Last week I ate lunch in our conference room with Martha Hunn, our Director of News and Public Affairs. While chatting she brought up a challenge that she faced in her life that I battle with on a much smaller scale. Before accepting her position at Coastal Carolina, Martha worked at WBTW, a local news station here in Myrtle Beach. Throughout her time as a very popular news personality she spent a portion of her tenure anchoring the morning show. While she loved doing that newscast she had a constant worry in the back of her head.
Martha’s fear was oversleeping. As anyone remotely familiar with morning shows can attest to, the hours are obscure to say the least. Rising at 2:30 a.m. to get dressed, commute, and then prepare for a 5 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. show is not easy. Doing it on a consistent basis makes the possibility of oversleeping greater. Martha explained to me that despite going to bed early, she never really got a good night’s rest during those morning show years. The paranoia of somehow oversleeping and leaving the station without its morning anchor terrified her. Because of this her sleep was choppy and she would awake several times during the night.
I too struggle with not letting the thought of a possible alarm clock malfunction or a deep sleep mess with me. I definitely have a fear of oversleeping. I get up at 5 a.m. each morning to go to the gym. For me missing a session at the rec pretty much seals the deal that the day will be a complete disaster so I put a lot of stock in making my workout. But as 5 a.m. does come early and I have to really push myself to get to bed before midnight I do worry about oversleeping. It is on my mind constantly.
I pretty much have just accepted the same symptoms Martha dealt with. When I lay my head down on the pillow I am prepping myself to jump out of bed in five hours. Once I finally fall asleep I am back up again an hour later, then another hour later, then another hour later, etc. I check my clock to make sure it is not 5 a.m. yet and then check my phone just to confirm. I set my alarm for 4:50 a.m. to give me a ten minute window to fully wake up before jumping out of bed before the clock can read 5:01 a.m. I like to think I am Cal Ripken Jr. with a long streak of not missing an early morning session. With that type of pressure it makes me extra obsessive over not oversleeping.
Flights, early morning weekend activities, and 7:30 a.m. Sunday mass also strike fear in me about possibly sleeping too long and screwing everything up. Because of my nerves when it comes to oversleeping I go through the same routine of going to bed with a paranoid conscience and waking up throughout the night.
Here is my question: Is there a name for this? I am sure a lot of people besides Martha and myself have dealt with it. Although I would like to relax myself a little more I don’t necessarily think it is a 100% terrible trait. It just means that we are committed and serious about making our obligations. I am a perfectionist and I can’t have any wrinkles at all in my day, especially not right off the bat.
So it is almost 12:30 a.m. here in Myrtle Beach and as you all know I got a 5 a.m. (well, actually 4:50 a.m.) wakeup call coming my way. Time to hit the hay and get some rest before another great day tomorrow. Don’t Blink.