8 hours?

Posted: September 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I hope you all are having fabulous days so far! Be sure to check out this morning’s 30 Days of Self Love post. Just because it goes up in the morning and other posts appear later does not mean its closed from comments.;) And your thoughts on today’s topic (eating naturally) really intrigue me!


In the past few weeks I have focused on getting more sleep. My sleep patterns have changed so much over time. In college, getting by with only 4-5 hours a night posed no problem. Then, during my first years of teaching, 8-9 hours didn’t feel like enough! Now, anything in the 7 hour range feels just right. It’s like I’m Goldilocks or something. PS – You’re welcome for finding you your Halloween costume this year. PPS – Don’t forget that sarcasm font I talked about.

Knowing that I function best with around 7 hours of sleep does not necessarily mean I get that much sleep. Pregnancy aches and babies sitting on bladders wake me at least two times every night. For awhile, it would take me quite a bit of time to fall back asleep, if at all, and I would finish the night with only 4 hours of quality rest. I also felt the need to push my wake-up time earlier in order to remotely finish my long to-do lists every day. My body ran close to empty. I do not recommend!

I still don’t sleep as much as I would like because of pregnancy, but I’ve gotten better about getting enough sleep so I don’t feel like each day drags by and my thoughts revolve around naps. I’ll share mine and then I hope you share yours! I can still use some help. 😉

Don’t think!! My thoughts would keep me up after my midnight pillow, tummy, sleep position adjustments. If I started going through the next day’s to-do list, things that concerned me, the future, dinners for the following week, etc, I had no hope of getting back to sleep easily. Now, I lay down and keep my mind as empty as possible. Or I will even just think “I am at peace, I sleep. God helps me rest” over and over again. Oddly enough, it works.

Find an activity that doesn’t wake you up before bed. I like winding down by curling up on the couch with the husband, some sort of television, and our chats. I have learned the hard way that being on the computer right before bed keeps me up! Be mindful of what activities help you fall into bed and get to sleep quickly. If my mind is running a mile a minute, reading for a few minutes tends to help me as well. I also have a small treat every night after dinner (a bit of chocolate, some of my pumpkins, a small serving of icecream). It helps me wind down and puts me in a happy place. I’m honest!

Hit the hay when you’re tired. Numerous times I stayed up because it wasn’t “bed time” yet. I was ready for bed but went by the clock instead of my body. By the time I got to bed, my body felt frustratingly tired where its hard to just drift off. Tell me you know what I’m talking about!

Find ways to manage your daytime better. If I know I can organize my day well to complete necessary tasks, I don’t feel as much stress. I don’t lay in bed thinking about things I didn’t finish or fretting over what needs to happen the following day. Plus, I can fit in a bit more sleep because I don’t force myself out of bed earlier and earlier to get things done. Remember my lists from last night?


These tips may not help when I wake up for another potty break and realize its just 30 minutes before my alarm (GRRRRRR!!!!!), but they have helped me feel more rested overall. At least for the next four months….then all bets are off when a new baby comes into the mix!

  • How many hours of sleep do you need to function best?
  • What are your sleep better tips?

43 Comments to “8 hours?”
  1. I sleep at least 8 hours a night, sometimes even more and I still have to drag myself out of bed in the morning. However, I like you, am up about 2 times a night for potty breaks.

    Whenever I can’t sleep I do the breathing we do in yoga, I forget what it’s called, but it usually does the trick!

    Reading at night also makes me sleepy.

  2. Ugh – the thinking thing gets me. I have to zone out of thinking mode. My other sleeping issue is our cat! Just recently I’ve started trying to shut him out. He wakes us up started at 4:30 – 6:30 a.m.! Little annoying rascal.

  3. Right now I’m in a 7ish hours per night groove. When I was in college I actually struggled with insomnia because I couldn’t get my mind to slow down! I’ve learned some good breathing techniques to help get me to slow down a bit and put my mind at ease. I also sleep with a notebook next to my bed so I can quick jot down a few notes.

