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2007.10.08

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Jennifer

I hate these things because they always boil down to, "GO TO BED EARLIER!"

As a night owl, I'm just plain NOT SLEEPY AND TIRED at 9 or 10 p.m. Period. If I go to bed, I'll just lie there and thrash until I actually get tired, which is a few hours later than that. And since the world insists on running on early bird time, well...I'm just fucked.

Though at least in the case of high schoolers, there's some dang evidence proving how expecting them to be sleepy and tired at 9 or 10 just isn't working, regardless of whether they're up doing homework or up texting hotties.

Bureinato

That's a really interesting article.

Part of the sleep/wake cycle they didn't talk about was both bedtime and wake up time need to stay consistent. It's not just about getting to bed earlier, it's also about getting up at the same time every day.

I'm still paying for having a job where I switched between swing shift and the overnight shift every week. Serious jet lag 2xweek. I've been going to sleep at a regular time for almost 2 years and still can't wake up.

And that doesn't even get into my I think kids today are over scheduled thing :)

Tracy

Thanks for the link; I'm printing this one out to talk about further with the family.

We are very lucky in that our public school district has made a commitment to later start times. Lower school begins at 8, ends at 3. Upper school begins at 9, ends at 4.

The problem in our house was the notion that the older a kid gets, the longer they get to stay up -- anything else is somehow withholding a privilege. (i.e. the "I'm not a baby anymore!" argument)

But, we Read Somewhere Once (likely an article similar to this one) that an adolescent's brain needs just as much sleep as an infant's. We started chanting that notion aloud whenever possible, and I swear that by the time K hit 5th, 6th grade, she was desensitized to the idea that we were going to be strict about her getting at least 8 hours every night, so the protests were quite feeble.

Girl Detective

I took sleep for granted before I had a kid, and once I had one I saw firsthand how critical it was, both for the kid and me, to get a decent night's sleep. There's a reason it's on the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right next to breathing and eating.

My sons are 4 and 1. In the back of my mind, I entertain the idea of home schooling them right around the time that insane-start-time school would start. Don't know if that'll make sense for me or them at that point, but I consider sleep important enough that it's a primary consideration for me in eschewing the conventional education system.

Shotrock

I hate these things because they always boil down to, "GO TO BED EARLIER!" As a night owl, I'm just plain NOT SLEEPY AND TIRED at 9 or 10 p.m. Period.

Oh Lord, yes. After I was downsized, I ended up working nights and Saturdays in retail, so that I could leave my weekdays free for networking meetings, interviews, informational Starbucks chats with colleagues, etc. - all that stuff that went into me getting a job again.

I've always known I was a night owl, but it was interesting what happened to my sleep cycle once I didn't have to get up to be somewhere (school, work) first thing in the morning. After a month or two, I found that I was finally getting that Holy Grail of eight hours sleep that I could never get before -- from 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

Of course, that ended once I did get a job. At least it's one where I have a little flexibility.

And Tylenol PM. I have a large stash of that too.

Lisa S.

O/T -- GIRL DETECTIVE! It is so good to see you in the comments section again.

*

Back on topic -- I really should have gone back and linked to a very old Rage Diaries post about the workplace bias against late risers.

One anecdotal observation: if you're on the West Coast and you work with people across the rest of the U.S., you're practically pressured into working early, if only because that maximizes the # of hours you'll be able to work with your colleagues. I know many more early-rising West Coasters than I do late-working East Coasters who are tethered to a desk at 8 p.m. because their West Coast colleague is plugging along.

Jecca

I will anecdotally back up your anecdotal observation, Lisa. I've been getting up at 5 a.m. (or earlier) for work since 2000, and the first three years were to accomodate East Coast working hours -- they started at 9, we started at 6. (These days, I start at 7 plus live 35 miles from work.) Most of my East Coast friends start work at 8:30 or 9, while I don't know much of anyone out here on the West Coast who starts later than 8.

Auntie Maim

Oh, I still vividly remember the pain of having to get up for morning swim practice, which started at 5:30 so as to be done before "0 period" started (we had the option of having our first classes at 0 period (7:30) or 1 period (8:30) and getting out at, I guess, either 2:30 or 3:30. I am not a morning person, and it was one of the reasons I ended up swimming on my own rather than on the team (the other being I'm terminally non-competitive -- I loved the workouts, but hated the meets). I was always being lectured to go to bed earlier when I could barely keep my eyes open at practice, but I just can't operate that early!

It's scary how naturally my body goes into a 4am-noon sleep schedule, when I have the chance to live that way. I don't know about the other late risers, but I simply cannot train the early risers in my life to not call me "early" (before 9 or 10). It's kind of funny, really -- I made a concerted effort for about a month to call back later and say, "Sorry I missed your call; I was still asleep," but they always thought it was some kind of special circumstance that I'd been up until 2am, and couldn't wrap their heads around that just being how late I'm up. I guess I also look at them like they're from Mars when they talk about going to bed at 9, or doing some kind of sunrise activity, so it evens out.

Alice

I just had a total flashback to high school - we used to have evening practices for concert band, and they switched to morning practices when I was in grade 11 or 12. I was so outraged and pissed off - I am NOT a morning person and had to be at school at like 6:30 for these stupid practices. It was very unpleasant.

I need about 8-10 hours sleep, and I'm a bit useless if I get less than that. I need to get out of the snooze button habit - I'll wake up and be alert and happy at 7, but then press the snooze button for 45 minutes and get sleep that seems great at the time, but when I get out of bed I'm exhausted.

I used to work afternoons/evenings, and like Shotrock, found I naturally gravitated to a 2am-10am sleep cycle. That works much better for me.

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