And when I say "a little unqualified," I mean like Norman Bates authoring self-help books for people who have trouble setting appropriate boundaries with their mothers.
In fact, I'm probably the worst person ever to be writing this. You know the way a vampire recoils and shields his eyes against the sunrise, right before he bursts into flames? That's pretty much me, but with going to bed.
The story of my life can be summed up here and here, or with the following flow chart.
I'm like a yo-yo dieter, except with sleep.
Part of the problem is that there's not exactly a direct correlation between how I feel and how much sleep I get. If I don't sleep much one night, I won't necessarily feel like garbage the next morning.
But when sleep deprivation becomes a night-after-night occurrence, I can't escape the effects.
I lose all semblance of patience. I can't deal with noise (not a good situation for a mom to 5 kids under 11.) My brain can't access my vocabulary and I end up saying, "After you eat your cereal, remember to clean up your, your... thing." (The word you're looking for is bowl, lady. It's a bowl.)
Even though chronic exhaustion turns me into an idiot savant without the 'savant' part, do I respond by going to bed earlier the next night so I can catch up on my sleep?
No, I do not.
I stay up even later, usually under the guise of doing something productive. But really, the things I'm doing from 10 P.M. to midnight when I'm tired could usually get done in about 20-30 minutes during the day when I'm more awake and alert.
Sometimes, though, I'm not even doing anything: I'm just staying up because I'm too tired to brush my teeth and put on some pajamas. I'm not even making this stuff up. This is what it's like to be me.
So I'm going to do something that I can do because I have a blog, and I'm going to create some accountability for myself. This week is National Simplify Your Life Week, and I'm going to bed at 10 every night to celebrate.
Who's with me??
Every night at 9:30 EST I'll be hosting a bedtime check-in on the Unremarkable Files Facebook page. Join me, or send this post to a friend who needs accountability as badly as I do! Share your bedtime goals, write a quick "I'm going to bed now!" post (whenever that may be for you,) or tell me about your favorite tips and tricks to get yourself to sleep at night.
I look forward to reading them just before I turn out the lights.