    • Tina says:

      The notebook is a good idea. So if you wake up with a thought you can jot it down and not worry about forgetting it. Kind of an active way of letting the thought go, I guess?

  4. I remember the days of being able to go out and party all night, then still get up at 7am. Now that sounds more like torture than an actual good time. Im best off of 8 hours of sleep, I can function at 7, and thats usually all I get. Sleep is SUPER important to me, so I make sure I get to bed at a reasonable time, and I always make myself good and tired first. I usually turn off the lights, and watch tv in the dark for a half hour before I go to bed. Never fails! 🙂

  5. Hallie says:

    Ugh. The sleep thing. I think it’s going to be in the 6 range while I’m in grad school, but 8 is way better for me. I was telling Mitch yestreday that I always struggle with if it’s healthier to sleep in or wake up early to exercise, if that’s the only time I can. I know the experts would say sleep, but my workouts are so important to my (mentally as much as physically) that for now, if I have to lose an hour of sleep to get ‘er done, OK.

    • Tina says:

      I know I would choose workouts over sleep too. BUT if there was a morning I really had issue dragging myself out of bed, I wouldn’t force it. Sometimes we just NEED that rest.

  6. Steph says:

    Haha – I can’t decide what I’m worse at doing – getting enough rest, or getting enough sleep. Seriously there are not enough hours in the day…(I asked my boyfriend what he wants for his 30th birthday in Nov and his response was simply “time” lol).

    My trouble is I stay up late to hang out with the boyfriend and dog, but still get up early to get in my early morning workouts. I usually only need 7 hours on sleep at night, but on average I get anywhere from 5-6 hours. I live my life 100 miles an hour, and when I crash, I really crash, so I make sure to squeeze in naps or sit down and watch a show on the dvr.

    Despite the fact I don’t sleep as much as I probably should, I still try to keep a regular schedule 10pm-11pm til 4:30-6:30 am – this helps my body know when its time to hit the hay. I also try to avoid the computer and make sure the TV is off (otherwise I’ll try to stay awake and watch) before bed.

    • Tina says:

      Good thinking on the regular schedule! I know that helps me a lot too. I completely forgot about that.

      And oh how I can relate to the go go go then crash experience.

  7. i’m lucky enough that i can just crash, but i try not to consume caffeine after 5pm just in case! i think i read somewhere that it’s best to have your room as dark as you can too…like turn the alarm clock away from you and everything! works for me 🙂

  8. Lauren says:

    I too need 7-8 hours, otherwise I’m a zombie the next day.

    As far as getting good sleep, I need a completely dark room that’s slightly cooler. I always get hot under the covers and find myself kicking them off in the middle of the night, so if my room is cool I find that I sleep better. I also try to shower before bed – it relaxes me. A nice cup of herbal tea helps me relax, too, as does staying off the computer (easier said than done, though)!

    • Tina says:

      Great ideas! Although I can’t do the shower thing. Whenever M hears that water running (the shower backs up to her room) she gets all excited and thinks its her bath time. I actually have to shower with her most days. LOL

  9. Susan says:

    I function best on 7-8 hours, although I can do 6 if need be. I used to be really strict about getting in a certain number of hours every night. But ever since moving to Toronto I’ve been focusing more on QUALITY over quantity. I’ve started using an eye mask and running a fan for background noise. My bedroom has become a computer and TV free zone so I’m not wired when I shut the lights off. Also, I’m more active now and kinda zonked by the end of the day 😉 All of this has let to a much deeper sleep. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore, and I wake up feeling refreshed and energized as opposed to run over by a mack truck. Oh, and I’m with you on the nighttime dessert. A must!!

    • Tina says:

      I remember you talking about the eye mask. I forgot about it! I really meant to get one bec I think that dark would help a lot. And yes. Dessert is a must. 😀

  10. Erin says:

    Getting enough sleep is a tough one for me. I desperately need it, but I feel like I have so much to do during the day that I just CAN”T get to sleep. Great tips!

