I’ve never been a great sleeper. I wake up pretty easily, I toss and turn, if I don’t fall asleep before 11pm I’m not tired anymore and I’m up until at least 1am. And when I fall asleep? Restless, stressed, mind too busy? Sometimes some. Sometimes all. I’d around, tear the sheets off the bed.
But why would I even be up past 11pm as a kid (around 12 years old)?
When i was about 12 I got my own room, with a tv. Frickin awesome. Who needed sleep? I had entertainment.
At 11pm on the local channels they had reruns of Odd Couple, Taxi, Cheers and my favorite, M*A*S*H.
Then I saw Johnny Carson once. And wow I was hooked on late night tv with monologues, his characters Art Fern, Karnak, etc. His sketches with the Mighty Carson Art Players. It was great.
Then came along Dave Letterman at 12:30am. Ok ok, i’d stay just to watch his monologue. Ok ok maybe sometimes the first sketch too. Maybe I’d catch Stupid Pet Tricks, or his wearing the Alka Seltzer sit and being dunked into water. Or maybe an appearance of Larry “Bud” Melman.
Combine that with restless sleep… The next morning, most next mornings… sure I’d be tired. In fact my friend used to “waste” in the morning, because I was still half asleep on the bus. I just assumed all kids did those things every night.
Over the years, though college and into my adult life, my 20s and 30s, I still stayed up late. With the onset of the Internet, Daily Show, Letterman moving to 11:30pm, etc forget about it so many cool things were still happening.
I didn’t need 8 hours of sleep anyway. I was perfectly fine with 5 & 1/2 – 6 & 1/2.
At some point last year I actually went to bed by 930pm, wound myself down the right way with no tv or looking at glowing things after 830pm. Dimmed then lights and read and was able to sleep well through the night. The next morning, and the whole day, I felt like a Greek god, annointed by Zeus himself to battle the world single handedly.
Is hard to break old habits. Like really hard. But you know what… my health is more important. This week I slept poorly the every day and I’m like a zombie.
Lesson learned… again.