Tag Archives: sleep

Way Past My Bedtime

I have written about my sleep issues before, but I haven’t fully explained I have always been a night owl.

This has never been a convenient trait, and it drove my parents crazy. They would put me to bed and we all knew this was a silly game we were playing, that I was not going to sleep.

Whatever I did, I couldn’t make much noise and I couldn’t use much light or they would notice and yell at me to go to sleep. I would usually read with a flashlight or strain to see the words by the light from the hallway. When I heard my parents coming upstairs for bed after local news and Carson’s monologue, I’d quickly close the book and pretend to be asleep.

Then at 12:30am, I would quietly switch on my tiny 5 inch black and white TV and tune in Late Night with David Letterman. All I had to eliminate the sound was a cheap plastic earphone, yes, earphone in the singular. As often as I could get away with, I would huddle up in my bed and watch Letterman, which I could only hear through one ear, and try to stifle my laughter. I was nine. I was so sleep deprived at school, it’s a miracle I passed fourth grade. Luckily for my academic career, we got a VCR when I was in fifth grade.

I loved Dave’s quirky and irreverent sense of humor. He did silly things. He made fun of his employers mercilessly. He didn’t pander to his famous guests. He would often run a joke into the ground, yet somehow it would continue to be funny in spite of, or perhaps because of, the repetition.

When I started high school, I guessed my homeroom teacher was a Letterman fan before we ever talked about it. The first day, he had us go around the room and introduce ourselves and say something we enjoyed doing. I can’t remember what I said, but so many of the other girls said they liked to ski it started to become almost creepy. He started joking about this and would not let it go. At one point, he broke in and called out for a show of hands: “OK, who skies?” Some of the others groaned, but I just laughed. He was funny, like Dave.

I still have some of my favorite episodes of Late Night on tape in my basement. There was the crazy suit series, like when Dave dressed up in a suit of magnets and attached himself to a giant (GE!) refrigerator, the episode where Dave got Sonny and Cher to sing “I Got You Babe,” and my personal favorite segment ever, when Dave tried to take a fruit basket to General Electric as a gesture of goodwill after they bought NBC and basically got told to talk to the hand.

This very blog owes its title to David Letterman. Dave would try to start new catch phrases (“I can’t stand the itching, but I don’t mind the swelling.”), and he introduced me to the word logy.  Logy refers to feeling sluggish and Dave would often say he felt a little logy. Perhaps because watching his show made me so sleep deprived, the concept of logyness resonated with me. It became one of my signature words.


This post is in response to a prompt from The Red Dress Club. This week, the prompt was “to think about a TV show from your past. What feelings does the show evoke? What memories does it trigger?”

Playlist Week 10: Never Let Me Slip, Cause If I Slip, Then I’m Slippin

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week.

I didn’t get through many songs this past week since I only worked three days. I took some vacation time for a visit with my Mom and to go to the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament (CBS and the NCAA want me to call these the “second and third” rounds now that there are more play-in games, but I hate change) at the Verizon Center. The two Butler games that we saw were very exciting. And I’m not going to mention how adorable Brad Stevens is because that gets on Dave’s nerves.

The title of the post this week comes from “Nuthin But A G Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. As a metro commuter, I don’t get a chance to drive much. But recently I had to drive to a friend’s house and got to rock out with Sirius on the way. I heard several great songs during that drive including “Nuthin’ But A G Thang.” I also heard Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” from the very beginning and was overly excited about it. That song came out during my sophomore year of high school and over 20 years later I still remembered most of the words, right down to “Yo Teddy, kick it like this.” Maybe I’ll download that song after the shuffle is over, you know, if I feel like it (I mean, I made this money, you didn’t, right Ted?). Hopefully I sounded a little better than this guy singing…

One of my favorite lines in “Nuthin But A G Thang” is the one from the post title, you know, about the slipping. When I googled the lyrics to make sure I had the line right, I found someone who called this line one of the worst in rap. I disagree, I think Dre has deeply and profoundly captured what happens to me when I allow myself to slip on something difficult. One slip, then I’m slipping, so I can’t let myself slip. This is deep, know what I’m saying? OK, I’m just very amused by this line.

So how is my sleep challenge to be in bed by 11pm going? It’s a good thing I don’t believe that doing this as a Lenten promise will get me closer to God because I’m failing (I guess I should say slippin). Almost two weeks in and I haven’t been in bed by 11 once. The first two nights I was in bed before midnight, which is a vast improvement over my usual bedtime, but lights out was basically my usual time because I messed around on my iPad for awhile. I had hoped that physically being in the bed would make it easier for me to give in to the exhaustion and go to sleep, but apparently not. The siren call of the brightly screened electronics is very seductive. Then I had to work late a lot to prepare for the vacation time and reverted right back to carving an evening for myself out of my sleep time, so I’m back to 1am again.

