Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My love/hate relationship with Sleep

I have a dysfunctional relationship with sleep.

Don't get me wrong... I love sleeping.  If I were to chart my history with sleep, I'd say it's been a pretty good ride.

But let's look at functional sleep of an average person.  When we're babies we sleep a lot. Probably... 15 hours a day, let's say.  Then into our teens we started to realize that staying up was more fun - especially to watch a movie, or stay awake at a sleepover.  Into our adult years, we develop a real appreciation for sleep as we look forward to that deep state of relaxation after a hard day's work.

Well, I did say I have a dysfunctional relationship with sleep, didn't I?

You see, I feel like I'm living in a constant state of sleepiness.  It has stopped me from doing things I like - being social, going to the gym, eating healthy, even *gasp* having sex. Because I'm always tired.  And when you're tired, well it's a lot of effort to roll over and ask for a snuggle.

The real problem for me is that no matter how tired I am, or how little sleep I got the night before,  around 9:30/10 pm I am, as the Brazilians would say, 'electric'.  I have lots of energy and produce some of my best work at that time!  It's the time I choose to start planning my classes for the next day and then consequently I am in bed around midnight every night.

And I wake up at 5 am.  So you do the math.

The mornings are so difficult.  I usually hit my beloved snooze button for 30 mins before literally forcing myself to get out of bed, where I often shower with my eyes closed.  Sometimes I wake up 15 mins later than I should (and I already wake up with less time than I actually need!) convincing myself that I don't need to dry my hair or put on makeup today!  Or it's ok if I'm 10 minutes late!  This is Brazil!

I walk around like a zombie after getting only around 5 hours of sleep a night 5 days out of the week.
And every day I get home, die nap, eat, watch tv, plan classes at 10, and repeat.

And I know I'm not alone out there!  So many of us are living this way!  As if it's a test to see who can function the best on the least amount of sleep.  We get through our days with coffee, energy drinks, sugar and sheer will-power.  It's torture, I tell you! 

So I am taking a stand.  I am saying NO MORE!  No more 'napping' from 6-8 pm.  No more eating a big meal after waking up from said 'nap'.  No more staying awake just to watch more TV, since it's a show I don't even care about anyway!

No, I'm taking these steps.

  • I am going to get organized
  • I'm going to plan my classes before sitting down to relax or going to the gym.  
  • I'm going to go to the gym as soon as I'm finished my class planning  
  • When I get home I need to eat a small meal
  • I want to be in bed by 10 pm and read to relax me into a peaceful sleep.... (that being said, it's 10 pm right now and look at what I'm doing... DAMMIT!)
My MIL also told me to take Maracujina, which is like passion fruit extract (you all know how these Brazilians think that passionfruit helps you sleep!)  Well, I'm not turning anything down so I'm taking it as well and we'll see what happens....

Anyone else have helpful suggestions as to what helps you sleep at night??


  1. Make the 7am student have class after work instead of before work! He probably doesn't just so he can go to the gym or something. Let him go to the gym at 7am instead! I'll bet if you give him some excuse, like, "all of my other classes are in the evenings", he'll go for it.

  2. Or go to the gym at like 9pm. Get the energy out and then have a light snack when you get home. May only get to bed by 1030 but still better than midnight.

    Ps. I hear you! I am getting NO sleep! I'm starting to write who's instead of whose. I mean, freaking big English teacher FAIL!

  3. Melatonin and Valerian Root, mama. I brought som ewith me, no wish I had brought more...


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