I've known for a long time that I need sleep. As I've mentioned before, I try to get an hour and a half to two hours of sleep during the day, and at night, 8 hours is minimum, 9 hours is ideal, and 10 hours is heavenly. This is just the way it is - and I figure if I can combat that debilitating lupus fatigue with extra hours of shut-eye throughout a 24-hour period, then so be it. Am I really missing anything? I don't think so!
That said, a few nights ago, after I put the girls to bed, I decided to lay down for a few minutes. That was at 8:30pm. Three hours later, I woke up - just long enough to do my nightly routine stuff and chat with Johnny for just a few minutes - and then it was back to sleep. At 7:30 the next morning, I woke up feeling like I could run a marathon. I actually stayed in bed until almost 8:30am, because the girls woke up late and Johnny headed them off because he figured I needed the extra bit of rest. And I guess I did!
I wasn't too surprised that I needed a catch-up night of sleep. I'd had some late night manufacturing calls with suppliers in other time zones, and Johnny and I have been allowing our bed time to slip into the 11:30pm realm...which we both know is too late. But what was so eye-opening about this almost-12 hour marathon, was that I woke up feeling so good. I was completely rested - and I realized that on those nights when I only get eight to eight and a half hours of sleep, I wake up tired. Not lupus tired, just the normal I-wish-the girls-had slept-later tired, or I-shouldn't-have-read-that-last-chapter tired. Nothing that impacts my day, but definitely something that I now know doesn't have to happen.
So now that I've had a taste of how rested I can be, I want to wake up that refreshed and ready every morning. It's just as the author of the article cited in Wednesday's post said - we don't know how compromised our well-being has been until we've had a taste of how good it can be.
So it's back to a 10:30pm bedtime. That almost always ensures 9 hours of sleep at night - which is my sweet spot. I can try and convince myself otherwise, but it won't work. Now I have my recent 12-hour experiment to prove it!