I’ve considered myself a night owl for years, and one who has felt comfortable on 6-7 hours of sleep a night. I suppose at first it was just an excuse to stay up late drinking and playing video games in my 20’s, but even after I stopped playing games as much I still preferred the time in the late evening to stay up and get things done after the rest of the family had gone to bed. These days though, I’m beginning to find myself becoming an early riser. Part of it I attribute to my young children, the rest to a few lifestyle changes I’ve been making.
I’ve always had a bit of an arrangement with my wife, who requires much more sleep than I do. She has always gone to bed at a decent hour, I have 2-3 hours in the evening to do whatever I want to do, and then we’re both back up in the morning to start the day. It’s worked wonderfully for most of the 15 years we’ve been together. With kids, though, it’s proved to be a bit more difficult.
I always seem to revert to longer spells of sleep when I go on vacation. I guess part of it is attributable to being away from screens, or maybe just the sheer physical exhaustion of going out and doing stuff out of my rut. Being in a hotel room with the family makes it difficult though. Getting the kids down is always a process, one that sometimes takes hours longer than I think it should, and recently I’ve just started capitulating and have been going to bed at the same time they are. It’s easier to lay down and pass out while they’re still winding down than to become frustrated waiting for them to fall asleep so that I can get on with things. And it’s proved much easier to get up earlier in the morning, refreshed, and do some work while I have two solid hours before anyone else wakes up. It proves a bit of a reinforcing habit as well. I’m more likely to go to bed early after having risen early in the morning.