Monday, November 06, 2006

A story about sleep that will put you to sleep! Ha ha, get it?

I'm not good at very many things. I'm not an athlete,* I'm an awful speaker, and I'm not particularly witty. I have no fashion sense and I often state the obvious (which is where the name of this website came from--my famous eye for detail). For the most part, I have come to terms with these shortcomings. But there is one thing I cannot do that perpetually torments me. I am a terrible sleeper.

If you've met my mother, no doubt she has told you about how I would not go to sleep without being rocked or cuddled or driven around in the car, and apparently even then you were lucky if I stayed asleep. I also remember having this really sweet Paula Abdul cassette that I listened to every night when I was about three or four. Frequently, I would last longer than side A, and at that point, I'd go get one of my parents to play the other side of the tape for me. I'm sure this was one of those things they did while silently hoping that one day I would have my own child to flip cassettes for, but I'm so totally the winner here because cd's? They have the repeat capabilities that my 1987 kid-friendly boom box did not. Sorry you missed out on that, parents.

This inability to fall asleep has followed me into adulthood,** and I have issue after issue with sleep. When I'm under stress, you can be sure to find me baking cookies or watching Six Feet Under at 4 am. If I have a nightmare that wakes me up or I have to go to the bathroom, you can be sure I'll be awake for at least another thirty minutes. I did not have the ability to sleep in past 10 am until I was a college freshman, because once I was awake, it was more work to keep sleeping than it was to just be awake and sort of tired. And really, the only reason I was sleeping in then was because I wasn't sleeping at night, because welcome to college! Have insomnia!

No, college is not a place for people whose sleep patterns and habits hang in delicate balance. It is a place for good nappers (I harbor great jealousy for my roommate Mike, who falls asleep basically on command) , people who can last for three days on less than six hours of sleep and/or twelve cans of Red Bull (Christina fascinates me), and people who don't want to kill the first person they see each morning (i.e., every single person who isn't me). I've come to terms with it. But after waking up at 5:30 this morning and not falling back asleep until after 6, my question is this: what do I have to do to be successful at sleep? Because I generally just avoid the things I'm not good at, but I've never enjoyed doing something I'm so bad at.

*Understatement of the Year

**First sincere reference to myself as an adult

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