Monday, May 2, 2011

It's 2:19 AM, Do You Know Why You're Sleeping?

Time progressed normally. Midnight became one AM, which then became two. But then something weird happened. Instead of it progress past 2:30, I just, I just went to bed. So many years of staying up to normal hours—past 3am—and suddenly, just because I had to get up at 8:30, I stopped time at an ungodly hour.

Have you ever tried to get to bed before three AM? It's frickin' impossible.

I realize I'm the outlier here. Not everyone stays up past three. But ever since the day I turned two and told my mom “I'm not taking any more of those naps,” I've been fairly enlightened about putting off sleep til it became an absolute necessity.

Another great reason to avoid sleep.
Which is why shifting the sleep cycle even a half hour wreaks all sorts of havoc on the entire concept of sleep itself. No matter the amount you shift your bed time, it's always a harried and annoying process. Be it a mere 20 minutes or a whole 20 hours (seriously, what's causing that sort of shift? Daylight savings time on New Years while there's a simultaneous solar and lunar eclipse?) making the change will never work well.

Usually there's some level of bargaining, “Hey, body, I need to be up and perky tomorrow, and I cannot do that on seven minutes of sleep. Please stop functioning so I can get some must needed rest.” To which the body can only reply “BAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHA!!” and force you to stay up even longer than if you had just gone to bed at your normal hour.

It also doesn't help that the cats start begging for food at three am, waking you up and making you feed them. Oh, and it doesn't matter if you don't have cats. Some four legged creature, somewhere will make mournful noises that will interrupt and annoy.

This is precisely what happened to me the other night. I laid with my eyes shut, but my brain functioning. When three did finally roll around, I stayed awake. My body punished me for daring to sleep early.

When it finally stopped functioning, I went off to a bizarre dream world where I stole items from a store by covering them in blue fabric and chroma-keying them out of the security camera.

While a fitfully bizarre dream, it was a dream nonetheless, and dreams mean sleep. Huzzah. However, my body enacted its final joke by cutting the sleep cycle short. Seven AM came and said body flipped a switch telling me to awaken. I had already used all my bargaining chips to actually get to sleep, I knew there was nothing I could do to tell my body to get back to bed.

But don't worry, I have a simple solution. Stay up. It doesn't matter if you need to be up early the next day, the body can adjust on the fly. When I was growing up and I'd be going to bed around five, my dad would be up and heading off to work. I'd shoot him a jolly “Good Morning,” while he could only respond with a “Good Night.” Although I stayed up ridiculously late, and he awoke ridiculously early, our bodies adjusted and let us thrive.

Oh, and if you do get to near-Guinness Book level of staying uppedness (11 days) I fully do expect some level of thanks before you go absolutely crazy. You're welcome.

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