Why did I not appreciate the beauty of a nap when I was a child? I can vividly remember debating with my baby-sitter about staying up instead of resting during the afternoon. I did not understand that I would one day long for the ability to take a break from the stress of life and rejuvenate my body by laying down for a few hours each day.
Lately I have been struggling to get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. I started out lacking sleep one night; I do not function well on less than seven or eight hours of shut eye. I was then exhausted by the time I got home from work and gave in to my desire of taking a nap. With the darkness surrounding my house by 5:00 p.m. now, it felt like night and I slept for three straight hours. I woke up, prepared a late dinner and watched some television. Soon I was wide awake and unable to coax myself to sleep at a decent hour, thus starting the cycle. I then only received a couple of hours of sleep again, added to my three hours earlier, still only equaling five full hours. It has started a vicious cycle.
Weekends are fabulous because I can catch up a bit by sleeping in but since I work at least one morning on the weekends, that is a short-lived experience. I am now caught in a miserable cycle of never getting eight straight hours of sleep. It is always broken up into shorter shifts of two hours here and four hours there or three hours here and two hours there. I can’t even fathom what it must be like for parents with a newborn.
Was it my own fault for allowing myself to nap after work? Does anyone have any suggestions to break this cycle?