This travel schedule is really wearing on me. On Monday mornings, I have to be up at 4am to head to the airport and catch my flight. I usually work on the flight, so there isn’t really extra time to sleep after that, which means I try to go to bed by 8:30pm on Sunday nights – which kind of kills the afternoon/evening with packing and getting ready. On Thursdays, my flight typically lands at 11:30pm, and then I still have to get home from the airport. Lately, I’ve been trying to squeeze in late night meetups in an attempt to make the most of my meager time in New York City, but I think that’s only killing me further. Must. Take. A. Break.
It’s rather ironic that today my second Greatist post went live: How Much Is Too Much Sleep. It’s an interesting question, I suppose… but lately I feel like it is actually one that I can’t relate to at all. Who has time for too much sleep?? Certainly not me.
Despite not necessarily identifying with the problem, I learned a lot from the solution. In January, I downloaded a really great app for my phone called MySleepBot. It’s a two-in-one alarm clock and sleep tracker, so you just hit the button when you go to sleep and then hit the button to turn off the alarm/stop the sleep cycle when you wake up – resulting in some pretty awesome graphs and charts of how much I sleep.
See that blue line? That’s 8 hours of sleep. Now see the yellow line? Um, yeah – that’s how much I’ve actually slept in the last month. Basically, 27 nights of sleep deprivation, and only three nights of catch up – none of which were more than 8.5 hours. (On the bright side, I came across some studies that found getting more than nine hours of sleep is associated with double the rate of Alzheimer’s disease. So there’s that.)
I did my own version of a “sleep vacation” when I was in Peru last November, going to bed whenever I felt tired and waking up whenever I naturally did so. That week, I learned there that 8 hours was basically the exact right amount of sleep I need – though to be fair, that was the amount of sleep I needed when I was doing the oh-so-taxing activity of lying by the pool most of the day. I suppose sitting at my desk working for 14 hours a day isn’t that different, but on weekends, I pack my schedule with active activities, and that’s where I really feel it. I think my biggest problem is that I’m an early riser – and yet, I find it a lot harder to catch up on sleep by going to bed super early. There is just so much fun stuff going on at night! I always try to tell myself that I’ll just sleep late the next day, but the truth is, staying out late for me just results in missed sleep, because I’m pretty much always up by 7am or 8am. While there are lots of Google searches out there wanting to know how to turn themselves into a morning person, I think I need to learn to do the opposite.
Happy Friday! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….