i took a nap on my lunch break yesterday. instead of fiddling around on facebook or instagram for 25 minutes following the five minutes it takes for me to inhale my lunch, i decided to put time away from my office to good use. i ventured to my car (because thanks to george costanza, it’s unkosher to nap at your desk), cracked the windows, reclined the seat (shout out to hyundai for its seat reclineability), set my alarm for 12:46 p.m. and drifted off into dreamland.
and i don’t know if it was the perfect storm of sleep deprivation, the symphony of birds chirping outside lulling me to sleep, and the sun’s rays sneaking through the windows that created the perfect temperature in my car’s cabin or what, but something about those conditions made catching a few solid zzz’s quite simple. i logged a good twenty two minutes of sleep time and woke up surprisingly refreshed, albeit a bit disoriented.
i’d have to check with my mom, but i don’t remember being a particularly good napper as a child. sometimes she reminds me that she would be the one to fall asleep first as she rocked me to sleep as a baby. and when she had woken up, she’d look down at me, hoping that the movement had lulled me to sleep as well. but much to her chagrin, more often than not, what she found staring back up at her weren’t tightly shut eyelids, but big brown blinking irises instead.
so maybe sleep and i haven’t really ever been the best of friends. in fact, i’ve always kind of prided myself for the fact that i need very little sleep in order to function in society. and then i discovered coffee junior year of high school and that only assisted my cause. but even pre-caffeine, i was never that child that slept into the wee hours of the afternoon on a saturday, or overslept for class on monday. i was the first up at every sleep-over and girl scout camp, the first of my family to tip-toe down the stairs to see what spoils santa had left behind on christmas morning. and to this day, even when my bedtime is uncharacteristically late (usually as a result of a law and order: SVU marathon), i still arouse from my slumber by about 7:15 a.m. (on the weekends, of course, it’s far earlier on that during the week).
but sometimes i think i rest (ha! pun intended) on these laurels. well, i think of them as laurels, you probably think of a whole different slew of vocabulary words to describe my sleeping habits -like maybe “curse,” “nightmare,” “the worst?” i think i take advantage of the fact that my body functions on five or six hours of sleep and that caffeine exists to pick up the slack. and furthermore, i think i’ve forgotten what it feels like to truly listen to my body and its sleeping needs.
if this blog has taught you anything recently (and i hope it has, if nothing else than to inform you that i may or may not single-handedly keep jimbo’s in business), it’s that i like to pack as much into a weekend as my schedule will allow. if that means penciling in everything down to my outfit changes and potty breaks, then so be it. i try to squeeze every last minute of free time out from my two-day work vacay. and as a result, while i certainly leave most weekends filled mind and soul, i’m not gonna lie, i’m pretty deprived in terms of that whole body part. to put it simple, sometimes i need a weekend from my weekend (hence the constant request from the government to make sunderday happen). anyway, this kind of sounds like a #firstworldproblems rant but i have a point, i think.
maybe what i’m saying is that, let’s be honest, i’m not getting any younger. i know, i know, i don’t look my age so i’m not really allowed to use that term. also, i’m still in my 20’s so i’m really not allowed to use that term. but the fact is, my body and its needs are not the same as they were five, ten, fifteen years ago. i can’t stay up super late one night and bounce back the next morning as easily as i did when i was 17. trust me, coffee doesn’t even help that situation these days. turns out, just because your body can function on little sleep doesn’t mean it should have to.
i’m at the point of my life that there is very little getting in the way of my sleeping patterns. no snoring husband, or crying baby, or midterms to cram for or papers to write. i feel like i should be taking advantage of this, no? i see new parents walking around like zombies or college students with bedhead and bloodshot eyes and sometimes i can’t help but feel like i’m looking in a mirror. the only difference being, i have no excuse for my deprivation. you guys, the only thing getting in the way of my sleep is me. that and my unhealthy addiction to watch reality tv live despite having a DVR that could easily record said shows for me.
i guess what i’m really try to say is that i’m going to take this whole sleeping thing a lot more seriously. i’m going to try going to bed as soon as i feel the slightest bit of exhaustion. and that doesn’t mean shutting my eyes for a few minutes on the couch before top chef: new orleans starts. it means taking my booty up to bed, crawling under the covers, and drifting off to dreamland. this also might mean that no one should plan on hearing from me or answering any and all texts, phone calls, emails after approximately 7:30 p.m. but i’m hoping my sleep needs level-off after a few days of reasonable bedtimes.
i know you can’t store up sleep like you do canned goods or water bottles in case of a giant global catastrophe, but i feel as though i’d be doing myself a disservice i didn’t take advantage of all of the opportunities i have to sleep whenever i please. i mean, in addition to being able to dance around your house in your underwear while singing britney spears’ “crazy (stop remix)” or eat almond butter straight from the jar without judging eyes, sleep is just another gift that stems from single-hood (holla).