Sleep schedules, naps, & migraine - what works for you?

In the last few months of opening and running this adorable little bookshop of mine, many people have joked with me about my schedule. “Are you getting any sleep?” they say, or sometimes the more declarative, “I know you’re not sleeping!”

Let me tell you something right here and now. I never, ever sacrifice my precious sleep. In fact, I aim for the extremely un-American goal of 8.5-9 hours of sleep each night. I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time, a habit that would’ve served me well my first three decades on earth. (In fact, I most often wish I could somehow tell my high school self that a regular sleep schedule would’ve helped my health and stress levels immensely. I’d often sleep from 4PM-6PM, then wake up, drink coffee, and stay up studying til late. But that’s neither here nor there.)

Until opening the bookshop and meeting numerous customers who wondered how I was doing as a new entrepreneur, people outside my family didn’t really ask me how well I was sleeping. It’s not a subject that comes up all that often until you’re in a place where people assume you’re NOT keeping up healthy habits.

Being on a regular sleep schedule has also helped me cut naps out of my life. Now don’t get me wrong: I LOVE napping. Naps are delicious and comforting and wonderful, but they aren’t that helpful for me because I always sleep too long and wake up groggy. I know that quick, restorative naps are the healthy way to go—when I actually take those kinds, I feel awake and eager to work afterward. But I have no willpower while asleep, and the naps always turn into 2-hour rest fests.

Have any of you phased out naps? Do you keep a regular sleep schedule? Do you notice a change in your migraine patterns when you got on a schedule, added naps, or cut naps? How many hours of sleep are optimal for you?

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