Monday, April 9, 2012

Giving segmented sleep a shot.

I haven't been getting enough sleep. This is a big problem. I'm not a good mom when I don't get enough sleep. Lets face it- I'm not a good person when I don't get enough sleep. It's been a while since I've gotten a decent amount of sleep, but this problem has been getting really bad lately and so I'm shooting it right up to the top of my priority list.


As I've explained before, we're right in the middle of a church plant, so my husband is out of the house a lot. Also, my children don't take naps. I don't know whose brilliant idea that was, but it certainly wasn't mine!!! Most days, the only time I get to myself is after the kids go to bed. I'm a big introvert, and I really need that alone time! But lately, I've been using that as an excuse to be totally lazy after the kids go to bed. Most of the time I'm too tired to actually do anything productive, but I don't want to waste my alone time, so I stay up and surf the net, or watch tv, or something like that. Those things are nice to just veg out sometimes, but they're not exactly refreshing, you know? Watching tv doesn't feed my soul. Surfing the net doesn't help me grow as a person or be a better mom tomorrow. (Ok, well sometimes it does. Depends on what I'm reading.) Point is, I need to be more intentional with my time. I want to spend my downtime doing something that will help me be a better person, or at least doing something that refreshes me(reading a book, taking a quiet bath, writing, etc), instead of just vegging on the tv or computer. But it's hard for me to focus on making those positive choices and changes when I'm so darn tired!


I don't know about you, but I don't function when I'm tired. At all. I didn't get enough sleep the night before last, and then last night I once again stayed up later than I should have. After I did finally go to bed around 1AM, I ended up laying in bed for 2 hours trying to get to sleep. That 7AM alarm was just horrific this morning. DH didn't get much sleep last night either, but I guess he woke up during a better part of his sleep cycle than I did, because thankfully he got up with the kids when they woke up. I spent the next hour in bed, trying desperately to open my eyes and get out of bed. I felt absolutely dead to the world. Around 8 I finally managed to drag myself out of bed, and I literally stumbled into the kitchen and went straight for the coffeepot. Things only went downhill from there- Hayden refused to eat her breakfast without my help, and I refuse to help her since she's almost 4 years old and perfectly capable of feeding herself. We were both frustrated, and I ended up missing my workout this morning because I didn't want to take her out of the house without any food in her stomach- that's a sure recipe for disaster. Our whole morning was chaotic and frustrating. Aside from the obvious, I couldn't figure out why I was in such a terrible mood. It hit me around noon- I didn't get enough sleep last night! I can't keep doing this!


Then I thought back to last Monday, when I woke up from my first night giving segmented sleep a try. I felt amazing and my whole day went wonderfully! Totally opposite of how today started out. So as much as I hate going to bed early, and as much as I feel like I need to drag out my alone time at night as much as possible, what I really need is to get enough rest. I'm working so hard doing the GAPS diet, and it would really be a shame to sabotage both my body and my emotions by not being disciplined enough to get enough sleep. My kids deserve a mom that is awake and attentive too- and I'm sure my husband would appreciate not being snapped at because I'm tired. I need to make this happen!


I'm blogging about this to keep myself accountable- and because maybe some of you out there have a similar problem? I've decided to give segmented sleep a try. Segmented sleep is the concept of sleeping for 4 hours, having 1-2 awake hours in the middle of the night, and then sleeping 4 more hours. Some people say that's how humans used to sleep before the invention of electricity. I have no idea if it's true or not, but the idea makes enough sense in my mind that I at least want to give it a shot. I know every night when I put the kids to sleep, I'm so tired that I usually fall asleep in their beds for a couple of minutes. Wouldn't it make sense for me to go to bed then, when my body's telling me that it's tired?


I'm not sure if segmented sleep is a great idea or a stupid one. But it's something different, and I'm hoping that the novelty of trying something different will keep me motivated to really keep going with this. I also know that I'll be a lot more likely to go to bed super early if I know that I can have a couple of hours in the middle of the night that I can use to get stuff done.


I'm starting tonight! I'm planning to go to bed around 9, and the idea would be that I'll be awake from approximately 1-3AM, and then sleep again from 3-7. I'm not going to be setting an alarm for 1AM though, so I'll only get up if I wake up at some point and feel alert.


Do you have trouble getting enough sleep? Have you ever tried segmented sleep?







  1. Hmmm, I've never heard of this before, but you're right - it kind of makes sense! I'm very interested to see how this works out for you, although I'm sure you'll need to do it for at least a week or so (?) before you can make a fair judgement? Either way, this sounds pretty cool. I'm the same exact way with my sleep habits and with my 10 month old napping less and less, it's really starting to catch up with me lol :)

    Good luck!

  2. omgosh! I've been sleeping like this for the past few years, and I have been killing myself trying to think I have to get a full 8 hours (even took anti-anxiety meds because of it.) Finally, I decided to allow my body to do what it wanted, got off the meds, and feel well rested most days. Segmented sleep...who knew? Thanks! (PS, really enjoying your blog!)

  3. I only have one child thats 3.5 and I still sleep when he sleeps. If that means in the bed at 5:30, then 5:30 it is. I used to sleep 8-10hrs before baby, so sleep deprivation is not a good look for me. He needs about 13-14hrs per day & I watch him, not the clock. It's 8:30 now and I'll be sleep by 9. I need non fragmented sleep at least 8-10hrs a night. Good luck!