  11. “Pregnancy aches and babies sitting on bladders wake me at least two times every night. For awhile, it would take me quite a bit of time to fall back asleep, if at all, and I would finish the night with only 4 hours of quality rest”—

    That 100% describes pregnancy for most women I’d say!

    I used to be an 8-9 hr girl, i thought ppl who functioned on 7 were “crazy”. now, I get about 5.5 to 6.5. I hate it but it’s just the way life is, for Id say the next 5 to 10 years. I’ll sleep when Im a senior citizen or dead 🙂

  12. I have never had issues sleeping – other than pregnancy and newborns. Errr, and almost 2 year olds. I’ve always been able to squeak by w/ 5 or 6. Lately, I’ve been struggling w/ sleep and it’s stressing me out so much!! I cried to The Lover last night b/c I need some freaking sleep! I can’t really blame it on Baby Boy b/c he only nurses 1 or 2 and stays in his bed.

    Lately I find it’s ME getting up to check on the boys constantly and check the doors and windows. Though I had just checked them 15 – 30 minutes before. ARGH. I need sleep!!!

    Sorry for the story. Your post could not have come at a better time. I need tips.

  13. janetha g. says:

    i guess, to function, i need 7. i can get by on 6 but don’t like to. but on the weekends.. this may sound bad.. but i can easily sleep 12 hours! yes. 12. i can go to bed at midnight and sleep until noon. i love my sleep! this was a great post and i loved the photos you added in, especially of that little one dozing on the shelf! haha!

  14. I like to get around 7 hours if I can. Sadly, I’ve been closer to 6.5 as of late. Something I need to work on!

    Now here’s something funny and not sarcastic at all… That goldilocks costume? I wanted it my freshman year of college. They were sold out. So I got it in blue and was “Mary had a little lamb” instead. True story… hahaha

    • Tina says:

      Hahaha! I thought someone out there may have worn something like that before. And college…that’s the perfect time for them. I was Tinkerbell one year (because my friends’ nickname for me was Tinabell). I had the shortest little fairy outfit. It was pretty hot actually.

      And last year, M was a lamb for Halloween and P really wanted me to do a Little Bo Peep costume like that for laughs. I told him that would be WAY too inappropriate. LOL

  15. homecookedem says:

    I function best on 9 hours of sleep. But during the school year I just have to get used to being chronically sleep deprived b/c I don’t get to bed until around 9:45-10 and have to wake up around 5:45-6. So that’s 8 hours, but still not enough for me to feel my best. And it’s only gonna get MUCH worse with my baby on the way!!!!! 😉 But the lack of sleep will of course be worth it! 😉

  16. Hi Tina!

    I feel like I’m in a vicious cycle with sleep. I often take naps on my break at work because I’m so tired from not sleeping the night before. But I think i can’t sleep because i took a nap!

    It’s so hard to break that cycle but i need a good 7-8 hours of QUALITY sleep to feel energized.

  17. My mom used to joke that I was the kid who needed no sleep. Now I sleep 8-9 hours (though I do get up frequently so it’s not straight through by any means). Although, sometimes I think I get too much sleep and feel more sluggish first thing. I do read before bed to decompress, but I have a very hard time shutting down my brain. It’s like the Energizer Bunny I swear. My hubby jokes that I’m always “thinking, thinking, thinking.”

  18. I neeeeed my sleep. 9 hours is my magic number, but I know that’s not always possible (or nearly ever!). I absolutely NEED 7 hours or I literally can’t think straight. I can go through the motions but I can’t think critically AT ALL. Feel like a zombie!

    Glad you are changing your ways and getting more sleep 🙂 It’s good for ya!


  19. I would love to get more than 7 hours of sleep each night but honestly I’m only getting about 5 hours. My kids wake me up each morning and I run my own business so I’m up late at night. Once my brain finally shuts off I end up with about 5 hours a night. Thankfully, my husband will let me sleep in on the weekends as late as I need – usually ends up to be about 7 hours. That really helps me to catch up on my lack and sustains me.

