In the Wake of a Good Night's Sleep

Posted Oct 19, 2002
Last Updated Oct 26, 2011

I’m no morning person. It’s the reason I have no roosters or parakeets in my apartment.

It all started as a kid. Mom would wake me up for school by telling me to get out of bed. I would shoot up like a crook hiding in a cadaver bag trying to scare people, and then fall right back down to my fluffy warm pillow the moment mom was around the corner.

This scene repeated a few minutes later with mom yelling a little louder, this time saying I’d better get my rear out of bed.

The third time was usually the last, as by then it was time to get on the bus. I think this is probably why I had a cowlick for the first six rounds of school pictures (because I still had hair back then).

And it was really the only way for me to wake up for school, because the shock of jumping out of bed and into my clothes in one solid motion, then zinging out the door like a madman, got some blood flowing to my brain.

My problem with mornings got worse in high school because by then I didn’t want to have a cowlick anymore, and I wanted to shave and brush my teeth every so often before school. Thanks, ladies, for duping me out of ten minutes of sleep per day!

I didn’t zing out of bed anymore, and my shock therapy morning ritual was a relic. I feel this is why I don’t remember any pre-lunch classes in high school. My body was half-sure I was dreaming, and my brain made little attempt at retaining what was going on.

And now… I don’t even want to tell you how bad it is. It’s 8:07 a.m. right now, and the only reason I’m writing this with my eyes open is because I had to get my kids on the bus.

My problem is that I like to stay up late. It’s when the kids are sleeping that all of my ideas come to me—like sneaking into the candy stash that I’ve hidden from the kids. But I’ve tried the going-to-bed-earlier thing, and it’s almost worse. No matter how long I sleep—4, 6, 12 hours—it always feel like I’ve slept inside a half-hourglass. That’s why, when I wake up, it feels like there’s sand in my eyes.

What’s worse is that your bed has this sadistic plan of getting more and more cozy as the night goes by. I’d say that beds are designed to feel best between the hours of 5:30-9:00 a.m.

I wish I didn’t like to sleep, because there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is. And it’s pretty depressing to think about this fact: if you sleep the standard eight hours a night physicians say we should have, then you spend one third of your life unconscious. For someone who lives to be 75 years old, that person would have spent twenty-five years in bed, with his eyes shut, dreaming about things he would like to do if he were awake.

So now I’m off to go chisel the crust from my eyes and drink half a gallon of coffee. I’m not quite awake yet, but I’m working on it. I’m just glad I don’t have a hangover.

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