I’m a night owl. I’ve been that way as long as I can remember.
In college, I hated sleep. It took time away from studying. Or that time sleeping could be better spent relaxing after studying. The number of hours of sleep I got per night was pretty abysmal.
Deadlines for classes are inflexible, and set externally. I’m sure my personality (no such thing as being too prepared) didn’t help, but school tends to be like that for many people.
Different When Sleepy
Since graduating and joining the workforce, I’ve been able to average more sleep per night. There are nights when a poorly-timed nap screws things up, or I wake up at a weird time for seemingly no reason, or a dream unsettles me so much it takes a while to get back to sleep, but, in general, I get much more sleep now.
I also know my personality and mood suffer when I don’t get enough sleep. When sleep deprived, I’m likely to be grouchy, on edge, and humorless. I wonder if those who have known me both while in college and after noticed a difference between these phases?
Just One More Minute
Being a night owl, though, means it’s easy to stay up. I can get into the zone on personal projects. I generally find it’s difficult to get myself to go to bed. It doesn’t take long to fall asleep once in bed, but it’s a challenge to get there.
Projects, hobbies, movies, shows, and all that come with excitement, self-imposed goals, and a drive to complete them, even if that means staying up. These things are much more flexible, since they’re set internally, but it’s all too easy to tell yourself you’ll go to bed in just a minute. And then hours pass.
And Regretting It
This decision brings a lack of sleep, which is a debt accrued. It takes multiple nights to get back to a normal schedule after staying up late. And during that time, I’m not who I like being, and others likely see that too. Staying up is like punishing tomorrow-me.
If forgoing sleep tonight is a debt tomorrow, then opting for sleep tonight must be an investment in tomorrow - once previous debts are paid off.
Think Of Future-You
I now try to be thoughtful of what tomorrow-Kyle will think and appreciate. He’ll appreciate me going to sleep well before 4 AM, I’m willing to bet.
I’m investing in my mood, attitude, behavior, and potential tomorrow; helping to set myself up for a more successful day.
So, as much as I may not want to, I’m trying to go to bed at a better time. Not-dragging-ass-all-day Kyle better thank me for it!