Sleep is creepy, it’s well-documented. It’s death lite, a weird insect-like dormancy that we all accept as normal. In fact, there are whole industries built around this terrifying daily freakishness. Including, but not limited to, the MyPillow guy. And maybe even the Trivago guy. Can you imagine the first person who started to feel sleepy at the end of the day, nodding off, etc.? He probably thought, “Well, shit. I guess this is it?” In any case, sleep is unfortunately required. No matter how disturbing it is. If I could go without it, I would. I fight it and usually sigh loudly in defeat as I make my way upstairs every night to the dormancy platform, located inside the latency chamber. Dammit! I just had a full-body shiver.
But as I type this I’m struggling, my friends. ‘Cause I stayed up way too late last night listening to the Reds lose in Pacific Daylight Time. Some o’ that boolshit interleague play abomination… But that’s a different complaint for a different day. I got about six hours last night, which seems like it should be enough. But I can feel it dragging on my brain. And I know it’s going to be a long day because I didn’t spend enough time in suspended animation.
I require at least seven hours. That’s to feel normal and good the next day. I’m not proud of it. I wish I could report that I need much less since sleep is one of my sworn enemies. But it has a hold on me! Eight hours is also good, but after that, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. My back hurts, I’m disgusted with myself and somehow less-rested. So, seven or eight is the sweet spot for me.
Toney loves to sleep but doesn’t do a very good job of it, as far as I can tell. She’s a very light sleeper and any tiny sound wakes her. If a neighbor, three doors down, farts in his kitchen Toney is up for several hours. She also moves during the night. She starts out in our bed but rarely ends up there. She usually does the last three or four hours on the living room couch. However… whenever I tell her I’d gladly go without sleep if it were possible, she can’t believe it. “Sleep is one of my favorite things,” she tells me. It’s ironic (maybe) that I don’t like it, and can sleep through a goddamn hurricane. Whatever.
What do you have on this one? What kind of relationship do you have with sleep? Do you love it, like Toney? Or do you feel semi-resentful every time you turn in for the night, like me? Also, how many hours do you require? What’s the sweet spot? I wish I could feel good and normal on six hours, but I can’t. Not really. I can manage, but I feel off. Like right now. And that’s part of the reason this one’s so short. Blame the stupid Angels and their stupid other-side-of-the-continent location. Stupid Angels…
I posted a new podcast episode yesterday (I think). Or was it the day before? It doesn’t matter… You can check it out here, or wherever you get podcasts. Here’s the summary:
In this one, I give you an update on the beepbeepbeep construction project going on next door, the mailing of our spit to Ancestry, a “like” at Instagram that nearly caused my brain to explode, and a crazy tour we’re planning to take in August. I also share a couple of messages left at the Surf Report hotline and respond accordingly. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening!
And I’m going to call it a day, my friends.
I’ll see you guys next time.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
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When I was young I could stay up late. Now I get up at 5 am every day – so I usually get to bed by 9 or so.
Alice in WV says
I dread bedtime, not because I don’t like sleep, but because I struggle with it so much. I have to bumble my way to the bathroom on the average of five times/night. A good, sound sleep is so rare that I make an announcement of it the next morning. The last one was two Thanksgivings ago.
I’m with Toney on this one, but like you, too much is a problem. I fight getting out of bed in the morning (sometimes afternoon), while Biff can be sound asleep one minute and bouncing out of bed the next. There’s no in-between with that guy.
What’s your position on naps? Also creepy?
Interesting topic. I think about this often because I’m one of those annoying people who fall asleep rather easily and get up early refreshed and ready to go. I’m not one of those that hits the snooze button multiple times. In fact, I rarely use an alarm at all. My brain seems to know exactly when to wake me up and once I’m up, I’m UP. The other week, I had gotten a new phone and thought I set the alarm for 6:30, which is a bit earlier than my usual 7am so I set the alarm for a safety backup. But with the new phone I didn’t set it properly. But I got up at 6:33am wide awake like a tornado warning had gone off.
I don’t need a lot of sleep, though. My sweet spot is about 5.5-7 hours. So I usually go to bed at 12 – 1 to be up at 7. If I sleep past 9am (if it’s a weekend) I’m useless – all logy and out-of-sorts. I’m a big fan of cat-naps. About 5-10 minutes between 5pm and 7pm is perfect and refreshes me for the rest of the evening.
With all courtesy and respect due a fellow Surf Reporter, fuck you.
Phil Jett says
Right there with you. Never has taken me more than 5 minutes to get to sleep. I set an alarm but get up 5-10 minutes before it is due to go off. I can get by with six but prefer seven now that I’m getting near 60. I worked rotating shifts for the last 22 years and now work 4-ten hour days Mon-Friday in training for my new position which will also be rotating shifts once I start. I can’t remember last time I slept over 8 hours.
