Wednesday, September 14, 2005

About Sleep

There are some mornings when I feel particularly violated by the alarm clock. This morning was one of them. There I was minding my own business, blissfully unaware, and suddenly I was smacked upside my consciousness with some radio announcer. I was too groggy to make out the words but it seems like he was saying something about finances. A double whammy.

Usually it feels a little less hurtful if it goes off in the middle of a song so the first thing I hear is music. Somehow that brings me around a little more humanely than having someone talking at me even before I awake. I mean even if my work cell rings in the middle of the night, at least it has the courtesy to give me a heads up before someone is talking to me. (I won’t go into the years I had a Nextel and would get walky-talky calls in the dead of night. I’m glad that’s in the past!)

I’ve lost the option of the snooze alarm too. Smokey, our Low-Rider kitty, is always there to pounce on me the moment he hears that alarm go off. And then he plays the Jump-on, Jump-off game until I get up. It’s an effective tactic. I usually end up out of bed in about a minute. I still dream about the days when I could hit the snooze button and get a full 9 minutes in. Sometimes I even hit the snooze button so fast I wouldn’t actually wake up until 9 or (oh, yes) 18 minutes after actually I set the alarm. The beauty of that was it was an automatic extra snooze situation because I would think that it was earlier than it actually was. (I know, that's a lot of wases for one sentance first thing in the morning.)

Those days are gone, thanks to Low-Rider. And just to make the morning complete I should note that he has the uncanny ability to hit my bladder more times than not. (I’d give him a bladder accuracy ratio of about 65%.)

I used to resent those folks who wake up quickly and have a smile ready to go as soon as their eyes are open. Now I am just amazed by them. My Gorgeous wife is one of those weird morning people whose most productive time of the day is before lunch. I sometimes envy her ability to function so well so soon out of a sound sleep. I usually try to give myself an hour or two head start so that we’ll be somewhere near the same plane of civility when she gets up. Of course that approach means that by the end of a given week Gorgeous has about an extra whole night’s worth of sleep on me…

I mean why do we even have to sleep anyway? Wouldn’t it be a much more efficient system without sleep? How much more could we get done in our lives if we didn’t need sleep? Think about it. If the average person sleeps 8 hours a day (what the medical people recommend) then by the end of the year we’ve slept for about 4 months. By the time we’re 65 we’ve slept for nearly 21 years! How much could we accomplish if we didn’t need so much down time?

I don’t get it.

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