I’ve been having the goal of getting more sleep on my annual list of goals for a number of years now. My problem is a classical one: not enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do. If I want to work, spend time with my daughter, exercise, cook healthy, clean, wash dishes, run laundry, write this blog, and read a book every day, then the end time of my day tends to be later than what I would need to get enough sleep.
Defining how to get enough sleep is also difficult. I’ve never reached the point where I wake up before my alarm clock during the week, and on the weekend I often need to catch up by sleeping away the entire morning. I tend to describe myself as not a morning lark, because I like to sleep in on the weekend and don’t wake up early, nor a night owl, because my brain doesn’t function past 9pm. I’m not a bird, I’m a bear and I like hibernating, it seems.
Out of curiosity, I ran the analysis of the Rise app to see what my sleep need is – 8h45min per night. Keeping into account the times that I wake up at night according to my Fitbit, I should actually be spending 9,5 hours in bed. And, since I like to read for about half an hour before falling asleep, I should actually be in bed for 10 hours a day – or tucking myself in at 8pm to wake up at 6am.
There are days when I manage to do get the sleep I need, but most days in the week this is not practical – especially when my daughter is fighting her bedtime. I also usually want to do some work after my daughter goes to bed, or enjoy some me-time. I’m still trying to find out what I can do to balance my large sleep need with everything I want to do. The first step, however, is to acknowledge the fact that I need more sleep than the average person – and know that I am cheating on myself if I tell myself I can get by on 6-7 hours a night. I can get by on limited sleep for a few nights, but it will come with sleeping until noon on the weekend.
For this year, I am monitoring my sleep debt more closely, and want to try to break the circle of exhaustion – but I am nowhere near practical insights yet.
Do you rack up sleep debt as well and then crash on the weekend, or do you have better habits?