Normal Hours

Today I managed to take three naps. None of them were planned. Instead the desire to sleep was just so great that I would close my eyes “just for a moment” and wake up 20 minutes later. The first nap was on a bench overlooking a nearby park. The second time was on the sofa while the boy was using me as a jungle gym. The third time was right before taking Nozomi for an evening walk. Again, none of these were planned; they just happened.

Next week, I’ll try to work normal hours and get to bed no later than 11:30pm. Sleep is very much a recurring topic in my writing, but for all the wrong reasons. Aside from a few years of solid rest before the boy came along, I’ve had some issue with sleep since the age of twenty.

In the early 2000s I would fall asleep rather quickly and enter into the same very long dream several nights a week. The dream felt as though it spanned years. I’d wake up completely disoriented to the point where I needed to have a calendar next to my bed with the days crossed off so that I’d know when I was. Returning to the waking world always left me wondering whether I was actually awake or stuck in another dream.

By 2006 the epic dreaming changed to bouts of insomnia that would span days, weeks, or an entire month. It was impossible to get more than 15 to 20 minutes of sleep at a time. The only thing that would allow a longer period of rest was alcohol, but this was something I did not want to rely on as I’d sworn off drinking a few years earlier.

Between 2013 and 2016 I slept like a log and would wake feeling mostly refreshed and ready to take on the day despite being a rather turbulent time in my life. It was around this time that my current sleeping pattern emerged, which is that I generally lose consciousness within 30 seconds of putting my head down. There was the occasional time where I’d be awake for hours on end because of worry or anxiety, but these nights were few and far between.

The last two years, though, have been weird. Inconsistent sleeping times and waking to take care of the boy has taken its toll. I’m falling asleep just about everywhere I sit if the last few nights have seen fewer than 4 hours of actual sleep. This is not cool and will only lead to some serious health issues. For this reason, I need to re-institute some of the old rules I followed between 2013 and 2016:

  1. No computers for an hour before sleeping
  2. Be in bed no later than midnight
  3. Always wake up by 7:30am

These three rules are incredibly simple, but rather difficult to implement given that I’m most productive between the hours of 10:00pm and 1:00am. That said, I’d rather suffer the consequences of not working at night over the consequences of not sleeping.