Oh how do I love having a reversed internal clock while also having to go to school and wake up at 5am every morning! I swear I’ve tried. Time and time again I’ve tried, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I just have a backwards internal clock. I’m the type of person who needs at least 9 hours of sleep to be a functional human being. This is probably because I’m still a teenager, but when I sleep and don’t have an alarm clock waking me mid dream, I’ll be out for about 9-12 hours. Should I be concerned? I don’t think so. I think that’s pretty normal for someone my age. I love to sleep. It’s a passion of mine if I can call it that. I’ve been known to do some pretty long sessions, without the help of any substances. My longest uninterrupted sleep, 17 hours. Naps are a natural thing for me. I function best when I can have a mid day nap.
My love for sleeping has been something I’ve been struggling with for quite some time now. During summer break, or any break from school longer than a week, I’ll revert into my natural sleeping pattern. When I don’t have a reason I have to be awake early in the morning or late at night I end up naturally staying up later and sleeping in longer. By the third week of summer break, if I haven’t had to be awake at a certain time, I’ll stay up until 3-6am and sleep until 12-3pm. It’s just what happens. I don’t stay up late to prove anything or do anything, it’s just when I naturally fall asleep. It’s also when I’m my most creative. I think I’m a pretty creative person and I do most my creating after dark. That doesn’t mean that I can’t play guitar or write something before 8pm, but that does mean that I get the most unique ideas at night. Most of my blog posts are written during the deep hours of the night when my mind is all over the place. I love it. There’s something inspiring about being awake at night that gives my brain it’s creative brain juice.
This is all fine except for the fact that the majority of the year I’m in school and have to wake up at around 5am. This means to get a good night’s sleep I need to be in bed by 8pm. As much as I would love to be in bed by 8, that’s just unrealistic. I know myself and it’s a good day if I’m asleep by 10. That’s not good for my brain or body. I’m not going to sit around and blame everything and everyone around me about me not getting enough sleep during the school year, but there have been studies done that show that most teenagers have a different internal clock then adults. Our brains aren’t fully formed, as my mom loves to remind me, which means things are a little wonky. Including when our brain releases the “sleepy chemicals”.
“Changes to this circadian rhythm occur during adolescence, when most teens experience a sleep phase delay. This shift in teens’ circadian rhythm causes them to naturally feel alert later at night, making it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11:00 pm” ~sleepfoundation.org
It’s not just me. It annoys me so much that my school starts at 7:30am. If I’m not biologically going to sleep until 11pm how am I supposed to get 9 hours of sleep and get to school in the morning. I know schools can’t run at night, people have jobs and after school activities to attend, so do I. Thus, the conflict. Forcing myself to fight against my body clock in order to be a somewhat functional member of society. It’s 10:35pm, I’m eating Cheerios, and before writing this post I was wired. Now, I’m getting sleepy…And coffee is becoming a good (but unhealthy) friend of mine.