  20. Ahhh sleep…my “Eat Pray Love” motto is more like “Sleep Pray Love”. Because of school and studying, I am lacking sleep these days and I am back to drinking caffeine when getting up in the morning. It’s a temporary schedule but I still wish there are more hours in the day so I can sleep.

    I basically run on 5.5-6 hours sleep on weeknights and I play catch up on the weekends. I feel that my body needs 7- 8 hours of sleep to function well.

  21. Btw, the picture of the kid sleeping…I have a picture of my sister doing that when she was little. I told her to clean her toys and I was wondering why it was so quiet around the house…she fell asleep inside inside a little cabinet where her toys are stored.

  22. Kirsten says:

    I usually prefer 8 hours a night with the same bed and wake up times regardless of the day (even Saturdays). Now that I am a week from my due date I seem to be fine on five or six hours (not by choice mind you) with a short nap during the day. Must be my body getting ready for sleep deprivation 😉

    • Tina says:

      Yea…getting ready for the lack of sleep. Although you think it would make more sense for our bodies to stockpile rest before babies come. LOL

  23. oh yes, sleep is so important! for a few weeks i was sacrificing it for work, thinking i was “being productive”, yet it would just messed me up for the next day. (boo!)

    thanks for the tips! i can’t work on the computer right before bed eitther, but my husband believes it’s because it messes with your circadian rhythm. don’t know if it’s true but it sounds like it could be :p

    • Tina says:

      That makes a lot of sense! Actually, I just realized the time. I need to get off and have my 30 minutes to wind down nicely before bed. 🙂

  24. Caitlin says:

    I still haven’t found my magic number in terms of sleep hours. It’s odd – when I have to get up for work, I fight it and I am exhausted, but then on days off sometimes I’m up just as early! Sleep is vital and if I mess with one part of my day like exercising, it totally throws it all off.

  25. I have been getting HORRIBLE sleep lately and its because I am on no routine. I plan on starting to make more to do lists and getting into a nice routine for my day and sleep and hopefully that will help.

    Great post…such an important topic.

  26. andi says:

    hi lovely! I’m probably a bad one to ask about sleep, since if I get four hours in a day I’m doing well, but my bigges advice includes:
    room darkening shades (probably not necessary unless you wake easily to light), an eye mask, slow breathing, counting backwards from 100 (which forces me to clear my head), and an app on my Droid that plays relaxing music. these help me occasionally – good luck!

    oh, I have been doing 30DSLR on my own and not contributing to your posts because of my time constraints. I hope to do a 30 day recap though! I’ll keep you posted. xoxox

    • Tina says:

      I know you’re still around so no worries. 🙂 And I’m likely going to do a special roundup of those who share their overall thoughts of the 30 Days experience after this month ends. I would love to hear your overall thoughts. 🙂

  27. Heather says:

    I need at least 6 to not be a bear in the morning, but 7 is the most ideal for me. 8 is almost too much oddly enough – I’m really groggy if I get 8 or more and then have to go to work.

    If I’m really wound up I’ll journal for a bit before going to sleep, that usually helps.

    And I’ve fallen into the very bad habit of needing the TV on to fall asleep.

  28. I need ten hours of sleep to function well. Unfortunately, I wake up at least four times every night, so I do not get the rest that I require.

    I have so much trouble falling asleep if I am alone in a dark room. Or alone at all. I actually have to put “Friends” (or some other show) on my computer while I am falling asleep. I know this probably contributes to my poor sleep, but I cannot turn my brain off if I am not constantly distracted. I might try some of your tips!

  29. Leah says:

    I like 6.5 to 7 hours of GOOD sleep a night. Unfortunately my daughter who recently started Kindergarten (her first full day was Wednesday) didn’t sleep well last night, so neither did I. Really feeling it today – so glad I didn’t have time for my run today.

  30. I love sleeping! during the week I can function with 6-7hrs but I usually take the lack of sleep back during weekends when I usually sleep 10-12 hrs. Lovely 🙂

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