Sunday, October 18, 2009

The elusion of sleep

I like meeting goals. I like setting a date or a number of situps or a mile mark I want to meet. When I ran my first 3.1 miles without stopping I shouted out loud (the neighbors probably think I'm crazy) and then cried a few tears of triumph. It meant a lot to me. But one goal I can never seem to meet is getting enough sleep.

I wake up at 4 a.m. to be to work before 5 a.m. To get my eight hours that means I have to be to bed by 8 p.m. In the summer it's not even dark out yet! So I push back my sleep. Most nights I go to bed around nine or ten, anywhere in between there. The weekends are for catching up, for sleeping as long as I want. But then when Sunday rolls around I can't get to sleep at night because I've gotten enough sleep and slept in late and when 9 p.m. rolls around I definitely am not tired.

If I take a nap during the week to get enough Z's in then the same thing happens. I'm too well rested at night to get to sleep on time and then I am so tired I have to take a nap the next day, and, well, it's a vicious cycle.

I know that sleep is important for a healthy life. But it's the first thing I ignore when I want to fit more things in my day. When I want to spend more time with the SO sleep goes out the window. He's what I call a regular worker. He gets home around five and then that's all of three hours that we maybe spend together before I'm off to get myself some dream dust.

If I stay up late, my work and my attitude suffer the next day. Not to mention that I have some trouble with depression and two sure-fire ways to help keep it at bay are to get enough and to exercise. But, while all the changes in my life are making me healthier, the only time I really feel deprived is when I know I should go to sleep, but like a little kid, I can't make myself stop. I almost need someone to tell me, "You've had enough, it's bed time. Now go brush your teeth."

So sleep is that elusive goal. I eat my vegetables, I sweat it out down in the basement or on my route outside. I get my complex carbs and my calcium and all that fun stuff. But good ol' sleep? Let's just say dream dust doesn't grow on trees.

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