How do I sleep 10 hours if I have to get up at 5am?
August 20, 2018 2:10 AM   Subscribe

5am is when I start my kid's school bus routine. By 6am, she's away until 1pm. My other kids have shifting schedules and work late so I don't see them until 8-10pm. I need 10 hours of sleep to do much better. But sleeping at 7pm means I'd see my kids once or twice a week. Is there a way I can split my sleep regularly to get real sleep, not short sleep and a bad nap? My schedule is my own otherwise as I work from home. Has anyone managed this without going nuts?
posted by dorothyisunderwood to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Nap? I used to nap after 6am drop off before I got the other kids moving and at “lunch” when I worked from home.
posted by tilde at 2:44 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

And I mean like set a routine with good sleep hygiene ... I’d lay down for 45 min and get a good zonk of 15 to 35 min according to my Jawbone up
posted by tilde at 2:52 AM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

When my kid was going to school, I split my sleep schedule, and it was ok. The trick for me was figuring out how long I needed to have for the second sleep period--much less than three hours, and it would be a nap that made me feel better for a little while, but wasn't enough to sustain me. But three to four hours was a sweet spot.

I did find that I slept less overall when I was doing split sleep like this--sleeping for two three-hour chunks made me feel about as good as one eight-hour sleep did. So you might have to play around with how much you're sleeping at night, since sleeping too much then will inhibit your ability to go to sleep later, and make the whole thing feel less restful.

That said, it's totally possible--I did it for about two years, and then our lives changed and it wasn't necessary anymore, but those two years were pretty good for me.
posted by mishafletch at 3:00 AM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Segmented sleep is totally a thing, some researchers think that it used to be very common before we had artificial light.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:11 AM on August 20, 2018 [8 favorites]

Not quite what you asked, but - how old is your kid? Could she get herself ready in the morning? (I ask as someone whose parents were generally still asleep in the mornings when I left for middle school and upwards. I would probably have been fine getting ready on my own earlier than that, and I never felt neglected by it. On the rare occasions there was a problem, I woke someone up.)
posted by trig at 3:57 AM on August 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

Can you sometimes stay up with your older kids, and the rest of the time go to bed earlier? Like stay up til 10:30-11 twice a week, maybe make a night of it and have some sort of routine like that's a pizza night or something, the other nights go to bed 9ish. Stack your work if possible so you're doing your most important work on the days you get more sleep. And then supplement with caffeine and naps as needed, it sounds like you need naps daily if you want 10 hours.

I do something similar so that I can sometimes enjoy later nights with my boyfriend or out with friends, knowing I'll need to nap more on the weekend and have a cup of black tea when I feel really groggy and need to perform at work. If I did it every day I'd turn into a cranky mess but I can't nap on weekdays as I'm in an open office.

I know people stress the importance of same bedtime same rise time but I find for myself I do better letting myself have a nap or sleep in when I can get it and I'm never sleep deprived, I just like to get 8+ hours of sleep.
posted by lafemma at 5:04 AM on August 20, 2018

If you go the segmented sleep route, you might find "sleep with a break" easier than far apart sleeps. Trying to sleep 8am - noon and 6pm - 10pm was brutal, but other people seem to manage like 7pm-9pm and 11pm-5am okay.
posted by bagel at 5:34 AM on August 20, 2018

Ten hours of sleep a night is a lot of sleep. I wonder if the quality of sleep you get might be improved in some way. Would you consider getting a sleep study? Folks I know who have ended up with a CPAP say that it completely revolutionized their lives, and one of the signs that led them to get a sleep evaluation was needed was sleeping for a very long time and still being tired....
posted by Sublimity at 6:06 AM on August 20, 2018 [25 favorites]

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