January 25, 2023

I have to admit that I am REALLY tired this week.

I did make it to bed at 8:30 pm last night. But I feel like I could nap on any surface right now, and I felt like that all morning.

This is probably a combo of:

  • more running including some really early runs like yesterday
  • no extra ‘sleep in’ time last weekend due to 5K race, date night, etc
  • ? post-viral fatigue – I’m definitely not sick anymore, but maybe my body isn’t back to optimal yet

I would 100% take a floor nap in the 15 minutes before my first afternoon patient arrives but I have a medical student and I didn’t warn her and I don’t want her to open the door and see me on the floor so, yeah.

Usually this is enough sleep but apparently not this week


  • Reply Amy January 25, 2023 at 1:34 pm

    I had the flu in 2017—my only experience with it—and I recall being exhausted for a few weeks afterward. I’m pretty sure this is a big contributing factor for you.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 25, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    I commented on my sleep needs in my time tracking post today. I could NOT function on that amount of sleep! I seem to need to be in bed for an hour more than my sleep needs. My minimum is 7.5 hours, ideally, so I need to be in bed for 8.5 hours. It was helpful to see several comments from those with autoimmune diseases in Laura’s recent post about bedtimes. Sometimes when I see how little others sleep, I wonder if I am lazy or if something is wrong with me. I recognize that is not a healthy/rational way to think… so it’s good to be reminded that there’s a reason I need more sleep!

    All that said, I hope you can get more sleep soon! That exhausted/I could sleep on the floor is an awful feeling. I remember periods of times when I was not getting enough sleep earlier in my career when I would go to the bathroom and feel like I could fall asleep on the toilet. Sometimes i would close my eyes and count to, say, 100 to make sure I didn’t actually fall asleep but gave myself a little bit of a break, as ridiculous as that sounds!

  • Reply Jenn N January 25, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    Yeah same as Lisa I was shocked to figure out that I need to be in bed for about 8.5 hours to “get” 7.5 hours sleep! At least that’s what my Fitbit shows anyway…usually from around 10:00pm until 6:30am!

  • Reply Jordan January 25, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve also been really tired (a lot of social events and late nights recently, followed by a ski weekend), so I’ve been trying to prioritize sleep this week. It is SO hard to get in bed early, because work has been hectic and my kids are fighting bedtime like crazy, so I am craving an hour or two at night to myself (revenge bedtime procrastination is REAL). I’m trying to remind myself it’s okay to go to bed early and that I’ll thank myself the next day. But it’s a struggle!

  • Reply sarah January 25, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    `Office floor nappers unite!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 26, 2023 at 12:30 pm

      well, I ended up putting my head on my desk even with my med student there and she didn’t seem to mind. It really did help a bit!! Not as good as a floor nap but almost.

  • Reply coco January 25, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    very likely to be post viral fatigue. I feel like as we get older, it takes longer to recover from illness. hope you feel better next week.

  • Reply Elisabeth January 25, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    I actually DID sleep on the floor when I was pregnant. I was so tired and when my labmates would leave for lunch, I would close the door to a side testing room that was warm and had no windows and sleep directly on the floor, making a “pillow” out of a sweater. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, but I was just so, so desperate for a nap.

    I know you love early mornings, but would you think about ditching the 4:40 am alarm for a while until you feel more rested?!

    Like Lisa, I aim for at least 7.5 hours, but try to budget for closer to 8, or over. Things tend to even out to 7.5-7.6 over time, but I’ll have an early morning wakeup from the kids or something else will conspire against me so I always, always build in buffer. But I also hate mornings, so anything before 6:30 is abhorrent to me and, if I had my way, I wouldn’t set foot out of my bedroom before 8 am. Unfortunately, that doesn’t align with the way work and school schedules are designed in the modern world…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 25, 2023 at 7:30 pm

      I know that’s the obvious solution but I have my half marathon coming up and don’t want to miss runs. That said… tomorrow I am just going to sleep in a little! I can always move days around 🙂

      • Reply KGC January 25, 2023 at 9:42 pm

        Just a gentle reminder that sleep and rest are also important in half marathon training :). Skipping (or moving around) 1-2 runs so you can catch up on sleep will benefit your running!!! (But yes, I know when you’re “in it” this is hard to believe even if you know it’s true)

        • Reply Elisabeth January 26, 2023 at 5:11 am

          This is one of the hardest “lessons” for me to remember as an adult. Sometimes to recuperate and be able to do what I feel needs doing urgently (a hard work task or, in Sarah’s case, training runs) sometimes I have to prioritize rest or leisure. I feel guilty and usually battle against slowing down…but almost always I’m more efficient/effective after I do take the nap or shut off my work email early.
          Hope you get some extra rest, Sarah!!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 26, 2023 at 12:29 pm

          slept almost 10 hours last night and no run today 🙂 answering my body’s call for rest!! even if my training plan does not agree . . .

