The Return to Self: Sleep

The Return to Self

“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.” – Mizener

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Sleep is one of my BFFs FOREVER.

There are things about sleep in my history that have helped forge that friendship.

I remember when I was about 16, a lady at church said, “Sleeping is such a waste of time.” I was absolutely flabbergasted. How could she say such a terrible thing?!

I also remember watching my grandmother in her 80’s taking long naps and I thought, “Now that’s the life. I can’t wait until I’m old!” Of course, she didn’t have the healthiest of hearts which may be why she was fond of naps, but she also lived to be 92. Sleep has to be a reason for her longevity. I think anyway.

Once, when I was about 17, I got home from some activity at 12:30 a.m. and then went to sleep asap. I didn’t wake up until 3:00 p.m., not even once. THAT was a good day! Actually, I was a little perturbed at my mom for not waking me up earlier. Who knows why now. Sorry, Mom. You were so good to just let me sleep as long as my body needed.

My bus ride in high school was 1 hour each way. I took advantage of that time by taking naps, drooling on my backpack and all. Sometimes I had to walk a long way home from where the bus dropped me off because, although Marvin the bus driver knew I was on the bus, he wouldn’t stop until some other kid noticed I missed my stop. He would do this just to teach me a lesson. He was a mean old fogie like that.

In the past, while expecting to get pregnant any year I would think, “I better not complain when I don’t get my 9 hours of sleep because that’ll all be gone once I have a baby.” I have stopped thinking that way. I’ve learned to appreciate a lot of things that I would have taken for granted had I had a baby.  Might as well enjoy my spoils. They are mine, after all.

Alan and I both take our sleep very seriously. Samantha seems to have the same gene. I’ve always hated being woken up before I needed to be. Some days in high school (after I had a car and didn’t have to ride the bus anymore) my dad would come wake me up, “Lynsie, don’t you have to get up?” My response was, “Grrr. No, I don’t have Drill Team today, Dad!” The luxury of my sleeping skill is that I can go right back to sleep. And yes, 5 minutes more can make ALL the difference.

I usually sleep like a rock and it only takes me about 30 seconds to get there. I can fall asleep most anywhere if I’m tired, even while driving or standing up or at work. My problem with sleep is that I don’t go to bed until after midnight most nights which isn’t the best practice.

Usually Alan’s reason for not sleeping through the night is because he’s now in his 40’s. Lately, neither one of us can sleep through the night because of the effects of the car crash. The benefits of sleep for us are easy to figure out, especially when we’re deprived of it. Here’s some interesting stuff from studies done at Harvard.

I heard an author on a radio station talking about her book which was based on her experiment of sleeping until you’re no longer tired. Whenever you’re tired, take a nap. You would seriously have to have NO life to do such a thing, but it sounds like Heaven to me.

2 thoughts on “The Return to Self: Sleep

  1. I used to take naps every day after school in H.S. and college. I think I would still benefit from daily naps. I am big into the sleeping. I am not a morning person.

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