Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You are getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy .......

With four kids, work and, other commitments, my wife and I find keeping a schedule difficult. One area that we've struggled with this summer is getting to bed. No, not that "getting to bed." I mean sleep.

The cause has been a mix of youth sports, aggressive yard work (mulch and brick pavers - more on that topic in an upcoming post), and general busyness. Another factor is Indiana's decision to get in step with the rest of the U.S. and follow Daylight Saving Time. We now spring forward and fall back. Before we stubbornly kept our clocks the same and let the rest of the civilized world figure out what time it is here.

As a result, there's still a fair amount of daylight now at 9:30 p.m. - which makes it tough to stick to the school year bedtime of 8:30 p.m. The kids are in bed at 10 p.m. at the earliest, which means my wife and I - after tending to straightening up the house and other mundane tasks - have little interest or energy in anything else besides getting to bed. As in sleep.

In between yawns and spoonfuls of cereal an the morning ritual of watching "Arthur" on PBS, my wife found an article discussing the healthy benefits of sleeping. The passage I found interesting - although not surprising in retrospect - is that Americans slept an average of 10 hours per night in 1880, the year Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Today, we get 6.9 hours a night on weekdays and a whopping 7.5 hours a night on weekends.

My inner clock already tells me I need more sleep, but I need get it in sync with the outer clock that is Eastern Daylight Time and get to sleep at a decent hour - which may result in "getting to bed" more often. But I digress.

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