In which going to bed early has no positive effects whatsoever

 [A minor note before I go off the deep end from the profound to the absolutely mundane – to anyone who read yesterday’s post over at Finding Ninee, thank you. To those who read and left feedback, I am humbled and honoured by all your kind words, your shared stories and your commitments to spread the word. It’s the best feedback you could give – that you’re going to help build Our Land. 

Onward from the vital to the ridiculous.]

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m absolutely terrible at going to bed on (or anywhere near) time.

I spent years as a child flouncing ‘bed time’ rules as often as I could, in favour of staying up late and reading my beloved books. Sometimes, after every shred of light was gone from where I crouched, uncomfortably leaning over to the windowsill to create a breach in the blackout curtains (nice try, though, parents) I’d pretend I was feeling sick. I was pretty smart and didn’t do it too much, but enough that every 6 weeks or so I could take a chair into the bathroom and sit with a MASSIVE pile of comics, reading as though life depended on it.

On the odd occasion (in order to escape suspicion) I’d noisily pour water from a cup into the toilet bowl and make a big show of having been sick (“But I already flushed it away!”) so that I could secure my place in the bathroom (and so in the light, with comics) until my parents went to bed. Sometimes they’d even leave me there, emerging at 1am to tell me that I really, really had to go to bed now.

Since becoming a ‘grown up’ it has been my absolute pleasure to ignore any semblance of ‘bedtime’ and go to bed when I jolly well pleased, common sense be damned, often leaving me with the challenge of overcoming extreme tiredness the next day (5.00am bed with a 7.30am start, anyone?) but still, ultimately, thinking it was worth it.

Any sensible person will tell you it’s not.

Some of the more neurotic may even mutter darkly about ‘forms of self harm’.

Some of the slightly hippier persuasion might mention REM cycles and the ‘best’ two hours to be asleep, never mind (hushed tones now) sleep debt.

And every so often I would accede the point and tell Husby, Mum, WonderAunty, Sis, Christine, Patch, my SanFranFriend, my Explorer Friend (or whoever else was on my case at the time) that they were right, my consistent lateness to bed was a Bad Thing, and I’d make an effort. To be in bed by 2am. Or 1am. Or midnight.

And I’d succeed. For, like, a day. Two, tops.

The other night I was even vaguely pleased to have a stomach ache that would have made sleeping impossible, as I had an absolutely cast-iron excuse for staying up til 4.30am, didn’t I? Trying to sleep whilst writhing in agony in large amounts of pain uncomfortable was hardly likely to be the smartest thing to do. Surely staying up distracting myself with the shiny, shiny internet was far better than lying in the dark aching and seething and wishing that I were playing Bejewelled?

So last night I decided to be radical. It had been a long day (after the 4.30 turn in) and I was shattered by 9.30pm. So I decided to take the bull by the horns, carpe the noctem and actually go to bed early.

I was blissfully asleep before 10pm, feeling (as I dropped off) pretty smug that I’d managed it – I’d listened to my body, I’d been sensible, I was paying back my sleep debt and whatever else often gets slung at me as a Good Reason. All was peaceful, visions of sugarplums danced in my head and I slept the delicious, uninterrupted slumber of one who has Done the Right Thing.

Until 3am, when I woke up ready to go.

For the next 3 1/2 hours until it was time to actually get up and go, I dozed fitfully, ended up lying on my front (which gave me backache, as it ever does), was too hot, too cold, uncomfortable whichever way I tossed or turned and had a completely miserable time.

Then I woke up with a cold, y’know, just to add insult to injury.

So tonight I’m staying up late and will NOT be called on it. Because apparently going to bed early isn’t good for me.

But there has been good news today (depending on your viewpoint).

