This morning I woke up at 5:00 AM. This, based on my personal preference (and the fact that I don’t have dairy cows to tend to), is not an ideal time for me to get up. You might be asking yourself: “What happened?” Well, here’s how it went down.
Late last week I had a migraine. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say my migraines are epic and so my husband slept on the couch downstairs to give me some space. He brought his alarm clock with him and it stayed there all weekend (no surprise). Naturally, in the span of the 72 hours that it was located in the living room, one or more of my children played with it and altered its settings.
Upon the clock’s return to the bedroom Sunday night, it did not undergo an inspection so when it went off this morning at 5:00 AM, I suffered a minor heart attack. Not so much because it went off at that time, but because of the noise it made. It’s not a ringing or a buzzing. I imagine the manufacturer describes the sound as an “upbeat jingle”. It is not. It is loud and it is abrasive. It’s enthusiasm is nothing short of a collegiate marching band during March Madness.
Despite this, I fell back asleep. I’ve done a good job over the last couple of years developing the ability to fall asleep and/or fall back asleep mostly because I’ve learned to let it go. There was no benefit to stewing in anger over this and because I was willing to overlook the incident, I was able to fall back asleep. This, of course was short lived.
In the chaos that took place just 5 minutes earlier, the alarm was not turned off. Instead, the snooze button was turned on. After the second alarm went off, I went into what can only be described as ‘beast mode”. And maybe it’s because my children have been obsessed with Marvel Comic characters lately, but my first reaction to the second alarm was: “Hulk, smash!” In my best bat man voice I requested that my husband: “Get. Out.” But it was too late.
Try as I may to fall back asleep (even with the entire bed to myself) I couldn’t let go. So I got up, made a coffee and wrote this blog post. Which, if I’m being truly honest, was a lot funnier when I wrote it at 5:30 AM this morning. I also got my taxes done, got a load of laundry in and did my hair (all before 7:00 AM when my 4 year old woke up).
Women Need More Sleep Than Men
Women need more sleep than men because of differences in our brains? On average, women need about 20 minutes more sleep than men each day. Women multitask and in doing do, expend more mental energy each day which requires more sleep to help our brains regenerate. If your brain constantly feels like a computer with more than 10 tabs open, you know what I mean.
The bottom line? Do what you can to prevent really early morning wakings, but also think about the benefit of getting up before your children to initiate your day, set your intentions, heck, even just to use the bathroom without interruption. There’s definitely a fine balance between getting the sleep you need and waking up early to tackle your to-do list. My best advice is wake at a manageable time, where you have the ability to start your day, but not feel exhausted. You’re better off to get the sleep you need if you aren’t wired to wake earlier. This is also a good time to learn from my morning and try to minimize other potential interruptions to your sleep.
Disruptions to Sleep
For those of you that have just entered in to the Spring season, get ready. The first bird I heard this morning was at 5:34 AM. If you live on a tree lined street your chances of interruption from birds is pretty high, so consider ways to manage the noise like introducing a sound machine or use a fan to block it out.
Depending on your preferred time to wake, this might not be an issue; however, lack of appropriate window coverings seems to be a common concern in a lot of bedrooms. This doesn’t mean investing in expensive black out shades. Consider lining existing window treatments with additional fabric to help create light blocking conditions. Adjusting the height of your hardware can also result in huge improvements.
Trips to the bathroom
Keep your fluid intake to a minimum in the hour before your bedtime. If the reduction in fluids doesn’t work, you’ll need to think about incorporating an extra trip to the washroom as part of your bedtime routine and/or using low level night lights to guide your movements to prevent tripping hazards and keep you sleepy. The same logic applies to children.
Kids love to tamper with buttons. As good practice, check your alarm clock every night. Twice. And if you are considering a new alarm clock, look for features that give you the maximum flexibility in volume and display controls. Also, think about where the alarm buttons are. Can you imagine yourself finding the off switch with your eyes closed? If not, keep searching to find a clock that works for you!
Have you struggled with early mornings lately? I’d love to know what’s been waking you up.