the two sleeps

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I want to take a moment to apologize to anyone who has seen me in the last few days, because I honestly cannot stop discussing the two sleeps.  It's a phenomenon that has now taken over my mind and I keep trying to bring it up in random conversations.  So if you've already heard me talking about it, please feel free to move right along.  I've become a woman obsessed - HAH.

So, the two sleeps.
A few weeks ago, I read this article (but there are lots of other articles that mention it too) and I was intrigued.  At the time of reading, we hadn't quite made it to Daylight Savings Time (DST) yet, but I was still interested in at least considering the Two Sleeps - ya know, just for a go at it.

Cut to actual DST and our family quickly fell into the category of people highly negatively effected by the lack of daylight in the late afternoon.  (Momentary shout-out to my sweet friend Shelly in Alaska who has so much less daylight then me every single day.  You are a real life hero of mine.  I'm not exaggerating).  We are really good at some things as a family- lack of sunlight during the day is not one of them.  We are the kind of a family that announces every single afternoon, 'Can you believe it's dark already?' like we have never lived with DST before.  Surprisingly, just a day into DST, the kids got readjusted to the time change; alas, we - the parents - did not.

In the days following DST, I was putting Gemma to bed and either passing out asleep on her floor or barely making it to the couch downstairs before falling into a deep slumber...AT 9pm.  Brandon was operating similarly and we'd both wake up in a disgruntled state mid-night and berate ourselves for our lack of productivity.  At the time of sundown, which is now around 6pm, we as a family can successfully accomplish these things:  making and eating dinner, dressing children for bed, putting children to bed.  That's it.  It's like the sun goes down and our battery life depletes at an alarming rate.

After a few frustrating nights, I randomly recalled the two sleeps article and had an epiphany.  My body was already sort of trying to attempt the two sleeps, as I was regularly waking up mid-sleep to go upstairs - I just needed to flow with it.  I determined that instead of fighting my inescapable exhaustion in the earlier part of the night, I would instead embrace it and institute the two sleep method in my life.  And I have been feeling better, more productive, and rested than before when I was trying to fight my sleepiness.

Since our acceptance of the two sleep, I've been regularly falling asleep (or more accurately passing out) around 9-9:30p and then naturally waking up again between 12:30-1am.  During this mid-sleep break, we've stayed awake from anywhere between a forty-five minutes to two hours, before getting into bed and sleeping again.  So far, I've been averaging about 6-7 hours of sleep and waking up refreshed with (what feels like at least) less resistance about getting out of bed.  weird, right?

Between the two sleeps recently I've done any or many of the following:  folded a load or two of laundry, put clean sheets on our bed, wiped down the kitchen, swept the floor, and planned out my week in my planner (jotting down notes and tasks to remember).  Brandon has tended to our wood-burning stove in the basement, taken out the garbage, and organized his own work stuff.  Last night, we looked over and discussed our monthly budget at 2am with sound mind and insightful planning - and more importantly a quiet house (while both kids slept peacefully upstairs).  We're like strange night-time elves!  And we have yet to turn to our electronics during the mid-sleep hours - also a strange feat in today's world.  Not by any declaration, but somehow our mid-sleep time feels too sacred to flip on the tv or open the laptop.  It's like a few magical unplugged hours.

Surprisingly, we haven't had any trouble falling back to sleep for the second sleep.  We just go about our normal bedtime routine (brush teeth, wash face, read) and easily go back to slumber until the morning.  What is wild to me is that I'm not getting more or less sleep than before, but that I feel more rested and productive on the two sleep than the stay-up-as-late-as-I-can-try-and-then-try-to-sleep-all-at-once method.

It's crazy, this two sleep thing -but it seems to be making a difference in my DST-adjustment life.  I was not only feeling really tired but also frustrated with myself - for being tired and for not being able to stay up after we put the kids to sleep.  As with all moments of acceptance, just allowing myself to fall asleep early in the night and having this time of quiet and productivity in the middle of the night that feels natural (and is?) has been a huge, welcome relief during this cold, dark winter nights.

Anyone else finding themselves naturally in a two sleep?  Or interested in trying it out?  I'd love to hear if it's as effective for you?  Are we really just strange night-time elves?  (hahha)

1 comment:

  1. I read that article too and I thought it was interesting! I'm sure I waste all kinds of time when I start feeling worn down at the end of the day and I just turn on the TV. I think it would be worth experimenting with...