Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Time For All Dogs To Get Up



I really do not remember the last time I woke up feeling rested and refreshed. I'm not a morning person, now or ever, by any stretch of the word, and yet I know that there have been times in my life when I was ready to get out of bed. Those times are not now. Now I am never ready to get out of bed, no matter how long I've been in it.

Certainly, I rarely get a full night's sleep, even now that my youngest is two and sleeps through the night like a sweet-cheeked little champ. Last night, for example, Isabel, age six, had bad dreams and kept materializing at my bedside because the kids had watched an old episodes of Sherlock Holmes which involved a mummy (I don't recall this from any of the stories). I put her back once, and after that rolled over to let her sleep beside me. Four nights ago Diana was feverish and in bed with us, and I spent all night listening through her broken breathing for the certain gagging that indicates that the child will shortly throw up is not conducive to restful slumbers. Three nights ago, Diana was recovered from nausea but had a stuffy nose, and this outraged her so that she did her mouth breathing by bawling for about two hours straight. But even on a normal night, there's at least one occasion on which I have to get out bed to check on someone, tuck someone back in, investigate the fuss, or change the sheets.

I'm curious: is this weary state an affect of motherhood, or of age? Do single or childless people wake up feeling this way? How does it differ between people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s? Does it ever get better, or does the rest of my life stretch before me in a long procession of hard risings?

16 comments:

GeekLady said...

Well, I've only got the one kid, and I'm only 32, but I still don't really wake up feeling really rested. I wake up with the sullen realization that it's useless for me to try and sleep further, I am awake and I rested or not I might as well get up and be about it. This happens infuriatingly at 4:45-5 am, every single day.

Unless there were hijinks the night before, wakesome children, late night movies, etc. Then I usually sleep in naturally a bit, but the minute daylight hits my room, I'm awake. Sullen and unrested feeling, but awake.

Rebekka said...

I'm almost 34 and baby is 13 months. It wasn't like this before. Before I could be very tired for a period of time (jet lag, night shifts, etc). So I slept a lot and it went away. Right now it's really bad because she's working through every communicable disease you can catch in daycare (ie, anything not a hemorrhagic fever), and we're both working (or trying to), and trying to keep our flat from imploding on itself in total disgrace. I'm so tired it's like you'd have to borrow from medical literature to start to describe it. We call it permafatigue in our circle of friends.

Rebekka said...

And I used to be a morning person! Now I'm a grouch.

Julia said...

I'd say that it's kind of like laundry: endless, but you gradually adapt to just doing it instead of getting aggravated.

Anonymous said...

I love that book!

Audrey said...

I don't know about you, but I stay up pretty late. The kids are all asleep by 9, but then I feel entitled to adult time so I stay up for a few more hours. If I went to bed earlier, I think I'd wake more rested. I also know that when pregnant or with a newborn, I would take a nap during the day and that helped too. If I'm honest with myself, I could make both of these happen...but I haven't made them a priority...yet.

Ashley said...

I'm 25, no kids yet, and I have my mornings when I wake up exhausted. So, it happens but probably not as often as it does for you.

Jenny said...

I am not a morning person at all. How I hate getting up in the morning. Getting woken up in the night only makes it worse. And I have imposed countless hours of misery on myself by not getting up earlier. If I could manage to leave for work 30-45 minutes before I do, I would probably save myself an hour of commute time a day. But I fail every day.

My oldest composed her own version of "Old McDonald" where each family member was described with his own verb. My husband got making lunch. Sam got crying. Olivia got waddling because she like penguins. I was assigned sleeping. That's the big impression I have made on my daughter. I like to sleep.

It is better when you sleep all night.

Jennifer Fitz said...

I'm 39, night owl person my whole life until recently, my baby is 6 years old. I get up wide awake sometimes between 5am and 7am every day. Generally quite rested and alert, unless the spouse and I have been staying up too late.

I say it's a temporary problem.

Myth said...

At 28 with no kids, I find it takes a rare set of things to happen all at once for me to wake up rested; having a long enough vacation from work that I actually catch up on sleep, managing not to oversleep those first few days, and forcing myself to stick to some sort of schedule. Then I probably have a chance.

Of course, it might help if I wasn't such a night owl. I simply cannot fall asleep before 11pm-12am or later (often later) unless I have gotten so tired I'm falling asleep on my feet, and the type of work I prefer usually has me waking up by 6-7am.

Melanie B said...

Maybe feeling well-rested or not is the difference between people who are night owls and those who are morning larks?

Anonymous said...

"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves." Ps 127:2

Fifty-two, and heading for the light sleep of old age, via the broken sleep of middle age, I understand the odd night of good sleep to be a rare blessing. And it was, apparently, ever so.

Best,

Otepoti

The Sojourner said...

I'm a natural morning person, 23 next month, no children. My husband does moan in his sleep sometimes. (He's a weirdo.) I've been tired for the last 4 years. *sigh*

(Disclaimer: I have issues with anxiety and depression that lead to insomnia...and then I get more anxious and depressed when I'm tired. It's a fun ride.)

JMB said...

46 in a few days, worst nights of sleep precede my period for a few days each month. It usually involves a wake up from 3 to 5ish, only to fall back asleep before the alarm at 6:30. On those days I just recite my Dale Carnegie mantra: Being tired will not kill you.

BettyDuffy said...

This going to be an annoying comment, but it works for me: set an alarm for a little earlier than your kids wake up--not to do anything heroic, like praying the office or writing a novel--but just so that you have the benefit of knowing that A) you rise at the same time every weekday, so you can anticipate how many hours of sleep you're going to get the night before, and adjust bedtime accordingly, and B) you don't wake up with the resentment of having one of your kids make you rise before your time. If I know that I'm getting up because I have to get up and not because my kids are "interrupting" me it at least directs the morning demons to their rightful victim (i.e. I usually have myself to blame for my fatigue rather than my kids).

Of course, you may already be doing this. It doesn't really make me less tired, it just makes me less angry about it.

MrsDarwin said...

Betty, I'm not already setting my own alarm, and I've become fairly proficient at ignoring Darwin's because I know that I don't have to get up. We had been getting up each morning and saying morning prayer, which had me up and dressed, but since he wrote his novel in August that's fallen off. We should start it up again before the late nights of November noveling interrupt our schedule again.