“Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
I always thought that was Ben Franklin’s original thought, but when Googling to make sure I was remembering correctly I stumbled upon Mama Lisa, who corrected her own Ben Franklin assumption with the evidence showing this statement had been around for centuries (in some form or another) before ol’ Ben ever was a twinkle in his Daddy’s eye.
Well, regardless, that proverb is wisdom from the ages, and I’m about ready to start following it.
It’s a little shocking to me, actually; family lore states that I was a night-owl from conception. My parents used to have to do middle of the night diaper changes in the pitch black, because if they turned on even a nightlight I was UP FOR THE NIGHT! Playtime, baby!
My whole life, my energy levels surge at 9:00 p.m. and I have my best thoughts in the wee hours of the morning. It’s the best time for me to clean my house, organize my papers, write term papers, do art projects…you name it, I do it better between 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. I always used to say “Sunrises are the best thing to see…right before you go to sleep.”
So the thought that I might willingly start going to bed at 8:00 p.m. is sort of mind-blowing to me.
But here’s the deal: I have this sore throat from tonsillitis that I just. cannot. shake. I’ve been sick almost non-stop since Thanksgiving. I can take NOTHING over the counter to help alleviate the symptoms of my discomfort, and taking prescription medications opens a big ol’ can of worms, medically speaking, for my son.
Even the traditional “old wives” remedies, like chicken soup or apple cider vinegar, are out.
Basically all that is left for me to try is Rest and Hydration.
Monday night I fell asleep while nursing Mr. Happy to sleep. (Yes, I know the arguments against doing that, but right now it works, and I have too much to deal with to worry about any future bad habits I may be creating. Keep it simple, sweetie!)
So, I was out like a light at 8:00 p.m. I woke up about 12:30 a.m. and was awake for a couple of hours, but I was back in bed, asleep, by 3:00 a.m. And then I slept until the kids got me up at 7:30 a.m.
And you know what? I felt better on Tuesday than I had in a long while. (Once you eliminate the grungy feeling you get when you sleep in your clothes. Ew.)
The last week, Mr. Happy has been getting steadily better, it seems. He had a poopy diaper that I didn’t even know about yesterday; I’ve gotten so used to them having that sick, buttery-popcorn smell to advise me of a poop that I’ve gotten lazy about actually checking his diaper regularly! No smelly poop=GOOD THING.
He also seems to have dropped his desperate, comfort nursing routine and is back to only waking up twice in the night. So, Mr. Happy is well on his way back to baseline, THANK GOD!
What that means for me, is that there are now two long stretches of available sleep time per night between baby wake-ups. I just need to take advantage of them.
Because I can’t go on like this. I’m so worn down I’m just a magnet for cooties, and taking care of my boys is incredibly hard when I’m sick. I’m not a very great Mommy to them when I feel like death warmed over.
So the Geek and I discussed our total exhaustion and decided that we’d try it out; for a week, or however many days it takes to feel human again, we’re going to go to sleep at the same time as our kids. 8:00 p.m.
I don’t know how this will play out. I may start waking up at 4 in the morning, ready to face the day. I may wake up in the middle of the night for a few hours, then go back to bed. I may just realize it’s, like, totally, not me, and go back to my bad habits of staying up too late.
After all, back in the day, I didn’t even go out for dinner until 8:00 p.m. This idea feels…revolutionary to me!
But I’ll confess: there’s a part of me (the grown up, mature part, I’m sure) that wants to start going to bed at 8:00 p.m. and waking refreshed at 4:00 a.m. to start my day.
And I think that’s the part that freaks me out the most about this whole thing.
Why is it that I’m so drill-sergeant-like about my children’s sleep routines, but so absolutely self-destructive about my own? Anybody else falling into the “do as I say, not as I do” trap on personal care?