03 December 2012

The unwilling insomniac

Right this moment, my house smells of garlic and onion and chicken and Ramona's sitting on the floor playing with a pile of toys.  It's quite lovely.  We had chicken and 40 cloves last week and I harvested the thighs and drumsticks from an organic roaster chicken to make it.  Since I knew I had time to kill, I decided to cook the rest of it in the slow cooker on a bed of onions, garlic, and carrots.  While this all sounds like a wonderful Sunday afternoon, it's not Sunday afternoon.  It's 4:48 AM on Monday morning and I started the chicken at about 3 AM with the knowledge that I would be awake at 8 AM to get it out and (likely) put it in the fridge.

"Why," you ask, "are you going to be awake at 8 AM if you're awake at 4:48 AM?"  Good question.

This all started with Ramona's 9 month well check.  When the pediatrician asked about her sleeping habits, she was surprised to hear about her late schedule (down at 3 AM up at noon) and then gave us a pamphlet about sleep phase disorders.  It turns out that I probably have delayed sleep phase syndrome and Ramona either has it too or is being subjected to mine.  I guess what happens is that for whatever reason, your circadian rhythms get out of whack and you just want to go to sleep later than most people in your time zone do.  I've been like this for as long as I can remember.  My family used to joke that I was "stuck" on Korean time, but I'm pretty sure that after 26 years here, I should have adjusted by now.

For the most part, it's not a big deal.  DSPS has been linked to ADHD (which I probably have), and clinical depression (which I don't).  It seems like the problem stems from not getting enough sleep since people with DSPS don't have a problem staying asleep, they have problems going to sleep at a societally indicated time.  In high school and college, I powered through and consumed a lot of caffeine.  I also relished the days in which I had no classes before noon.  In grad school, it was mostly more of the same, although I've always had to TA early classes.  Once I became pregnant, the caffeine stopped, but I did manage to sleep more because I was tired all. of. the. times.

And now I have a 9 month old who likes to go to bed at 3 AM, which is around the time her mama prefers.  I'm currently being paid as a graduate research assistant, which means that I can make my own hours.  While most people are getting to work , I'm in the middle of my night.  I usually end up working in the afternoons and late at night, saving the early evenings for Ramona and Colby.  There isn't this tired all the time problem because I do get enough sleep, it's just offset from everyone and my work output isn't suffering because I'm tired, it's suffering because I have a baby.  The one thing that is kind of hard, however, is Colby's schedule.  Colby usually goes to sleep around the same time as us, but he *does* have a job that requires him to be somewhere before the early afternoon (oppressive, I know!).  This means that he usually averages about 5 hours of sleep a night.  When the doctor mentioned DSPS and the "simple" way to fix it, he was super excited.

So.  After all this rambling, my birthday present to him is to try to fix our weirdo sleep schedule in time for the holidays.  While we could work on sleep hygiene and take melatonin and blah blah, we're currently trying to stay up an hour later each day until we get back around to a normal schedule.  While most people can't do this, this has been perfectly timed because it gives me extra time to work and Colby time to sleep.  Today, I'm supposed to go to bed around 8 AM, although I suspect it'll be a bit later.  By the weekend, we'll be going to bed at 2 PM, which sounds crazy, but I'm hoping that we can get back to some sort of normal schedule so that Colby isn't so sleep deprived.


Lauren @ Gourmet Veggie Mama said...

Wow. That sounds... just crazy! At least you and R have each other as company in the wee hours. ;) Hope your schedule is sorted out soon!

julie k h aka jkru said...

Haha thank you! It's been rough, but hopefully by the time Christmas rolls around, everyone will be sleeping like normal humans and not like vampires. :)