  • Reply Coree January 26, 2023 at 2:23 am

    Oof, same here. I’m so tired I don’t think I’m feeling it anymore? I am normally a good sleeper, but just have been super jittery at bedtime and then not slept soundly. Last night I flipped and slept at the strong end of my bed to see if a change of scenery would help. I could do with a valerian but it makes me nervous with 9am teaching. Tonight I’ve got yoga til 7, and I’ll come home, take the valerian and see if that resets things?

    • Reply Elisabeth January 26, 2023 at 5:13 am

      My mother swears by Valerian, but it never seemed to help me. I hate the taste, but I do find magnesium citrate (dissolved in hot water) helps a bit. And though I don’t use them regularly, dissolvable melatonin does also seem to be quite effective in a pinch.

  • Reply Shelly January 26, 2023 at 7:18 am

    One of the best measures from my fit bit is on sleep. I was often tired – queue young kids. But I was so tired I also wondered if something was wrong with me. Having the fit bit, I realized that I was in bed for 7 and a half hours but typically then only get 6 and a half hours of sleep and that is not enough for me.
    Like Lisa I have RA and need at least 7 and a half hours of actual sleep.
    I still don’t get that during the week with having to get up at 5:30 am for work but my goal is to get to 7 hours and 15 minutes each weekday. By the weekend I’m not so exhausted and only sleep in a little so that my sleep is then not all out of whack.

  • Reply omdg January 26, 2023 at 7:55 am

    You post about how tired you are, but how little sleep you need OFTEN. I understand that needing more than 6h of sleep may as well be considered a disability among most physicians I talk to. I have been told my career will fail because I need 8h, so perhaps this is why I find these frequent posts on the topic a little triggering. But perhaps consider that a) maybe you need a bit more than you regularly get, and b) for goodness sakes you just had the flu — cut yourself some slack and take care of your body.

    I went to bed at 8:30 last night and woke up at 5:30 today without an alarm. 9h FTW! As a result, my brain is actually working well this morning, which is often not the case after I’ve had three tough OR days in a row. I refuse to apologize for this.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 26, 2023 at 8:03 am

      I don’t think I have extra low sleep needs- 7h is a minimum for me and usually I sleep extra on at least 2 days per week. I get up early but I also go to bed early- often right after the kids (Annabel seems to be higher sleep need too so she’ll often sleep 8:30-7).

      Usually averaging around 7.5 hrs works for me and I feel good when my alarm goes off but you’re right- not this week. It has felt like absolutely not enough. I slept 8:45-6:30 last night and probably could have kept going but had to get the kids up for school.

      Alllllll that said yes the obvious solution to feeling more tired is to rest. Hard stop.

  • Reply Marjorie January 27, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    I had COVID just after the New Year. Felt icky on the 2nd, but didn’t test until evening of the 3rd. Showed positive within 5 min. Ran 99.6 to 101.7 for 2 days then symptoms improved quickly over next 2-3 days. BUT, I was absolutely exhausted for the next 10 days. Not currently working, but I don’t think I could have gone to work if I needed to. Almost like having mono.

    Three weeks to the day, I suddenly felt much more like myself. Weird how suddenly it changed. Like someone gave me a new battery pack! stamina is back and I am sleeping about 1.5 hours less, waking up without an alarm.

    It might be you need a little more time to recuperate. Sometimes the fastest way to get better is do a little less and go a little slower in the short term. (From experience as former college athlete, and mom to 2 boys who wanted to keep pushing through to get back to the court and field)

    If you need to nap, do!
    Good luck!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 28, 2023 at 7:50 am

      I think I did have this (from flu, Covid or both) but I woke up yesterday feeling so much better. It was about 2 weeks for me!

  • Reply Stephanie G. January 31, 2023 at 11:07 am

    I appreciate you admitting you’re tired! I am often tired and wonder if there’s something physically wrong with me or if it’s just a symptom of having young children/working/etc. Likely just the latter, I know 🙂

    I struggle to get enough sleep but also enough “quiet time.” I am guilty of “revenge bedtime procrastination” several nights a week, but I don’t know how to get around this. After the kids go to bed I am so eager for quiet/alone time to read, watch a show, putter around the house, etc. that I stay up too late. But if I don’t do some of this before bed, I don’t fall asleep quickly or sleep well. It’s like I need that transition to actually get restful sleep, but then it cuts into my sleep time. Sigh.

    I think my kids already go to bed appropriately early for their ages (and honestly not sure we can shift earlier given school/work schedules and their energy levels) and wake up times are immovable (again, school/work), so not sure what to do about this! Just time?!

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