Sleep is such a funny thing. I just woke up, it’s eight o’clock in the morning, and last night I fell into a dead sleep before midnight. That means I got almost nine hours. Normally during the school year I seem to need four to six hours of sleep. Really. If I fall asleep too early, say around eleven, then I wake up well before the alarm goes off at 5:30. If we go out on a Saturday night and stay up til two or three, I’m still up by eight. And when I say I’m up- I mean UP. Two cups of java and I am ready to take on the world.
I have heard about the studies that say you have some inner sleep bank. If you deprive yourself of sleep, you need to either even up soon or you will die at a younger age. Something like that. But I think that like everything else, people’s bodies need different amounts of sleep. It has to be- how else can I explain that some people can sleep for twelve hours at a time and still want a nap in the afternoon? If I nap during the day, I wake up feeling crappy. You should be aware that I have a bit of the disease F.M.S. (Fear of Missing Something) which basically says if I spend time asleep, there is some fun going on somewhere that I’m not. And that is bad! Life is for living, and sleep is a waste of time- I’ll sleep when I’m dead; these are all things I tell myself to explain why I seem to function on substantially less sleep than most people I know.
Even the quality of sleep seems to vary. My husband, for instance, can fall into a deep sleep on the floor in the middle of the afternoon with a screaming infant at each ear. In the middle of the night, I could be woken up by hearing the sheets rustle through two closed doors when one of the babies rolled over in her crib. I thought this might strictly be a mom thing until I met some dads who said the same thing was true for them.
So I guess I’ll just go with trusting my body to sleep when and how much it needs to, in spite of the research. Like everything else, there is average and there are extremes that help form the average. So when you add my six to someone’s ten and divide by two you get that eight hour requirement. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.