Lately I have developed a new sleep pattern, which involves me being up around 1-2 am for a couple of hours, before I retire back to bed. So I am getting my required 5-6 hours sleep, but there is a gap in between two distinct periods of sleep. This morning for example, I find myself wide awake at 1 am after a deep sleep of 2.5 hours. I do not lie in bed trying to get back to sleep, but I come downstairs and occupy myself : I have a cake baking in the oven as I am writing this blog, and I will head back to bed soon and catch up on the rest of my sleep. But I find a couple of things about this new odd sleeping pattern:
- It upsets people if they receive an email from me at 2 or 3 am, as they expect me to be asleep at that time and they do not realise that I will go back to sleep. They picture me as an insomniac, which I am not, as I have no trouble falling into a deep sleep as soon as my head hits my pillow around 10.30 pm. People think that I am awake because I am blogging and emailing in the wee small hours , but I am awake already and I am simply being productive before I go back to sleep.
- In the past, it was Joshua who would wake me up at 3 am on a regular basis; I have had 18 years of disturbed sleep, so I have adjusted to function and cope on relatively few hours sleep. But now it is myself waking up, as he has never slept better – he is typically in bed for 9 pm and will stay there, most nights, until 7 or 8 am. In those long nights kept awake by a lively Joshua, I got sympathy for my broken nights, but these days as it is self-inflicted, I am told to turn off devices and go back to sleep.
- Even though I can manage on 5-6 hours sleep a night, I get a wave of unbelievable tiredness between 3 and 4 pm. At that time, at weekends or on holiday, I would grab a short siesta and feel refreshed; but when I am at work, it is something to survive, as if I can stay awake by walking around, making a hot drink or taking in some fresh air, I can overcome it and come out the other side . Once passed 4 pm, I recover, whether I have slept or not.
- Our weekday bedtime has always been between 11 and 11.30, but now that I am awake early, I struggle to stay awake later than 10.30 and given the opportunity, I will get tucked up in my bed at 10 pm. The other night Joshua came downstairs at 9.45 and so I took him back up to bed and snuggled in with him to encourage him back to sleep. Of course, I never made it downstairs again until 2 am, when I felt fully refreshed and raring to go. The later bedtime gave me a couple of hours in the evening with my husband, without Joshua around, whereas now, we are all going to bed almost together , and waking up, at a similar time.
We all need to find the sleep pattern that works for ourselves, so just because I am not sleeping for 8 straight hours every night, please do not judge or try to fix me.