I discovered that it is possible to take ‘selfies’ with an SLR (predictably bad) to show off my lovely new Star Trek insignia badge that Husby bought me as an ‘I love you’ present (yes, he’s awesome) aaaaaaaaaaaand I caved to peer pressure (actually no, it was flattery) and got a twitter account for the blog, upon which you’re welcome to follow me. At some point I’ll get the smartphone to go with it so I can do it properly, but for now I’m tied to whenever-I-can-get-on-the-laptop. It’s fun though, so I’ll stick with it until I get the tech or it drives me mad. Just think, now you can enjoy my excogitations limited to 140 characters!

Pay no attention to the mess – I’ll get an Ensign to sort it out…

26 thoughts on “In which going to bed early has no positive effects whatsoever

  1. I'll bear that in mind next time anyone comes at me with 'sleep debt'. It is important though. Just can't find the motivation to get to it.

    Husby has fatigue most of the time, but it's endocrine related. I imagine you've explored the medical side of possible causes? Hope you get yours under control. At least you're beginning to understand your cycles.

    And WOW! That's smart – cos there's always corn (or carrot) in vom. Lol. Nicely done.


  2. This sounds a lot like me. I don't sleep much, and haven't since a child. Everyone gets on my case about it too. I've read you can't actually catch up on lost sleep, so trying to do so is pointless. I understand that it's an important time frame for the body to rest/heal, though.

    I've spoken a bit about my fatigue, but it is present regardless of how much sleep I get. A lot of ties I'm more awake after 2 hours than I am after 6+ I go in cycles it seems. I'm back to where I am up until 8am or so lol it's these varying cycles that concern me with getting a second job and needing a more set schedule. I better start writing or something to support my sleeping habits!

    When young and skipping school (not specifically to stay up late as that wasn't too big of an issue with my family), I'd open a can of corn or vegetable based soup and pour it into the toilet while making hacking sounds >.> Then after flushing there would be “chunks” left lol never mind the fact we may have not eaten anything with corn in it the night before 😉 I still thought of myself as a genius!

    Who needs sleep!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink


  3. Was this meant to be on the next post, Jean? I'm assuming so, since, NO! I guess there's still a touch of the 'snubbed Empire' in our curriculum 😉

    I hope you like the blog. I've done some things which I think might be jargonised as 'streamlining' or 'branding' or something. I can give you a hand with the blog buttons if you want – all you need to know is here


  4. Oh my gosh, I didn't even recognize you, your blog looks so different from the last time I visited! Now, let me get to my question… Are you saying that the rest of the world doesn't study and memorize all things that come from our great country? WHAT?!?! Haha.
    Also, I like your blog buttons, I still don't know how to do them.


  5. Heheh I'll offer it as a 'heads up' for all parents who raise bookworm kids! Loving the twitter and looking into getting the accompanying smartphone. YAY!

    In a way I envy you the 8 hours – I bet you feel great on it 🙂


  6. I'm glad you are on Twitter now! And I have to say, I find your story about the “fake-vomiting” into the toilet to be hilarious! I for one have been a sleep addict these days- I can't bear to get less than eight hours!


  7. funny… I am in the opposite mode. Trying to find my wake energy.

    normal has been: asleep at 930 wake up at 1230 or 100 stay up 'til 3 or so, back to bed and up at 6, 630.

    of late I have been falling asleep at the usual time and next thing I know, it's morning (i.e.530) I really feel like I'm falling behind. (nothing overtly different, physically at least)

    (the 'other' normal pattern is to start to fall asleep, find a distraction and if successful, I get another 'cycle of energy and can stay up until 1 or so)…to get up again at 500.)

    I agree…pretty damn annoying.


  8. OMG! The pouring water thing…I TOTALLY used to do that!! Lol 😀 only in my case, I did it so that I could blag a day off school, on the sofa, wrapped in a duvet and reading Enid Blyton.


  9. It was the flattery forsure – I wanted to see the place where people think I'm awesome 😉 A 'slew' is enough to pique anyone's attention. I'm already loving it (though still not really sure how it works)

    And I KNOW! Bad cold 😦 Just not on. Your lie-ins sound gorgeous – good for your hubs! What a star.

    You're welcome. Loving that so many people saw it and responded amazingly 😀 Thanks for having it!


