Sleep: My Frenemy

For those of you who know me even just a little bit (and wouldn’t it be cool if someone who did not was actually reading this), the following statement will come as no great shock: I love to sleep. I mean I REALLY love to sleep. It sounds so shallow and so lazy, but there is just something about snuggling under the covers and sinking into the pillow-top mattress that makes everything right with the world. It is my safe haven. It is my escape. And it’s just so damn comfy in there that I log in enough hours to qualify for Olympic training.

Sometimes I wish I got my dad’s inability to be still and his need to work or tinker and putter or accomplish something during every waking moment, but no. My sister Kristen got that one. Instead, I got my mom’s penchant for the solace of slumber — hunkerin’ down in the 600-thread-counts and trying to put a haze over the worry of the day.

Sleep and I go way back. My mom swears I fell asleep in the middle of making my entrance into the world, causing a nurse to practically jump on my mother’s stomach to push me out. I think sleeping in class shows up in the comments on my second grade report card. Middle School sleep-overs? Yeah, I’d be the kid who’d be snoring with her mouth open by 9:00. And I’m pretty sure I slept through most of my twenties as it took me that long to get through college, in part, because I never could get the hang of the all-nighter.

When preparing for parenthood, most people fear childbirth or some medical complication. Me — my biggest fear was sleep deprivation! Again, it sounds selfish and lazy, but I was just so afraid of turning into a crabby bitch on a permanent basis. I know my limits, and I simply do not function well on little sleep.

In fact, if I were ever on a reality television show like Survivor or The Amazing Race (this one I seriously contemplated) it wouldn’t be the bugs or the near starvation or the other competitors that would do me in. Nope. I’m guessing somewhere around week two, I’d be screaming, “Okay, fuck the million bucks — just give me my bed!”

So yes, I like my sleep. Have we sufficiently established that?

But sleep is also my biggest enemy. I have come to this theory that I will never be truly successful (or as successful as I’d like) because of my love of sleep. This worries me. I’m totally serious. I swear every time I watch an interview with someone society deems successful (Oprah, Diane Sawyer, Martha Stewart), they all seem to have one thing in common– they can survive just fine on like four hours of sleep a night. Who are these freaks?

Can one be addicted to sleep? I checked out “addiction” in Wikipedia and it said the following:

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance related…the term is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity despite harmful consequences to the individual’s heath, mental state, or social life.

Hmmmm… a little broad I guess. In that sense, I suppose one can be addicted to most anything. But how does one judge “harmful consequences”? If my charge card bill makes me vomit, am I shopping addict? (A harmful consequence to health, no?) And if I choose sleep over productivity am I a sleep addict?

I just know that if given the choice between sleep and well, most anything else, I typically choose sleep. Then I get all pissed at myself and spend time bemoaning my choice and thinking of how much I could accomplish if I didn’t like my sleep so much — like work on my career goals instead of taking a nap along with the Muffin, or finish grading those papers that have been in my school bag for two weeks instead of going to bed at 9:00 pm. So what’s up with that?

My crazy part time teaching schedule and the fact that I can’t quite get the Muffin on a decent sleep schedule is just making matters worse. I think maybe one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to fix this, but damn, behavior change is HARD! Can I keep my love affair with the snoozefest while getting our relationship under control and on MY terms? I sure hope so, because I’d really like for ours to be a healthy relationship. But first, I’m going to take a nap.

Categories : journeys in life


  1. LeeAnn says:

    If it makes you feel any better sis, I got both of our parents qualities. While this may seem beneficial trust me it’s not. I love sleep as much as you and need a lot of it. But if I wake in the middle of the night, I can’t help but think about all of the things I could be doing, or the things I am going to do that day. Then when I finally fall back to sleep, it’s time to wake up and I’m too damn tired to do any of those things I thought about. :)