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This has to change - The Lyorn's Den

Mon Sep. 13th, 2010

02:53 pm - This has to change

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In a perfect world, I would not have to work, and would get all the sleep I need, however strange my natural sleep cycle.

In a less-than-perfect-but-kind-of-ok world, I would go to sleep at 2 am and get up at 9.

In the real world, I go to bed at 2 am, then the cats start running through the house, calming down around 3, when I finally fall asleep. Then at 5 am, the cats start a ruckus, because they want to be fed. Around fifteen minutes later, I realize that the noise which is keeping me awake is the cats. I try to shut them down for half an hour which means yelling at them and throwing things every two minutes and catching naps in between. Then I get up, feed the cats, open the balcony door to air the living room, close and lock the living room door so the cats can't get on the balcony, and fall asleep again at 6 am. At half past, the cats are making a ruckus because they want into the living room. I try to ignore them for half an hour and finally cave in, open the living room door and close the balcony door at 7. At 9, my alarm rings. There is a "five more minutes" button. I operate this button six times before I realise that this noise is my alarm clock, and that it means I should get up. I operate the button three more times until I realize that there is no way in hell I could get up. I set the alarm clock to 10. I sleep for 15 minutes quite soundly, then the alarm clock rings again. I operate the button three more times until the thought penetrates my head that, not matter how brain-dead tired I am, I have to go to work now. So I get up at 10:15, and am at work at 11, which is straining everyone's tolerance, and I am too tired to work well.

Instead of the eight-something hours theoretically available from 2 am to 10:15 am, I get
- one hour of trying to fall asleep
- two hours of sleep
- one hour of two-minute naps
- 30 minutes of sleep
- 30 minutes of two-minute naps
- two hours of sleep
- 60 minutes of five-minute naps
- 15 minutes of sleep.

When I'm away from home, I sleep 10 to 14 hours just trying to catch up.

I can cope with pretty weird sleep times, because my natural sleep cycle is incompatible with a working life, and I have had cats for 14 years now, so I have 14 years practise in dealing with interrupted sleep, but the current situation is too much, even for me.

I am wary of sleeping with earplugs -- I like to have the windows tilted at night (I cannot open them fully because of the cats) to get some fresh air in. If any cat should be in trouble, I know that I will be instantly awake, because I am (surprise, surprise) highly attuned to unhappy-cat-noises. But this cannot go on. So the plan is to close the windows and use earplugs, and then get up at 8, open all the windows, lock the cats in the kitchen for an hour with the window closed until 9, and get some more sleep. That would mean 6 hours of sleep, and then about 45 minutes more.

The only problems are:
- will I hear my alarm clock with the earplugs in?
- and how much destruction will ensue if I lock the cats in the kitchen for an hour?

Anyway, I think I'll just have to try. Because going on as-is = not a good idea.

ETA: Worked! 5 1/2 hours sleep this night, interrupted only once to put in the earplugs. Fed the cats at 8, aired the place for 15 minutes, let them out and slept some more with the cats at the foot of the bed. Got up at half past nine. Could be better, but, good start.

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