at the usual time, and often feeling OK. So I usually get up. These days I don’t even try to force myself back to sleep.

Uni changed little. There was no need for super early starts.

Life has also been the same. Midnight finishes, 7:30am starts. Pretty good.

Until recently. Now I am in a pattern I’ve never been in. Since New Year, since having the house all to myself, I have been getting tired around 9pm, and going to bed for 10pm. And then getting up at 6am or 6:30am.

In fact, I’d argue I’m sleeping more now than I ever have done. And all when I’m in most desperate need of more hours in the day to work in.

I suspect the two are connected. The workload recently is stressing me out and making me need longer to recharge. That has to be the reason, because normally you need less sleep as you get older. Not more.

I think the other reason is that now the mornings are pretty light… it makes me want to get up. It makes me want to seize the early hours to get things done, before the nastiness of the ringing phone and ceaseless texts and emails.

Talking of sleep…


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