Monday, May 17, 2010

Early Morning Ramblings

Speaking of magazines, as we were two posts ago, my daughter passes her Redbook mags onto Cuppa, who yesterday had one opened to an article about Ashley Judd. We were sitting in our little porch on a nice Saturday morning, sipping coffee and watching the garage-sale-addicts stroll by, so in my curious leisure, I picked it up and scanned a bit of the article. I don't know many celebs, but I have the seen Judds on tv, so I had at least some point of recognition with Ashley.

She's going to Harvard these days, getting her Masters Degree in I forget what discipline. Don't press me for details as I wasn't reading carefully, but she studies to give herself more background in the work that she does for children. I know that's vague, but I was just scanning. But then I stopped at a certain tidbit of information, which is all that I essentially grasped from the article. She claims to require ten and a half hours of sleep. At Harvard, she manages to obtain about nine and feels that she's on the edge of sleep deprivation: my words, but I think I've caught the essence.

Reading that caused me realize (not for the first time) that people tend to divide into two camps, at least at the extreme edges. Essentially, there are high energy and low energy people at the opposing ends of the continuum.

My curse is that I tend to be a low energy person. When I was working, I would prefer more than eight hours sleep to be anywhere near my best, with hopefully, a little extra on the weekend. I probably still require that much but don't manage to get it anymore: like this morning when I awoke at five o'clock. I generally wake up at five these mornings; sometimes I am able to roll over and get a few more precious but elusive zzzz's but not always and certainly not today.

As a low energy person, when I was teaching, I would have to control the number of extra curricular tasks and activities that I would take on. One learns to say no and concentrate on the essentials. Ryan Seacrest is, apparently, a high energy person as he flits from one gig to the next during a typical day and week. He claims to thrive on this lifestyle; it seems to energize that than enervate him. I think it's safe to say that he qualifies as a high energy person. People such as he can accomplish a lot.

I have a SIL like that. As a kid she would wake up early and even polish the family's shoes to keep herself occupied. Her parents gave up on trying to get her to sleep longer and allowed her to do her thing as long as she'd remain quiet.

It turns out that this was a rather important quality that she possessed because as a young mother of four girls, she found herself raising them on her own. As it turns out, she was not only able to raise her brood but was able to attend to university and obtain two masters degrees whilst doing so. I think it's safe to say that she was at the opposite end from Judd on the energy continuum. I think it's a gift that some people have, and it's certainly a good thing that my SIL did with the difficult row that she had to hoe. I and many others would have been in a heap, but the eve3idence reveals that she managed quite well.

My Cuppa seems to be a hybrid. She can be quite energetic in her tasks, but she has always required a decent amount of sleep. Some people, like me, seem to require, or at least must make do with, less sleep as we age, but Cuppa's metabolism has taken her in the opposite direction to the point where she now does best with ten hours repose. On a typical night, she'll go to bed before I do, and on the typical following morning, I'll be up first. I try to stealth around the house, sometimes for many hours, so she can get her beauty rest (which works btw). She opines that I get more living done, but I'm not sure that's true; she probably gets more done in her 14 hours than I do in my 18 hours.

The only place where I might have the edge is that I can get a blog composed while she reposes. It can be a rambling post with no conclusion to draw — like this one — but it's a post. Ain't it?

I wonder how you fit into the energy-sleep spectrum, and whether your patterns have alterred over the years?


Barry said...

I've always been a high energy person requiring little sleep. Usually up at 5 and have my blog written by 6 or 7 while Linda catches a few of the extra ZZZZZ's she needs. Then to bed by 11:30 after the late news.

For the last few weeks I've been on some serious pain killers that have me dropping off to sleep for hours through the day and then waking up feeling still groggy.

Hardly recognize myself at all.

Donna said...

Early to bed, early to rise here...Cuppa is fortunate in that she can get more shut eye...

Diana said...

I am usually asleep by 10:00 p.m. Wake at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., I am high energy all morning. Very high. But once noon rolls around forget it!
This seems strange to me but am so used to it!
I do know that if I don't get at least seven hours of sleep, I am worthless! Love Di ♥

P.S. I've always envied people that need just a few hours sleep and could function just fine!

Anonymous said...

Oh man how my sleep patterns have changed. It took me ten years after all the kiddos were gone to realize I didn't have to be jumping up for one of them. I can lay down now and sleep a good 8 hours and up as soon as I see the daylight. I think you are right about the flower. Cranebill, looks like my flower. I will get a larger picture of it and ask you to take another look. It is a perennial and after 3 years this is the first blooming.

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

I have HIGH ENERGY at the WRONG TIME, all night long. LOW ENERGY in the day. Always have been a person "with my days and nights mixed up" as they say. My mother started putting coffee in my baby bottle at a few weeks old, to get me to wake up in the mornings.

I think if people were allowed to work with their own rhythm, they'd have more energy. But society frowns on the odd ones.

Mary G said...

I'm a night person. Lots of energy at 11:00 pm - wrecked in the morning. I got by on less then six hours when the kids were preschoolers and the husband was a nightowl doctoral student. that would kill me to-day. I survive on naps, mostly.

Mara said...

I need about eight hours, but I can live on about six. Although only for a few days. Yippie for weekends!