I Ask: Can I Be Taught To Need Less Sleep?

The title makes the feat sound lofty, but really it’s just selfish. I want to survive on less sleep because I have more I want to do.

I’d like 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. schedule please. Although it’ll probably be more like 6:30 a.m. with much begging and pleading for more sleep. And by begging and pleading, I mean pretending to still be sleeping through MAMA!! DADA!! WAHHHHH!! And my husband stomping around because I stayed up too late and want to sleep-in AGAIN.

I actually posed this question to Twitter months ago. Most people cautioned me not to do it for more than a few days.

I clearly didn’t like that answer because I’m going on three months. (Although I could’ve also been at this pace for five months. I’ve really lost count.)

Sleep is interfering with my ability to WIN! Gold medal for a clean house (okay, the house can stay dirty, I just won’t have people over. maybe we can move), cooked meals (or take-out. but like FRESH take-out made with love.), well-written blogs (ta-da), funny tweets (well, maybe I can just be the @reply HAHA LOL person) , and sex with my husband (not compromising).

Even this modified type of winning-at-life seems to take less sleep. And more caffeine.

So help me to stay up.

PS. It’s after midnight. I’m WINNING! Who wants to get up with my kids tomorrow?

Answer that makes me want to hug people and say YES!  And also makes my question completely pointless: Heather (qtberryhead) writes: I’m a night owl. It’s the rest of the world that’s screwed up, not us. I was so happy when the kids hit their teens and wanted to sleep in.

Answer that had a secret answer in it without the answer-er knowing (I also crossed out the rest): The Sweetest writes: I am no help with this one. I sleep (AKA toss and turn) from about 9:30 to 5:30am every day. If I got less, I’d have to train everybody else, so they could deal with me.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

33 thoughts on “I Ask: Can I Be Taught To Need Less Sleep?

  1. No help here. I loves my sleep. It is one of my first priorities.

    If I want extra time to do something, I let other stuff slide. Like the house cleaning. Entropy wins anyway, why fight it?

    And kids over about 5 can feed themselves and do their own laundry.

  2. I would love to get by with less sleep too. It seems such a waste. Don’t get me wrong, when I sleep well, I love it. (As evidenced by my own stompy husband since I want to sleep past 6. I know I’m unreasonable like that.) But there is so much to do. So many fun things in the world that require being awake to enjoy. I love your list by the way.

    Last night my girls decided to have a party starting around 1:30. I didn’t realized I was invited or I would have gone to sleep before midnight myself. First one woke up, got up Dad, then started to head down; and then the second caught the wave and on and on it went until after 4. But at least they slept until 7.

    What, you think three hours isn’t enough? Um… what was I just doing?

    Oh, yeah. No help here.

    1. Your entire paragraph on be invited to the girls’ party made me laugh and laugh.

      And yes, I seem to head upstairs JUST in time for a kid to wake up. I try to justify it by saying: I would’ve been up right now ANYWAY… and pretend that it’s the same thing has having gotten a few hours of sleep.

  3. I don’t know how you do it. I could before kids, but now. Not so much. Now, I have to be in bed by 11. And if I’m up before 7 the next morning, I’m pretty much fried for the rest of the day. Help you stay up? Coffee? Red Bull? Speed? I hear that’s pretty good for that kind of thing.

    1. I definitely do coffee. But I haven’t tried Red Bull on this endeavor! And the speed… I’m just not sure doing drugs would help me to actually accomplish any of the things I want to do. They’d just help me to be aware 24/7 of everything that I wasn’t doing. Or maybe not aware of anything at all. Probably that last one.

  4. I promise it does get better. I’ve given up worrying about these things and now I just go with the flow and take power naps for 10 minutes to refresh and renew.

  5. I wish I could survive on less sleep and have more hours in the day. Funny you post about this ’cause my doc just said yesterday for me to get more sleep. I figure she doesn’t have kids, a home-based business, a man, a house, laundry, etc. etc. Maybe you can do three days on three days off with one day for whatever feels right & good. Hmmm?? Have a good weekend.

  6. Hmmm… 1-7 is 6 hours a night. That’s 42 hours in a week. I guess that’s doable. But there is a hole in your theory, or plan, or whatever you call it. If you want a 1-7 schedule, why then are you asking to sleep in? If you want 7 to be the end of your sleep schedule, then you kind of have to stick to that right? Or is 7 sleeping in? – cuz it is here.
    I’d say the suggestions of caffeine, red bull, speed, etc. are all excellent for the staying awake part. Just don’t expect to survive too long – I’ve heard long term sleep deprivation kills lab animals. Bummer.
    Ooooh – your hubby is a doctor. Can’t he poke something in your brain to make it think it doesn’t need as much sleep? Ah ha! I’ve discovered the answer. I want reward money like you promised on facebook!

  7. I am no help with this one. I sleep (AKA toss and turn) from about 9:30 to 5:30am every day. If I got less, I’d have to train everybody else, so they could deal with me.

  8. I have a tendency to stay up way too late. I’d rather have the quiet of the night than the still of the morning… because I’ve never been a morning person. But my kids are. Up by 6 most of the time… luckily hubby gets up with them most days to give me ’til 7 or so.
    But anyway… I normally don’t get much sleep. On the rare occasion that I go to bed at a normal hour, I’m shocked and amazed at how much of a difference there is… but I have a hard time sleeping anyway, so that’s always with the help of Tylenol PM…
    I’m exhausted and running on Diet Coke right now so i apologize for the rambling 😉 Let me know if you figure out a solution!

    1. Oh, I love the quiet of night, but my kids are up early EVERY DAY, too! I tried to retrain myself to be a morning person and FAILED MISERABLY. So that is NOT the answer.

  9. There is no way I could make it for more than a week on that sleep schedule. I am sure I would get sick as I often get sick if I don’t get enough sleep.

    Now I understand the TV Challenge. You were sleep-deprived and didn’t really know what you were doing.

  10. If I were 50 I would tell you to SLOW down. Why need be in such a rush? It’s the relationships that matter so stop and cuddle your babies.

    But I’m only 40 and am having trouble typing with the caffeine iv that’s inserted directly into my veins.

  11. If you get a good answer, let me know. My kid is up for the day, every day, by 5:30. We’ve tried everything short of drugs to get him off that schedule to no avail. Who can function like this?

    1. 5:30! My oldest did that for a LONG while. And everyone was like KEEP HIM UP LATE. And guess what? He still woke up at 5:30 but MORE GRUMPY because we kept him up late! We just accepted his sleep pattern and took turns. It sucked. But now he sleeps until 7. (Altho he still doesn’t sleep through the night every night 🙁 but that’s a different story.)

  12. I feel your pain! My hubby works from 3-11, so if I want to spend much time with him I have to stay up until 1ish and my munchkin is up by 730 (on a good day, which is rare) so most of the time I am training the world on how to deal with me being sleep deprived! If you figure out a secret let me know!

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