Not enough sleep

Getting up at 6am every weekday means I have to work hard to ensure I get enough sleep each week.

My body clock tends to wake me at 6 at the weekend too, although I do sometimes doze back off until 7.30 or even 8.

I have to have sleep strategies to ensure I catch up with missed hours – whether that is a nap, 40 winks, a doze, some shut-eye, getting a few zeds (or zzzzz’s) or a siesta.

Sleep strategies

I am rarely to bed later than 10.30. Uninterrupted sleep would then give me 7.5 hours sleep. Realistically a trip to the loo or any minor interruption brings that down to 7 hours.

A night out midweek, leading to a midnight bedtime reduces the weekly total further.

And we all have those sleepless periods. There are whole host of sleep problems and I have suffered form many of the minor ones– snoring, insomnia, restless leg syndrome – luckily not for long periods.

Saturday night fever

I reckon all these factor means I average about 6 hours a night.

That means catching up at some point. My body clock decided that Saturday was my catch-up night and, unless I catch-up during the week I will be too tired on Saturday to party. Last week I snuck up to bed at 11.30 despite having guests round. That was before the children went to bed. (I was sure if I announced I was going to bed the adults would all feel the need to leave, which was not necessary or fair).

This week I caught up with a 9.30 lights out mid-week. I actually slept almost all the way through to 6am. That does not always work.

A siesta is best

An extra doze at the weekend, or even getting up at the normal time but returning to bed after doing some household chores, say about 10am, is another good technique.

What I really need to train my body to do again is siesta. I say “again” because when my son (now 14 years old and 6’ 1”) was a baby and I was getting up in the night and being woken early in the morning, I got into the habit of sleeping straight after lunch.

I would literally just get back into bed. I put a notebook and pen by the bedside in case anyone rang and sleep for about 40 minutes. Between 1pm and 2pm, hardly anybody ever calls.

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