When I was a little kid, the time of day that I absolutely hated was nap time. It was between the hours of 11 and 12noon. I quickly realized that nap time was more for my mother’s benefit than anything else because she was trying to get us all on a schedule and she was the primary caregiver for 4 kids under the age of 6 with the youngest being a newborn. I remember complaining bitterly about why I should be allowed to stay up to no avail. I was admonished time after time that one day I would wish I could take a nap but wouldn’t be able to. I adamantly insisted that would never be my story. Naps were for people who didn’t have a good book to read or were tired all the time and I had no use for them. Fast forward a few years later to the rigors of high school–the homeschooled version. I quickly discovered the power of a quick nap due to being a night owl. Also, it was a break from the self paced work which was mind numbingly boring most of the time. The practice of afternoon naps continued through college where I took ten minute power naps in between classes. This was especially helpful to my sanity the year I took 19 credit hours, worked two jobs, and went to bed at 2am or later 5 nights per week. Fast forward to last year where I was working in a job from hell. Well, not LITERALLY hell but pretty close to what I would imagine it to be with traditional work hours. While it was meaningful and in my field I missed having flexibility. A typical job where you worked 8 hours straight without a lunch break was not my cup of tea. I didn’t have the luxury of afternoon naps and I missed it. I’ve come to have a very healthy appreciation for naps due to my newfound inability to sleep more than five hours at a time. There’s nothing like the mental clarity that occurs after you’ve gotten a quick moment to sleep and recharge. I admit I think that people would be a lot happier if they were allowed to take a quick nap during the workday. We already know that most people don’t get nearly the amount of sleep that’s typically recommended. How nice would it be to have a mandatory nap time built into the work day? I for one would be all for it.
I’ve always been somewhat of a night owl. I remember being forced to go to bed in the summer when it was still light outside and reading until I could no longer see the words on the page. Looking back, that’s probably why I started wearing glasses at an early age. In college, sleep became a priority that I held in high importance. Yet, I remember an ENTIRE semester where I went to bed at midnight or later every night with 22 credit hours and two jobs. It wasn’t the best schedule for my health but I stayed relatively healthy without any major mishaps. The silver lining to that semester was that i finished with a 3.9 GPA. I recently transitioned to working nights and it’s been a huge adjustment. When I worked nights before I flip flopped between days and nights and came closer than I wanted to losing my mind with the lack of sleep. My new schedule is still fairly brutal but it provided the escape that I needed from a 9-5 schedule which I really strongly dislike. Through this process I have had a renewed appreciation for sleep. I know that I don’t want to do nights for the rest of my life because I don’t want chronic insomnia. For now, sleep is once again a priority and I’ll have to get creative so that I have enough to function.
I’m a self-described night person who has been forced to be more of a morning person due to work obligations. As a result, I’ve become more appreciative of the days where mandatory attendance in the morning is not necessary. I can understand the importance of accomplishing work early in the day, but I would also like to be fully awake. Getting up in the early morning is an example of discipline that I have had to develop despite my natural balking at someone deciding my schedule for me. Regardless, I think that this might be some form of preparation for motherhood. Taking actions despite emotions that might argue otherwise. I think that can be a good thing.