If I could be asleep right now, I would be.
Sleeping is, hands down, the best thing I get to do every day. From the time I get up, I can’t wait to get back to sleep. Going to bed is amazing. It’s like the foreplay of sleep. I love everything about it. I love lying down. I love blankets. I love pillows. I love pajamas. I love reflecting on the day and planning for the next one. If I had my way, I’d be in bed as much as an unemployed baby with clinical depression. Except my diagnosis would be “clinical living the dream.”
Even as a child, I was okay with bedtime. One night, my aunt was babysitting me, and she offered to let me stay up late and read an extra story. I looked at the clock, determined that it was, in fact, time for bed, and asked her to turn out the light. That is a big deal to me, because my other favorite thing when I was a little kid was reading. I was a lot of fun, guys.
My roommates both have insomnia, which seems horrifying. Almost science-fiction awful. If insomnia were not a thing you had heard about, would you even believe it when someone described it to you? It’s a disorder where no matter how tired you are, you can’t go to sleep. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode. It seems as crazy as being allergic to eating. And it’s real. And it’s awful. You need sleep.
Sleep is the only healthy thing that people get mad at you for doing too much. If you eat too much or exercise too much, your friends and family might be concerned. Those behaviors could constitute legitimate health problems. But if people think you’re sleeping too much, they get angry. That’s nuts. If your body is tired, it needs to sleep. That’s what sleep’s all about. Haters are gonna hate, though. You hear things like: “I can’t believe you slept until noon. You’re throwing your life away.” No one says that about other healthy things: “I can’t believe you exercised until noon. What are you, some kind of bum?” It’s an unfortunate double standard that we “sleepies” have to face every day.
One of my life goals is to get better at sleeping. Sure, if I lie down at midnight, I can crank out eight solid hours of bed rest no questions asked. Don’t even worry about it. And in a moving vehicle? I’m out immediately. Sorry road trip buddies, but if I’m in the back seat, I’ve bought a one-way ticket to Snoozington. Population: Sheep. For some reason, though, if I go to bed super late, it’s hard for me to sleep in. I’ll usually just wake up at my regular time and wander the earth like a zombie in search of caffeine and sandwiches.
Why don’t I just nap? Would that I could, dear reader! My naps turn disastrous. Either they’re brief attempts at rest, fraught with tossing and turning before my eventual surrender to the internet’s seductive tendrils, or they’re marathon affairs, taking me from the middle of the afternoon into the early evening. When I awaken, darkness has set in, and I have no idea when or where I am. Was I drugged and stuffed in the trunk of a car? Am I the last surviving human male in a post-apocalyptic dystopia? As a precaution, I always call my girlfriend when I wake up to ascertain the actuality of the situation before I go off attempting to repopulate the planet all willy-nilly. Is it possible to get jet lag from a racecar bed? (I do not sleep in a racecar bed in real life. Only in dreams.) Napping is not one of my best skills.
I also don’t dream well. Most of the dreams I remember are just subconscious manifestations of my waking anxieties. And my good dreams are even worse. Good dreams make waking up a real drag. At least with a nightmare, when you wake up, you’re like: “Oh, I’m okay. Thank goodness I didn’t just murder Prince in a bowling alley in Des Moines.” But when you’re having a good dream and you wake up, it’s such a drag. You’re like: “Oh, man. I guess I’ll never get to see that super-secret Prince concert at the bowling alley in Des Moines.”
What I’m trying to say is, I’m a purist. A real, no frills, sleep lover. I don’t need any of your newfangled bells and whistles. (For one thing, bells and whistles would keep me awake.) I like to get in bed, wrap myself in covers, and enjoy several hours of uninterrupted, dreamless sleep from which I awaken without the aid of performance enhancing drugs like alarm clocks or angry roommates.
That will be all. If you need me, I’ll be wearing a floppy hat and bathrobe while counting the hours until bedtime.