Thursday, December 2, 2010

Learning How to Sleep In

Some time ago, say seven or eight years ago, I started working nights at a bar in my hometown of Kokomo, Indiana. Those early formidable months of working till 3AM, going to classes in the morning, and making sales calls during the day for the burgeoning record label... are when my horrible and (what may be described by others) record-setting sleep habits first formed.

Somewhere in my genetic coding or up-bringing I was never blessed with the genes or real desire to sleep-in. Perhaps it's through learned behavior from watching my mother, up well before it was time to leave for school, cleaning the kitchen, or finishing laundry while making breakfast for my brother and I. Somewhere along the line of my fervent 29 years of existence, sleeping-in never became a necessity or a desire (that often). For most of my twenties I've lived sleep deprived... never catching more than an average of 4 hours a night for as long as I can remember. [Embarrassingly, I am writing this entry after working for 10 hours until 3AM and waking at 7:30 to start the day and finish up some art layout for a benefit compilation release on my record label.]

Of course, there are days that it catches up with me and I crash. Those occasions are rare. Although as I creep closer and closer to adult-hood proper the crashes happen more often, and my concern for this unpleasant sleep habit grows more troublesome.

Over the past year I've noticed that I can no longer function on only a long afternoon naps-worth of sleep. My constant urge to catch the morning news while accomplishing minor housekeeping tasks before 10AM is starting to counteract adversely with my overall productivity, health, and demeanor. Just like many people experience while trying to function on less sleep than usual - as this seemingly 'borrowed' time starts to accumulate the effects become more pronounced.

All this sad tale told, I'm starting a new practice of sleeping habits. A few weeks ago after some 40 hours of slinging drinks in a week coupled with the day-to-day workings of a weekly radio show and record label tasks - I crashed hard: 23+ hours of sleep obtained in 2 days. That's nearly 6 days of sleep based on my most recent track record. This was the first sign that my record-setting lack of sleep career was nearing an end.

I'm going to teach myself to get more sleep, or at least rest more. I've already started. I'm taking more time off from slinging drinks than I ever have. I'm setting my alarm clock less frequently (although I didn't often need an alarm to hop up at 8AM and start the day). I find myself succumbing to the coziness of a couch, a movie, and my wonderful girlfriend more often. Things are changing for this bearded gent, and I can only imagine that a more regular sleep schedule will serve to counteract the lack of productivity, month long colds, and the "Uncle Fester" bags I've acquired under my eyes.

In the coming weeks I'll keep this blog updated as I continue trying to learn how to sleep in. Perhaps I've chosen the perfect season to attempt this great feat. The days are shorter, it's nearly always dark and dreary out, and much like our furry brown bear pals... it's great hibernating weather.

1 comment:

  1. There is nothing wrong with a plethora of sleep hours in one night. Sometimes you need to lay in bed and relax. :) It however is opposite for me. California has trained me to get up early every morning to catch as much sunlight as possible.
    Good luck with the sleep training.