Sunday, November 21, 2010

No need for alarm

I am absolutely giddy when I get to turn off my alarm clock.

You see, I am not a morning girl. I do not rise and shine. And I am fiercely protective of my sleep. I need all the beauty rest I can get!

That said, I am a night owl. It is part of who I am. In the same way that I am 5'5'' tall and have blue eyes, my body's circadian rhythm just naturally swings toward the evening hours. At night I am more productive--more alert, more focused, more energetic.

Unfortunately, the night-owl lifestyle does not coincide neatly with family life. For the past nine years, I have been fighting against type and trying my best to be an early riser. But it just isn't my strong suit.

To make matters worse, I am at my best with nine hours of sleep. No matter what time I go to bed, my body naturally wakes after nine hours and I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. However, with three young children and a jam-packed schedule, nine hours a night is a luxury not easily obtained and I usually end up logging only six or seven hours instead. By the end of the week, that puts me at roughly a 21-hour sleep deficit. I'd need an entire extra day to just sleep in order to catch up on all the z's I missed during the week.

On the rare occasion that our children come into our room at night or early in the morning, they know, intuitively, to go to daddy's side of the bed. My husband loves to say, "Some mornings I wake up grumpy; other days, I let her sleep."

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Well, I admit, it's a bit true. Unless it's been nine hours--otherwise, look out!

Which brings me back to my giddiness. There are few sounds more satisfying than the "click" my alarm clock makes when I switch it to the "off" mode. I snuggle into my bed, regardless of the time, and know (or at least hope) that I will be able to sleep until I wake up. On my own. When I am rested and ready. And what a difference it makes!

After being so exhausted the last two days and skipping my workouts in favor or some much-needed extra rest, I topped it off with a glorious sleep-in this morning and woke up feeling like Snow White--happy and smiling, with the sun shining and the birds chirping. My family probably didn't recognize me.

But it's just what my body needed. I felt like a new woman. A little breakfast and I was ready to go --no caffeine required. Thirty minutes in the gym, followed by a four-mile run and fifteen minutes of stretching.

After a good night's sleep and a satisfactory workout, not only did I feel well-rested today, but I also felt a lot less guilty about eating that yummy ice cream cone at South Mountain Creamery.
Now, if only I didn't have to set my alarm tomorrow . . .

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