  10. I've not learned about hashtags yet – someone's posted me a very helpful guide called 'Mom, This is how Twitter Works'. I've got as far as the @cat following the @goldfish


    You're probably right about the breasts quote but it so cracks me up (and then, as an ice-breaker, I have a cue to introduce people to the whole Carol Burnett thing – but no, we don't know her. And are the poorer for it)


  11. OMG I love that your husband bought you a Star Trek Badge and that you showed it to us (blown up even). And dude. I so did NOT pressure you to get on Twitter. I merely said that a whole slew of people had tweeted your awesomeness. That'd be enough for anybody I suppose. Sorry 'bout that. I think you may love it though – a great way to quickly connect. And share.
    Also what's up with getting a cold on the night you were able to go to bed early? I stay up way too late…but am one who can sleep until I have to get up the next day. Often, on the weekends, hubs lets me sleep until 10. Bilss.
    Mwah and thanks again for your most excellent post! It was moving and important for so many.


  12. Well, don't you need a hashtag? That's what gets the attention. So I hear. Maybe. I have no idea.

    Aaaaand I forgot to mention…hahahahahahaha! you actually went so far as to pour water in the toilet to take that pretend illness up yet another notch. All to r
    read comics. I love you more every day.

    You might want to keep that breasts quote on the downlow in public. I'm thinking there aren't many Brits who know Carol Burnett awesomeness. Whatever you do, keep it under wraps during your interview. 🙂


  13. Sorry to hear you were sick! Hope you're all better now.

    And who really needs sleep? I mean, *really*? Long as you get enough for you, I figure that's sufficient.

    I could never do the hiding under the covers with a torch, as it tended to get too stuffy and I just couldn't stick it. Up trees is a great place to read though. As is the beach, clifftops, anywhere with a view (not a car). At least you were a defiant child and read anyway 🙂


  14. I need to be in bed way earlier than I go. I should be asleep now infact instead of getting distracted by great writing and chuckling at you pretending to be sick (coming off the back of me actually vomiting several times this week due to a bug and never once feeling like reading by the loo after mopping my soggy brow afterwards). I used to hide under the covers to read as a child and remember hiding up in trees on holiday amidst yells of “we didn't bring you all this way to read”…. Yes modern parents would be shocked that my mum actually discouraged my reading….


  15. So glad it's not just me! I simply seem not to be built for early nights! Naps, yes, anytime, but not early to bed!

    And yes! It's so exciting! I've been getting emails all day (in between wrestling the computer (and Kipper/Charlie and Lola/Peppa Pig) away from Niece, to check) saying that all kinds of blog glitterati (counting you here) are following me back! It's amazing!


  16. Hey, Kindlefan – I'm'a post the most AWESOMEST stuff ever. In fact, I think I near outdid myself on my very first day with the fantastic

    “Just dropped Neff's lollipop on the floor while unwrapping it and he didn't notice. Totally gave it to him anyway”

    It got LOADS of attention. Tonnes.

    Okay, none 😉 Guess I need some practice.

    And jet lag? Really? From 9.45? Guess it's a 6 hour difference than normal…

    And YAY the Star Trek badge! I'll be driving everyone crazy going around wearing it, quoting “Spock, I appear to have…breasts” then wondering why I'm the only one cracking up XD


  17. I never get to bed early either and when I do, I always feel worse then better for some reason. So, yes I can relate. And I did see you are on Twitter and am following you back, yay!! 🙂


  18. I don't remember anyone saying to go to bed THAT early. You shocked your system is what you did. Confused it terribly, in fact. I'm guessing it's like jet lag. or not.
    The badge is awesome, as is the husband who gave it to you.
    I would like to reiterate, not cool about the twitter. I write a post one week ago about never, ever getting a twitter account, and you go off and get one. You better not tweet awesome things I don't get to read! 🙂


  19. Haha this was quite good! I love the story about you in your bathroom pretending you were sick just to read comics. That is so funny! Hope you get over that cold soon. 🙂


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