Friday Fives – sleepy time edition


How many hours of sleep do you like to get in a night?

Do I like to get?  Like, were I president of everything and time was never an issue and I was immortal?  Easy.  Ten hours a night.  Also, I am a night person, so lets get some things straight.   I don’t care for you morning people at all, goddammit.  First off, with your early shifts, I don’t care for them at all.  You will say “oh, I love working 6 am to  3 pm, because when I get off work I still have the whole day left to go out and do things.”  You are a smug asshole, and here is why; I have worked that shift.  When I got home at 3:30 pm I was dead tired.  I got home and I had to go to sleep.  Know why?  Because I had to get up at 4:30 am this morning to work this stupid shift.

and another thing about you morning people;  you just love to talk about all the stuff I miss by sleeping in.  What you don’t see is the stuff you miss being asleep at night.  Night time is awesome, and way preferable to day.  It is darker, and quieter, and more private.   When do you go see live music, and get to have sex?  At night time!  When do you do all the fun drugs?  Night time, baby! When do you get to hang out with your friends and play poker?   Night time is the right time!  If you are at work at night, it’s even better!  How?  All the suits are long gone.  Important people work 8 to 5.  Work is much more fun when I am the highest ranking person in the building.  Strip poker!  It’s all true.

Listen, if I could be a morning person, I would.  It would make my life SO much eaiser.  I have tried, for years at a time.  Problem is, I ain’t.  It’s like all you people with kids.  Stop trying to talk me into how great it is.  If the daytime and having kids is so great, why do they need you to advocate for them?
Sleeping is a third of our life, but why don’t we treat it as such?  Why do you have a $40,000 car, and a $2 pillow?

great question!  I am absolutely an advocate of a really nice bed, pillows, and sheets.  We have a termperpedic matress topper that is the bomb.  It holds you like a gentle hug while you sleep.  Plus, they stay cool.  We also have 2 $100 pillows from tempurpedic.  Those pillows are the bomb!  As for sheets, nothing but the highest thread count (that you can get at Tuesday Morning.  They are a great resource for crap like this.)

The way I see it, sleep is more than a third of your life.  This is because if you aren’t getting really good quality sleep, the other 2/3rds of your life probably sucks!  Do you know why Hitler invaded Poland?  He couldn’t sleep well at night.  Know why the Beatles broke up?  Yoko swapped out their bed sheets with really crappy low thread count ones.  Maybe those facts aren’t totally true, but can you prove they are not?  Go ahead, sleep on it.

Do you enjoy napping?

sadly, no.  You would think someone who rants about sleep as much as I do would be crazy or naps.  Here is my problem with them;  it takes me a long time to wind down and fall asleep.  It’s a good 45 minutes.  Waking up is a similar very slow process.  So, if I wanted to get a great hour of nap sleep, I would need to allocate 3 hours for that.  Plus, I can’t fully relax when I know I have to wake up in 45 minutes.  So, i never get into any kind of decent REM… not that you could in 45 minutes.  Deep REM is super important.  That is the meaty, nougatty, dense and creamy sleep.  There is when the body heals, and your brain dreams.  This is stage 4, baby.  You mind is a Tim Burton storyboard and you are the director.

Napping, then, just isn’t practical.  I would rather get all my sleeping done at once.

The average amount of time it takes a person to fall asleep is seven minutes–do you tend to need more or less time than that?

I need much more time.  As mentioned above, I am a ‘night person’.  This means my body and brain are more active and more successful at their tasks in the evening.  This is a real, scientifically studied thing.  I wrote about it here, a few years ago.  So, I have some tricks to turn my brain off to go to sleep.  One is I take melatonin and valerian root.  These are totally natural plant supplements you can buy at any grocery store.  Next, I read for about 45 minutes each night.  Then, in bed, I give my mind totally absurd tasks – like remember every verse from a specific Bob Dylan song.  This works because his songs all have 8 to 10 verses per song… whereas the average song has exactly 2 verses.

If you were offered a pill that would enable you to sleep only two hours out of every twenty-four and remain fully functional, but you could never sleep more than that, would you take it?

oh for sure.  As much as I really really like sleep, it is an epic time sink.  I mean, a third of our life goes by and we aren’t even conscious to appreciate it. Seems wasteful.  I feel without sleep in my way I would be a more productive employee, a better guitar player, a better writer… the works!  Think of your work week?  How about doing it like fireman do it?  40 hours on, 5 days off.  See, work straight through Tuesday morning to Thursday morning (no one uses those days anyway.  I got them on clearance)… then you are off the other 5 days.  Hell, I will throw in an extra 8 hours of work for OT.  If I didn’t have to sleep, I would rule the world.

In fact, there is data that supports that.  Presidents generally need very little sleep.  Most presidents report needing only about 4 hours of sleep a night.  This is part of how they became incredibly successful… they have an extra 30% in their day to work with that you and I don’t have.

So, my relation to sleep is absolutely complicated.  if time weren’t an issue, I would have no problem going to bed Friday night after work and sleeping straight through until Monday morning.  I would have a king size bed, so I could fit all my doggies on there with me and the wifey.

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