Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beauty Sleeping

Anyone who knows me knows that I sleep a lot. You might not think so at first. I fool you by rising early – even on the weekends – and avidly avoiding naps, but you start to catch on once you hear my bedtime. "When is it?" Oh, like 10:30. "[Skeptical look] Really? [Pregnant pause for raising of eyebrows] What time do you get up?" Seven o'clock.

So that's like 8 and a half hours a night...and when I get to set my own schedule, I rarely settle for less than 9. Then again, that's from bedtime to wake-up, and it doesn't include the long long minutes I spend trying to fall asleep—I estimate those average out to about a half-hour every night.

I have a love/hate relationship with sleep. On the one hand, sleep is like your body's magical reset button. Frustrated? Confused? Take one night to sleep on it, and you will have an entirely new perspective. I've spent all day grappling with some problem, only to wake up the next day and solve it immediately.

On the other hand, I hate how much I depend on it. If I don't get at least 7 hours, I'm brain-dead the entire next day. No amount of caffeine can counteract my grogginess. I live in seething jealousy of ... well, almost everyone else in the world.

I had a coworker once who consistently got by on 5 hours. I would tell him how sleep is good for you. He would tell me, "We'll sleep when we're dead." I would not tell him, but I would think, "if I don't sleep, I feel dead." I was jealous of him.

It's been hard lately, because my newfound social life requires me to stay up late, but my job still requires me to get up early. My boyfriend manages it easily. He can fall asleep any time, anywhere, and seems unfazed by getting up to face the day after only 5 hours of sleep. I, on the other hand, become a feeble zombie with just enough consciousness to feel jealous of him.

Sometimes I think about all the things I could accomplish if I could just sleep one fewer hour a night. Or if I could just fall asleep immediately instead of burning up the hours tossing and turning. And then I wither in despair.

I am forever doomed, like a certain fairy tale princess, to spend years of my life sleeping. I can only hope that, like her as well, it keeps me looking young.