Sleep deprivation is a thing.
I need about eight hours a night. No joke. I know people who function exceptionally well on four hours or less. I am not one of those people.
After I became primary caregiver of my doggo when I adopted him last September, I’ve averaged around six hours of sleep per night. Ten to four. For those of you familiar with the body’s circadian rhythm, the hours between two and four are the most important for deep sleep and memory. He likes to wake me up around three to remind me we’ll be getting up soon, so my REM sleep is cut short to mumble, “Go back to bed.” On the weekend, I might be able to pull an hour-and-a-half of deep sleep, but during the week, it’s usually around forty minutes.
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I adopted another doggo last month, an adorable little rescue. He still sleeps in the kennel, which is fantastic. Easy to get him to bed, wakes with the alarm, gets a little testy if I don’t let him out right away, but at least we’re all awake by then anyway.
Me on weekends
The hard part is the weekend. I still get up with doggo1 in the early morning, as long as it’s after four. We let doggo2 out of the kennel after I prepare for the artic, and we go outside right away. Then, it’s food time, and yes, at 4 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday, I want to go back to bed. But how do you get free-from-kennel doggo2 to go back to bed?
The answer has been in front of me the whole time, and I’m sure some of you shouted it at your computer or phone screen in answer to the question above. Yes, you put him back in the kennel. Well, I am tired, and I tend to be slow when I’m tired, so it took me a few weeks to figure this out. This morning, he went back in the kennel, ate his treat, nested in his blankets and slept.
Doggo1 was still an asshole. He whined and cried and tried to jump into bed with us. I was firm. No doggos in bed.
After doggo1 gave up, I still couldn’t sleep: no fault of the doggos or Lemur’s. I had too much on my mind, like today’s blog post, the excellent book series I’m reading right now (The Lijun series by my friends Angel Martinez and Freddy Mackay), and a speech I have to write. To add some fun to the mix, I also had a waking dream of my elves enjoying a lovely romp in bed, wondering if I included enough detail in a scene I wrote at least five years ago.
When I’d finally drifted back to sleep, Lemur decided to get up. He opened the crate, so I had two doggos in bed with me for another hour or so. I managed eight hours of sleep somehow, but only 20% deep sleep, for which my fitness tracker chastises me each day. “Relax before bed, get more exercise so you will sleep better.” Meditation before bed and 10k steps per day are not enough, apparently.
Do you get enough sleep? If so, HOW?