Sleep & Productivity

There are some nights when you stay up way too late because you're just too excited about the project that you're working on. Other nights you stay up way too late because you suddenly feel like you need to watch "Nine Months" because you vaguely remember seeing it as a child and want to see what it's really all about. I've had both of these kinds of late nights this week.

I've always been a night owl. For my entire existence I have preferred being awake at night, or just awake at all times. My mother has told that I never slept. I learned how to work the VCR as a toddler and would sneak into the living room and watch The Wizard of Oz at all hours of the night.

My creative flow has always hit me at night. There is something about late-night progress on my work that excites me. Not only have I always loved staying up late, but I also grew up in a very busy household. Having time alone and time to concentrate on creative projects could almost only happen at night. Around age twelve I started loving to stay up late to embroider, draw, and write. But while I get my most satisfying rushes of creative productivity at night, it kills my motivation the next day. The thing I hate more than going to sleep is waking up because as it turns out, sleep is pretty important.

Monday night I had a conversation with my husband, who is an early-to-bed early-to-rise type of a guy, about my sleeping dilemma. I could stay up late and work on my collage or I could go to sleep and not feel terrible the next day.

I said, "Sleep is stupid."

He replied, "You think that having to sleep is stupid, and waking up is even stupider." No truer words have ever been said regarding my feelings about sleep. He assured me that going to sleep early that night would be the right thing to do, especially since I had had two late nights before that.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour that night and woke up feeling great. Last night I succumbed to my artistic flow and suddenly noticed it was 3:00 am. I woke up this morning feeling... less than refreshed.

I'm enjoying an extra large cup of coffee, but after the progress I made on my piece last night I don't regret staying up at all. That rush that you get when you're working on a piece that you're excited about is something that I could never pass up!



PS- If you're wondering what I thought about "Nine Months" I can tell you that it was definitely the movie I remembered seeing as a kid. Julianne Moore turns into a praying mantis a couple of times, Robin Williams plays a Russian doctor, and there's a scene where two women are giving birth at once and their husbands get into a fist fight. It was an exactly okay 90s film chock-full of gender and pregnancy stereotypes. I give it a C+