I’ve always been a night owl. When I was a kid, I hung a small dry-erase noteboard and a pen next to my bed, so I could doodle when I couldn’t sleep (reading after lights out was not allowed). As a college student, I found it easier not to go to bed at all some nights than to get up early for class or work. And when I was in my 20s, I was working nights — I slept until 10 a.m. in order to get seven hours of sleep, not because I was sleeping in. It was always easier to stay up late to finish (or start) my work than it was to get up early.
Now, though, with five kids at home and two jobs to contend with, I can’t resort to my old stay-up-late-and-get-everything-done routine; by midnight, I am wiped out. Someone is always getting up for some reason in the middle of the night, whether it’s a teen who can’t sleep or a toddler who’s kicked off his covers, and since my husband sleeps like a log, I’m the one they usually come looking for. (Parenthood has completely changed my definition of “a good night’s sleep.”)
Lately, I’ve been trying to get up early. Very early — before my 2 1/2-year-old alarm clock of a son, who wakes at the crack of dawn regardless of how dark his room is. (Really — even black out shades don’t work, he’s up by 5:45 a.m. or so no matter what time he goes to bed). He’s clingy when he wakes up, so anything that needs to get done — packing lunches for the kids and myself, doing laundry, writing, cleaning, whatever — must be tackled with 36 pounds of toddler attached to my leg. Not very efficient.
But getting up at 5 a.m. in order to get my work done? Not sure that’s working for my sanity. My hat is totally off to you ladies who get up that early to work out, because I can barely drag myself down the stairs at that hour, let alone to the gym. I think I might have to just deal with fatigue and stay up a little later, pushing through the brain drain in order to function for a few more hours late at night. At least until someone figures out how to really get 36 hours out of a day.
What about you? Do you find it easier to stay up late or to get up early?