I am a night owl. Everyone who has known me for longer than 2 days knows that. There is absolutely no question. I have always felt better at night, feel more energetic and don't "hit the wall" until later than most people. Mornings are always a struggle. Most of the rest of the population are day-time people and the world runs by their rules! So night owls spend years and years fighting against their natural internal clocks to fit into somebody else's idea of how days should work.
Now however, I don't have to fit into anybody else's expectations about how I spend my days and nights. I am RETIRED! My time is my own....at last.
However, this whole night time/sleep time...day time/awake time still intrudes into my life. Really it isn't fair!
It used to be, many moons ago, that naps were one of my favorite things. A quick little 20 minute snooze on the couch or in a comfy chair was just the thing to perk me up after a long day and work and play. I wouldn't nap every day, I was much too busy to be able to do that....but every now and then I'd find a window of time between activities where I could drift off for a bit. It was delicious. The best part was that I would still head for bed at a reasonable time and sleep for a reasonable number of hours. Ahhhhh, youth!
I can't do that anymore! I have to make a real effort not to fall asleep when I am reading, because now if I do drift off, I find myself sleeping for an hour or two!! This is not good! Generally, in the evenings when I am feeling sleepy, there is no one at home but me; and thus there is no noise, no TV or radio, no one talking, or doing anything that would keep me from falling into a too-long stupor. If I fall asleep, it's pretty much a given that the rest of the evening is shot!
The bad part comes after I wake up. Because then I am either wide awake and perky (well, not really "perky" I guess. I am never perky!) or I am groggy, lethargic, nearly incoherent at which point I should just head off to bed, like a good girl (not that I ever do.) I just become zombie-like and I find myself totally useless.
If, however, I am wide awake, that is the worst!! Really! Why you might ask! Because I then stay that way until 4:00 or 5:00 AM! Even if I try to go to bed earlier, I can pretty much guarantee that I will toss and turn for an hour until I finally give up the fight, turn on the light, and go back to reading until I finally get sleepy enough to actually fall asleep! Sometimes it requires a bit of time being up and moving around!
Trust me, it is annoying in the extreme!
I used to sleep between 7 and 8 hours a night pretty regularly. It was perfect. I had energy. I was alert and could function and I was good for the day! Now I am lucky if I manage to get more than 5 hours a night. This is not good! It is a vicious circle. Tired when I get up, stay up way too late, sleep short again, get up tired. And when I reach 5 hours that is the point where I can function okay, but I do feel sleepy during the day. Those are the evenings I have to be vigilant against the pull a just a quick bit of slumber.
I know that this is either: A) all my fault (I know I should go to bed at a reasonable time, I shouldn't read in bed, I shouldn't sleep late in the morning, etc. etc.) OR B) it is not my fault at all! The upset in my sleeping habits is completely due to this aging thing, an active and aging bladder, too much light, I'm too warm, or too cool or too something that isn't my fault!
I think I'll go with Option B, this aging thing! It really plays havoc with your life, you know??
At any rate I must avoid the evening nap no matter how much of a "Sleepy Time Gal" I am. It isn't worth it, because just a few hours later (5 hours later!), I am lamenting, "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning!"
Sleep just shouldn't be this hard, right guys? Guys?? Hellloooo??? Oh yeah, the rest of you are in bed already and I'm wide awake! Darn!!
Well, I should have expected it, after all, I had a nap this evening....