It’s Been so Long I Forgot What a Good Night’s Sleep Felt Like

A Natural Insomniac

I’m a natural insomniac; even in high school, I didn’t get particularly good nights’ sleep. When I was in grade 13 (yes, that was really a thing, back in the 80s) I remember I used to stay up until midnight, watching Ku Fu reruns.

Not the crappy sequel series, Kung Fu, The Legend Continues, mind, but the real one wherein David Carridine played a Chinese man (snigger) wandering around the old west, looking for his brother.

Now, I’m sure the show was absolutely terrible. So much of that 70s schlock doesn’t stand up today, but I enjoyed it back when. And that’s not really the point of this, anyway.

I’d watch the evening’s episode, which ended at like 11:30 or midnight every weeknight, whereupon I’d take a walk. Now, my bedroom was on the 3rd floor of my parents’ house, and they slept in the bedroom below me. Plus, the place was built before WW I, and all the stairs creaked like the house was haunted.

Which means, I had to go out the window, drop down off the eaves trough to the family room roof, drop down off the family room to the back stair railing and then on down to the ground. And I had to do it all silently, so as not to wake my parents or little sister. Then upon return, I’d have to (silently) reverse that.

My walks would usually take me 3 or 4 miles across town, and then back before I could finally get some sleep. So I got through high school on maybe 5 hours of sleep, per night. The 4 decades since haven’t been any better.

A Good Night’s Sleep

A few years ago my lovely bride got me a Fitbit. I really liked that thing, I used it to track my workouts and my heartrate, and my recoveries, and more to the point, my sleep.

Now, for reasons that I won’t go into here, but certainly will in the future, I no longer use my Fitbit. Instead I have an Apple watch, which has many of the same functions, including sleep tracking.

To help me get a good night’s sleep I use my Apple watch app to set bedtime reminders, an alarm, shut off my phone, and to track my sleep.

Also helping me get a good night’s sleep are my workouts with the boys. Now that the little ingrates have me lifting weights several times a week, and playing shinny on the pond on weekends, I’m burning through more calories than I have in almost 2 years.

Between the two, setting a regular schedule and more exercise, I’m getting better nights’ sleep than I have in years.

How good?

How good has my sleep been, of late? Just for giggles, and never actually thinking I’d hit it, I set my sleep goal for 8 hours. I’ve hit it 3 of the last 4 nights. And I hit it 3 nights last week, too.

This is quite unusual for me. Natural insomniac, remember? The quality of sleep isn’t what it was when I was younger, but at least I’m getting more of it, and it is still better than it has been over the last two years.