As I sit on my bed at an hour I should be sleeping, I ponder an article I read today (or I should say yesterday) about a new discovery. It seems some people actually have a gene that causes them to be a short-sleeper. In the article, it mentioned that perhaps more people are short-sleepers and just don’t realize it.
So, here I am. Awake at 2:08 in the morning and wondering if maybe I am a short-sleeper. According to the article, which I found on BBC.com, people who think they just don’t sleep well could actually be short-sleepers. These people just have a preconceived notion of how many hours of sleep they should be getting, so they try to force their body to comply.
I would venture a guess that my mother is a short-sleeper. She often tells me how she woke up at 4am, 3am, or even midnight! I always told her it was ridiculous to get up that early if you don’t have to, but maybe I am wrong. Maybe I should be getting up that early as well.
Am I forcing my body to comply to a society-driven idea of how many hours of sleep I should have? While it is not earth shattering contemplation, it is something to think about since I seem to be awake when I “should” be sleeping. Imagine all the extra time I would have if I got up when my body wanted!
Things I could accomplish with an extra four hours a day:
- I could write more blog posts! I am usually my most creative in the middle of the night – or in the bathroom, usually the shower when I can’t write down my brilliant ideas. So many ideas get lost down the drain.
- I could read more books. Since there are way more books I want to read than I will ever have time to read in my life span.
- I could get my run in. Except my gym is not open 24 hours a day and I really don’t see myself running outside in the middle of the night. It is dangerous! Not only because of the boogeymen that lurk in the bushes, but more likely because of the uneven sidewalk. Hello skinned knees!
- I could plan my day. My daily plan will probably need to include a nap since I was up at two in the morning.
On second thought, I am probably not a short-sleeper. Even as I type these words I am feeling the familiar tug of Mr. Sandman coming to reclaim me back into his world for a few more hours.
Update: After laying back down and shutting out the lights to allow Mr. Sandman to take me away to dreamland, he didn’t come. I tossed and turned for another two hours before finally falling asleep only to be awakened by my pesky alarm. I had no desire to answer its call. I believe more research is needed to determine my optimal sleep time.
Are you slumber-challenged? Could you be a short-sleeper?