I hoped to get back on track during my vacation time, but with Mom visiting and late nights watching basketball, and the ability to sleep in since I didn’t have to work, I’ve been staying up just as late as before vacation and I’ve been getting out of bed later. I go back to work tomorrow and I’m going to try moving my alarm clock so that I can’t turn it off without getting out of bed.

Here is the weekly playlist summary:

* Songs listened to this week: 71

* Completed: 47%

* Number of double or triple shots: zippo

* Percentage of songs that came up during running that were so totally not helpful in motivating my running: 14%

The song “Starship Edelweiss” was very motivating to my running, except for when it made me start laughing.

Speaking of laughing while running, there was also Ween’s “Fat Lenny.” I almost used the line “Fat Lenny knows what it is to be Fat Lenny,? ’cause he’s Fat Lenny” as the post title this week.

* Song that disproves my assertion that I don’t like Peter Gabriel-era Genesis songs that I haven’t heard Phil Collins sing: “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight” At least I don’t have any memory of ever hearing Phil sing this.

* Number of songs that I’m so totally deleting:  at least 1 (LL Cool J “Cheesy Rat Blues,” I did NOT have to rip all of Mama Said Knock You Out)

* Random memory:  The Judybats “All Day Afternoon”

I don’t exactly remember when I first tried running, but I know I ran off and on in college. The Judybats’ Pain Makes You Beautiful CD fueled many a happy run and walk along the river from campus to Genesee Valley Park.  Occasionally there would be a sunny pleasant day and listening to this while being outside would make me happy. The weather on Friday this week was so lovely and running that morning reminded me of those sunny days in fall and spring during college.

I Gets No Sleep*

Getting more sleep was my key goal for 2011. Here’s an update…not so much.

If anything, my sleep deprivation might be worse so far in 2011 because there’s just so much that I want to do. Like I said in my year-end post, I resent the small amount of free time I have so I just steal hours from my sleep. Recently, what’s been worse than the stubborn drive of mine to stay up is the sheer inertia of my exhaustion. I’m not even actively choosing to still be awake anymore, I am just too tired to move from the couch downstairs to the bed upstairs. Listen to how messed up that is–too tired to go to bed.

Part of the problem is the winter running group I joined to help keep me motivated to train for a 10 mile race in April. I did this last year too and I forgot about how much it messed with my sleep schedule. Every Saturday since mid-January, I’ve had to get up earlier than I want to–about as early as I get up for work. Getting up early six days in a row means that I sleep like the dead on Saturday night. Like snooze 4 or 5 times without being aware of it deep.  I get up really late on Sundays and then have trouble getting to sleep on Sunday night and thus start off each week already sleep deprived. You would think after 9 weeks of this (and 16 weeks last year) I would have figured out a way to get a handle on this, but apparently not.

I’m pulling out the big guns on this sleep issue…LENT. While I’m sure the Pope would excommunicate me if he was even aware I existed (I am Satan, you know!), there are certain things that stay with a person after 14 years of Catholic school. One of those things for me is the Lenten promise. I’ve long since passed the time that the fear of God made me do this, but for some reason I have better willpower to do difficult things during Lent.

So a few years ago I decided to take advantage of this situational willpower of mine. Since then I have given up fried foods, TV (!), and dessert (twice!) for Lent, all successfully. Two years ago, I tried sleep for my Lenten promise and not once did I go to bed by the appointed hour of 11pm (or even by midnight). My sleep problem is a pesky little bitch.

But I’ve had enough. I’m so tired lately that my executive functioning is noticeably off. I’m exhausted yet wired all at the same time. I give my best hours to work, so that means it’s really my personal life that is suffering the most and that’s not acceptable.

Given the recent difficulty I have had physically getting myself to the bed from the couch where I’m entrenched with my entertainment, my Lenten plan this year is simple. Each day during Lent my goal is to be in bed at 11pm. I’m not saying lights out, I’m saying physically in the bed. So as long as I am in bed, I can read, screw around on the iPad, or do anything else that can be done in bed (!) after 11pm. If I start getting groggy like I have been, rather than having to forklift my ass off of the couch and go all the way upstairs, I can just close my eyes and drift off to dreamland.

NOTE: I’m finishing this post around 11:10pm, so already you can see how fantastically this is going. Love the irony of breaking my Lenten promise on day one because I was writing a blog post about my Lenten promise. Oy vey!

*title comes from ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, which ironically came up on my iPod shuffle last night during my run