Accomplished on 2 hours of Sleep

Being a morning person, I’ve seen plenty of sunrises. Setting my alarm before 5 (barely) fazes me. I’m almost always up before my alarm and have (honestly) never used the snooze button.

However, Saturday was only the second time that I have stayed up for a sunrise. The only other time that I did this was during a sleepover with my basketball team in high school. We all vowed to stay up all night, and there were some serious prank threats for anyone who fell asleep. One ended up with a bra in the freezer. I’m still not sure why that was a threat taken so seriously.

Anyway, last night I didn’t fall asleep until 6:30AM. Since my “sleeping in” is 8, I got approximately 2 hours of sleep. This wouldn’t be a problem, if I weren’t such a horrible napper [Tips on how to turn into a great sleeper are always appreciated]. Studies say getting little sleep is supposed to have a negative, noticeable impact. Since napping wasn’t happening, I attempted to still accomplish anything I would do on a normal Sunday. Here is what I was able to accomplish sans sleep:

  • I went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel with my friends Zach and Eric, who were in town for the weekend. I was also able to eat my entire meal here, easily (including another muffin from Zach). I also got lost getting here, but, clearly, my lack of sleep did not lead to that.
  • I cleaned my closet (not that kind). It’d been too long. Let’s put it this way: I re-discovered pants that I hadn’t worn last winter because I thought that they were lost.
  • I walked the two dogs that I was dog sitting at least 5 times. They both realized that I was a pushover when it comes to walking (and feeding) within about two seconds of staying with me.
  • I ran a 5 mile tempo run. I was sure sleeping and speed work would mix, but somehow I felt surprisingly good!
  • I talked on the phone and texted [I’m aware this is not an accomplishment, but coherently using a cell phone without sleep is slightly impressive. Especially since it is impossible for me to talk and text at the same time.]
  • I watched the Bachelorette: Men Tell All. The only thing that is commendable about this is the fact that I stayed up until after 11 to watch another episode of “the most dramatic season ever.”
The fact that I was able to accomplish some things on little sleep made me wonder: How much sleep do I really need? I’m starting my first year of teaching and coaching in 3 short weeks (!). Most days, I’ll be waking up at around 5AM and coming back at about 5:30PM. In order to get 8 hours, I’ll have to go to bed by 9PM. I was unable to do this even when I was a toddler.
Is it OK to sacrifice sleep for being social, or should I listen to the sleep studies? 

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