What John said
I like to have a solid eight hours. Even so, it takes me some time to spool up in the morning. I use two alarms: my phone is the primary, and an obnoxious beeper alarm is the backup. The beeper is across the hall in another room, so I have to get out of bed to turn it off.
I need 6 to 8 but I never get it in one fell swoop. I always awake at night and can’t get back to sleep. This phenomenon has plagued me since my 20s. Now I text my nephew who lives in Japan. It’s nice to know a family member is there. I try to catch up on sleep on the weekends but it never happens. As soon as I hear birds chirping I’m awake. Sometimes I can doze off but it’s rare. I embrace the weekend nap. Nowhere to go and nothing to do is a lifesaver.
Dammit Madz, I swear we are two half’s of the same person. Can I get your nephews number?
Morning bird chirps really tick me off.
I LOVE to nap but hate to sleep.
I have adjusted over a 10 year period to 3 to 4 hours a night. It is not a good thing, but it is all I can get.
When I don’t have to get up I can sleep for eight to nine hours. Weeknights I usually get about six.
My deal is I can’t fall asleep at night and can’t wake up in the morning so once I’m out, I’m out. I currently have four different alarms that TRY to get me moving in the morning.
Today I overslept by 45 minutes. I’ll be tired until about 3:00 this afternoon. Until then I’ll look busy, but really won’t be getting very much accomplished. By that time I’ll be warmed up, ready for a two-hour productive day and I’ll get as much or more done in that two hours than everyone else does the whole day. (Work smart, not hard?) I really should work a shift job but I’m in a “traditional” workweek industry.
Am I the only guy with an airsnake here?
A number of women have mentioned over the years, just in passing, that I snore like a chain saw. They have said romantic things like, “After we’re done with this, I’m going to the couch so I can get some sleep.” Finally, the bad habit of not breathing from time to time during the night started to affect my heartbeat, so yup, I got an airsnake.
I just finished my three-month performance trial . . . I managed to finish with a 70.1% “compliance rate”. (Yes, this is what you have to look forward to if you snore like the Three Stooges or a badly-tuned muscle car.) As much as I fought the damn thing, I am actually starting to wake up a little perkier than, say, having spent the night in a crematorium. I’ll be getting the Holter monitor results back in a week or so to see whether all the adaptation pain has been worthwhile.
If you happen to be someone who uses, or is supposed to use, the airSnake (better spelling), I have one piece of advice for you, first intoned as I best remember by the Oracle of Delphi, and later repeated repeatedly by my father: “Keep your snake clean.” I clean mine every two days now and my life has improved. The whole damn thing is filled with the double entendres of a Rodney Dangerfield standup routine. I can’t recommend growing old and I feel obligated to refrain from recommending the alternative. The way of the airSnake is just another path to our shared endstate, albeit one that makes you look like a bipedal elephant, so I have that going for me.
Phil Jett says
I feel for you. I have a number of co-workers who love for their forced air breathers. My wife complained for years about my snoring, snorting, choking and just plain not breathing at night. Fortunately for me due to my Dr. telling me I was pre-diabetic at my annual checkup, I decided to drop some weight (90 lbs) because I don’t like needles.
Haven’t snored since and now the wife even gets a good nights sleep.
Thanks Phil. Congrats on the weight loss. As a man gets older, the amount of sleep his wife gets is way more important than the sleep he gets: you feel me?
Also, since you mentioned needles I’ve been mumble-singing Hoyt Axton, which I think a man has an obligation to do. We mostly don’t get to where we intend to go:
Well I never been to England
But I kinda like the Beatles
Well, I headed for Las Vegas
Only made it out to Needles
Can you feel it
It must be real it
Feels so good
Oh, feels so good
Eight hours for me. Nine would be an occasional treat. I get woken at 7AM sharp no matter what. Isn’t a nap after a heavy lunch one of life’s pleasures?!
7-8 hours is ideal for me, but rarely happens. During the week I get about 6-6 1/2 and that suffices to make me functional at work – but only because I refrain from alcohol during the week. If I drink during the day I cannot get more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. On the weekends I could sleep in but the dog usually has other ideas. Oh yeah, and there is DEFINITELY some alcohol going down on the weekend! I have never been able to justify napping to my conscience. It just seems like such a waste of time that could be used more enjoyably, so even if I try it’s usually ineffective.
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” . . . Warrren Zevon
Lew in Bama says
I operate best after 8-9. I NEED 6 minimum to function as a sane and moderately cordial member of society. Currently I might be getting 6 on a good night, but only in 2-3 hour stretches. I have a baby who still takes his meals “from the tap” and is also teething. He goes down at 8:30 and has me up roughly every 3 hours right now, I’m looking forward to the day he waits until 4-5 am to wake me up.
My 3 yr old sleeps like the dead…once he is down you could parade a marching band through his room and he wouldn’t budge. The baby isn’t quite the champion sleeper his brother is, so I’m struggling.
Ten years after . . .
One of 18 updates in July, 2009. Entertaining, literate, funny. . . jtb