Our doctor likes to tell us a story about when her daughter was very young – close to Zoey’s age. The little girl had just recently learned what “nocturnal” meant. After several exhausting nights of her daughter refusing to go to sleep and then waking repeatedly, our doctor asked in desperation, “Why won’t you go to sleep?” The little girl cheerfully replied, “‘Cause I’m a nocturtle mommy!”
I too am a nocturtle. That is to say, I’m nocturnal. Always have been. If I had my way, I’d sleep from about 2am until 10am or noon. I loved the time I spent working nightshift as a nurse. I slept so well during those days and really enjoyed my nights to myself. The only downside was that the rest of the world didn’t function on those hours, so if I needed to go to a store or doctor appointment, or just spend time with another human being, I had to “flip” my schedule.
It’s not really surprising that I’m such a night owl. My mom has worked the nursing nightshift for over thirty years now. My dad also always preferred to burn the midnight oil, staying up late watching rock ‘n roll documentaries, listening to records and tuning his guitar.
It also comes as no surprise, then, that now that I am sleeping like a “normal” person – i.e. during the night – I tend to suffer frequent bouts of insomnia. I will be completely exhausted but unable to fall asleep. So I toss and turn until sometime in the early morning when sleep finally overtakes me. Then, far to soon, Eleanor is awake and it’s time to start the day. It has been more than two years now and my body still hasn’t adjusted to be a “dayshifter.” I guess you just can’t fight nature.
How about you? Are you a night owl? An early bird?