Monday, June 16, 2008

See You in My Dreams

I'm tired. I know; what else is new? But I caught a cold over the weekend, and Genevieve has been suffering from night terrors, and if you know me at all, you know that once I'm awakened in the middle of the night--whether from a cough or a hysterical baby--I'm not apt to fall back to sleep for at least an hour or two. (I am convinced that somehow my new bed is going to magically cure me of this problem. Please don't argue with me.)

I'm toying with the idea of taking this entire week off from exercise in order to go to bed early every night. I keep dreaming of crawling into my bed at, like, eight p.m. for a week straight, just to see how it would feel. But it's nearly impossible; Julia's bedtime is 7:30. At eight p.m. I'm usually doing things like straightening the house, making my to-do list for the following day, answering e-mails, and writing or at least thinking about writing. Maybe even bathing. Going to bed at eight doesn't just mean no exercising; it also means no writing and no perusing the newspaper and no new issue of The New Yorker.

I struggled with this same problem last summer; going to bed early is always harder in the summertime when it stays light until after nine. But it always feels like there's no end to my exhaustion in sight: the days are jam-packed, my running route awaits every evening, there are always projects and chores that need attention. There's never a time I can look ahead and say, Oh yes, on Thursday night I'll have nothing to do; I can get lots of sleep then.

It's not even a unique problem! I mean, doesn't everyone in America get by with too little sleep in order to do more every day? But ubiquitous doesn't meant healthy, and I feel terrible when I'm sleep-deprived. It doesn't help that I've pretty much been sleep-deprived for four years. (It does help that all the other moms I know are in similar boats. Which is why I love the title of a new anthology of mommy-blogger writing coming out in the fall, a book that includes essays by some of my all-time favorite online writers. I'm sure the book would be fantastic no matter the title, but "Sleep is for the Weak" makes me smile every time.)

So. That's why I'm considering skipping my workouts this week and getting more sleep--temporarily--instead. It sounds good because I'm already a day behind my usual schedule AND I've got a meeting tonight that will interfere with my usual Monday run. The only downside is that, you know, if you're not working out, you don't get to eat approximately 2,000 extra calories that week.

Or, more likely if you're me, you do anyway, and...I don't know, sleep it off?

A girl can hope.


Mnmom said...

We're STILL sleep deprived. Now we drive to far flung towns for nighttime soccer and softball games, and crawl into bed late and exhausted.

I'm really starting to think this whole American model of parenting is just insane!! Being crazy busy and having kids signed up for all these activities does not equal contentment by any measure. I'm ready for a major paradigm shift in my life.

Perhaps we should write an article together.

Shan said...

I agree wholeheartedly. We need to do less and sleep more. Someone tell my babes.