Friday, January 07, 2011

Please! No more texts between 9pm and 9am.
(No calls, either!)

Most days, I'm in bed by 10pm.

I'm up by 4:30am.

Most people who have my phone number know this.

Yet the other night a dear friend decided to send me a chatty text after 11pm.

It immediately woke me up. I immediately sent a reply:

"Plz no txts after 9pm!!! I get up at 4:30am!!!"

The next day the friend sent a text wanting to know why I didn't want her to text late at night: Because she wouldn't get a quick reply? Or because the phone alerts me to every text and wakes me up?

It's the latter - as I stated in my text.


Like many people, I use the cell phone as a backup alarm.

It sits on the nightstand, next to the bed.

I keep the volume on "high," because I must wear earplugs to sleep. (If I didn't wear earplugs, I'd be up all night with the upstairs neighbors - insomniacs who are awake and pacing on the very creaky wood floors and banging stuff around directly over my head every 90 minutes all night every night without fail).

So please! No texts between 9pm and 9am.

* * *

A couple of weeks ago I was enjoying a blissful late-morning slumber on the only day I get to sleep in. I was thrilled to finally catch up on much-needed sleep.

That is, until I heard the phone chime at 7:15am - when a friend who had been learning ashtanga from me texted me to let me know he'd just done a self-practice (he'd been scolded earlier in the week for not practicing between lessons).

I wrote back and asked him to stop sending early-morning text messages.

A week later, I had another opportunity to sleep in. The mind and body were in a state of deep, dreamless sleep.

That is, until I heard the phone chime, letting me know I had a new text message.

It was the same fellow, letting me know he'd practiced again. At 7am

Again, he'd awakened me on the only day I could sleep in.

Again, he'd sent me information I did not request.

I asked him what part of "Plz no txts b4 9am!!!" he didn't understand.

"But you've written e-mails to me at 5am - I checked."

Um, yes, - on a day when I teach yoga at 6am. NOT on a day off.

And I asked you, nicely, not to text early in the morning!

The mind was so incensed, the fingers could not reply.

And there have been no lessons since.

* * *

Lest you think this is just me, my friend J - who keeps similar hours and also uses his phone as a backup alarm - has had the exact same thing happen to him, again and again.

Only his friends are a lot younger.

They text him from bars, at 3am.

They send him funny pictures.

And they're certainly not texting him about yoga.

* * *

I propose we return to the rules that applied during the days of the rotary-dial landline telephones.

In those days, there were two phones in the house. One was affixed to the kitchen wall and the other was on your mother's nightstand - and you couldn't turn down the ringer on either one.

In those days, people simply didn't call between 9pm and 9am, because they knew it would disturb the peace.

They knew it was impolite and uncouth to call too early or too late.

And when someone did call between 9pm and 9am, it meant there was a real emergency.

Not that someone had finally done their ashtanga practice.

So please! No more texts (or calls) between 9pm and 9am.


  1. Anonymous6:21 PM

    I HEAR you! I go to bed between 8 & 9 pm because I get up at 3:20 every day except the day I teach at 5:45, and then I sleep in til 4:20. Fortunately I don't have to use my cell phone for a back-up alarm so I turn it off. And the ringer on the landline. And I'd turn off the doorbell if I could, just to be completely safe. ;-)

  2. why don't you turn it off & buy a second alarm clock for your backup? and why are your students calling you to announce to you they have done their scolded practice? why do they even have your private phone number? that's kind of weird. none of my students ever call me. unless, like molly (who really is now your student) who is my friend. i would never give my personal number out to all my students. i would change my phone number but whatever.

  3. 1. I'm trying not to own too many "things," and the phone is plugged in next to the bed anyway (and it's my right to use it as an alarm)

    2. The gentleman in question is a friend who has done many favors for me, and to whom I was teaching yoga as a favor.

    3. Why so angry?

  4. I also use my phone as an alarm and feel the same way about phone calls/texts at night after 9pm when I pass out from exhaustion. Our overseas line also rings in the middle of the night, (usually a Mass. public utility service call).

    What to do?

    I have spent a lot of my life being angry about being disturbed from sleep. So I am the last person to give advice. If you figure it out please contact me asap.

    I am sending love/ and sleep wishes.

  5. Anonymous7:27 AM

    If you have a newer phone you can set it to airplane mode. You will get no calls or txts but the alarm will work. When you switch it back you'll get what u missed. U won't be able to surf the web @ 3 am but u were sleeping anyways.

  6. That is correct, airplane mode.

    And I'll buy you a real nice travel alarm.

    And I say to you, why so angry?

    "and the phone is plugged in next to the bed anyway
    (and it's my right to use it as an alarm)"


  7. Boo Boo Bear12:36 PM

    I don't have a phone plan that includes texts so in addition to waking me up, I'm being charged 20 cents a pop! That's not a big deal except some of the texts I get are a) very lame b) messages that should be emails that get converted into 3 text messages.

    As an aside, I try not to keep the cell phone too near my head when sleeping. I know they're supposedly safe, but... I try to keep mine on something but below the level of the bed.

    Good luck!

  8. I use my phone as an alarm too, but I don't have that problem. Everyone seems to know that I'm constantly sleeping. I need more sleep than just about anyone I know.

  9. Blogger C.K. said...

    I don't think it has airplane mode. But I *will* move it away from my head.

    I find that so far the cell phone alarm is far more reliable than, say, a $5 travel alarm.

    Dreyfus had a yoga lesson on Boxing Day and has kept up his practice. Also he texts at the appropriate time. No scolding for him!

  10. Also.... before calling QE I always go online and google, "What time is it in Singapore?" It only takes above five seconds.

  11. As someone who takes sleep extremely seriously, I appreciate the post. While not about bedtime per se, BG 2.69 seems to capture your situation.

  12. Ah, yes....

    yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāḿ
    tasyāḿ jāgarti saḿyamī
    yasyāḿ jāgrati bhūtāni
    sā niśā paśyato muneḥ


    What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.


    There are two classes of intelligent men. One is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the "night" of the materialistic men. The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reactions.

  13. cara-i'm not angry. it sounds from this post that you are though. you are such a private person it just surprised the hell out of me. i mean, you aren't even on facebook, which would probably be the best way to communicate with your students (although i don't use it for that but my teaching lifestyle is totally different from yours)
    i have a ton of love for you girl.

  14. I get crabby when sleep is interrupted, yes.

    I figured out how to turn off the message beep at night (J's phone won't let him do it - he even called tech support!). It was a good thing, since a call from a private client came in at 11:45pm!

    I feel like if I went on Facebook

    1. I'd be updating THREE websites all the time.

    2. I'd spend most of my remaining free time communicating via Facebook

    3. The computer would pick up a virus / Yahoo would start sending out spam to everyone on my e-mail list

    4. I really *would* lose my privacy.

    I can't believe you're on it!

  15. I love facebook and am constantly on it. People make fun of my excessive appreciation of it. BUT..., I have a boring desk job. People without boring desk jobs don't need distraction quite as much.

  16. i'm not private. i can keep in touch easily with friends all over the world, also my husband's family. a friend in HK is currently battling leukemia for instance. she needs a lot of love.
    i have had no problems at all with spam. it's really not that evil.

  17. Guess what - I found the Airplane Mode (at Dreyfus's urging) and it works! J.'s phone has it, too.

    If only it were that easy to mute the clomp-clomp-clompings of the upstairs neighbors.....