I went to bed at 7:45 pm last night (!) thanks to a willing husband and a total call hangover (no alcohol involved!). And despite having a sick child wakeup call at 4:30 this morning (poor Annabel), I feel 800000 times better this morning.
SLEEP. It’s such an important thing. I truly feel for those who don’t ever get to catch up — those who have kids with sleep issues or medical issues (type 1 diabetes is an absolute sleep-killer for parents even with today’s better monitoring technologies). After dealing with multiple (completely legit) calls the night prior, I had a busy day yesterday and was absolutely functioning at about 50% efficiency. Everything took twice as long and I was prone to errors, distraction, and generalized grumpiness.
I still marvel at how during my residency training, it was a point of pride to act like getting little sleep was no big deal. Perhaps some people ARE immune to sleep deprivation — chronic or acute — but I have to believe those people are the minority. We have no 24 hour call in our residency program, in part because I have a say in it! There are night shifts (because there is significant learning to be had in overnight care) which can also be difficult, but at least there is time for a reasonable-length sleep period between each one.
I don’t feel like I need an abnormal amount of sleep – 7 hours seems to be pretty sufficient for me unless I’m playing catchup (like last night). I do well with a relatively consistent bedtime around 9:30 and waking up at ~4:45 or so on weekdays (everything shifts later on weekends for me even though I know that academic sleep researchers would probably say that is bad). I just really (REALLY) relish my weekday mornings, and an early wakeup is the only way to preserve that time.
Current sleep routines for the rest of our family:
Annabel (age 7.5) – up ~6:30-7 naturally or we wake her up on school days at around 6:40. Bed between 8:30 – 9 pm most weeknights. If I had my way it would be more like 8 – 8:30, or she could read on her own for that last half hour. Currently, she doesn’t really like to read independently at night (even though she definitely could) and definitely prefers that we stay in the room while she falls asleep. (Old habits die hard and I am ambivalent about how much I care about changing this, because it’s sort of sweet and I know EVENTUALLY she’ll grow out of it.)
Cameron (age 5.5) – up 7:30 or later naturally (ie on weekends or days off from school) but has to be dragged out of bed at 6:40 on school days. Bed at the same time as Annabel because they share a room (bunk beds!). Usually falls asleep between 8:30 – 9 pm. Would love to work on getting this closer to 8.
Genevieve (age 22 months) – up between 5:45 (ugh) and 7. Less predictable and seems to really depend on length of prior day’s nap. Naps vary but usually 2 hours or so. Seems to sleep better at night if nap is not taken too late in day. Bedtime between 7:15 – 7:30 most nights which works out well because I can then eat dinner and give some attention to the big kids.
Josh (age we will leave for you to guess) – honestly, I’m not sure because usually I am asleep long before he is. He does seem to do better with sleep deprivation than I do. BUT he is not as good at getting up in the morning.
I tried out the sleep cycle app in the past and liked it but then just kind of got bored of using it. I don’t typically have trouble waking up to an early alarm, so it didn’t really ‘fix’ anything for me long-term.
Random side note: apparently my iPhone is tracking my sleep without me even asking it to (weird). It is not entirely accurate because some days are entirely missing (maybe my phone wasn’t plugged in those nights or something?) but this was pretty fascinating to me. Apparently I only slept past 6 am once in the last month 🙂