Tag Archives: sleep

Mystery

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I really want more sleep.

It’s not that sleep isn’t available to me. I can have just about all the sleep I want. I fall asleep quickly and will only wake up to loud noises or being overheated. So why don’t I go to bed earlier?

I’ve wondered this since high school, when I first started staying up late into the night. I would be in school all day, learning things and interacting with people. Then there were after school activities. Then there was stuff on the weekends. I’m an introvert, so interaction drains me. I love people. I love all the lovely people in my life. But after being with people all day,I need time for quiet reflection, creation, and relaxation. Without interruption.

Because I get up and go places all day (namely, my little office) and then go running (because I’m sitting all day and I need to move), I don’t get home until seven every night. I’ve been out there all day. And I want as much time to myself as possible.

So I stay up.

I stay up late, late into the night, just to recharge.

Sleep would do the same thing.

I confuse me.

Bedtime

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Remember being a little kid and never wanting to go to bed?

I mean, your parents got to stay up, and it didn’t kill them. More awake time meant more reading time, more play time, more living time.

You vowed that when you grew up, you’d stay up as late as you wanted to and no one would say you nay.

Then you grew up. And staying up wasn’t just something you did for fun. It was something you had to do. Every. Night. suddenly you realized that being an adult meant going to bed late all the time, even when you were too tired to keep your eyes open.

And you long for someone to tell you you have to go to bed. And not get up until they come and wake you.

And you wish your were five years old so you could remember what a good night’s sleep is.

And you realize your parents were doing you a favor.

Then, you realize, you have really grown up.

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I don’t know what to do.

I really just…don’t know what to do.

I was up until 2 last night/this morning. I was studying for an exam, and none of the information was sticking. I also had to write two essays for a take-home exam in a different class. I wrote one. It was finished at twelve, and I had barely looked at the material for the in-class exam.

My brain gave up at 1:30. I fought my way to bed by 2.

I got up at seven. My brain hurt, and I was still not done studying. And nothing would stick.

Then I blinked. The exam was over, and the other one was turned in. Fumbling through the day was not that stressful, after all, and everything is done. For the time being.

Two of my three classes are no longer the boss of me. The really hard ones.

And now I don’t know what to do. My brain is empty, my eyes are dry, my lips are chapped, my body is flabby from skipping running to get schoolwork done, and I don’t care about things right now.

My hands itch. The kind of itch that won’t be satisfied until I pick up a book or write something articulate, quickly and frantically, late into the night. My brain is still trying to form thesis statements and cohesive outlines for potential papers. I keep thinking I have assigned reading I have to do, a novel to read, at least a scanned article from my professor, but there’s nothing. Nothing to write. Nothing to read. Nothing left at all.

I could do anything. I could work on my novel. I could buy Christmas present online. I could draw something. I could work on a poem. I could write in my journal. I could write a play. I could watch a movie. i could do any number of things.

But I cannot form a thought. I cannot raise a finger. I can only sit and stare at the wall, overwhelmed at the magnitude of what I have completed, of what is behind me. What has been done.

I don’t know what to do.

The Struggle

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Maybe it’s not a real struggle. Maybe it is. But I have the hardest time getting to bed.

I come back to the apartment at 7:30, usually sweaty from a run. I cart in armloads of apartment things in addition to my purse, duffle bag, lunch box, water bottle, and keys. I wash the lunch containers. I fix tomorrow’s lunch. I bled tomorrow’s smoothies. I take a shower. I write a blog post. By then, it’s 11:30. It’s not that I’m not moving quickly, because I am. I really am.

Maybe it’s the puttering. I get distracted by tasks I discover while doing other tasks. For example, I’ll be washing my lunch Tupperware when I notice the coffee grounds on the counter from making coffee the night before (to drink in the morning—no caffeine for me at night), so I sweep them into the sink.. Then I notice the spots on the floor from making stir-fry chicken, so I wipe them up. Then I notice even more spots on the oven, so I scrub them away. Then I want tea, so I make it. Then I wash the mug when I’m finished and put away the tea bag box and wipe the counter (however little of it there may be). And, and, and.

It’s like the adult version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” “If you give an apartment dweller a framed photo, she’ll want a hammer and a nail to hang it on….”

By then, it’s late. I check email. I browse Pinterest and look up a recipe or two, a remedy for this or that (fifteen minutes max, I promise). I go to write a blog post and surprise, surprise, I’m out of inspiration. Again.

But I write anyway, because that’s how I roll.

Now it’s 11:30, and I haven’t brushed my teeth or taken out my contact lenses. 11:40 sees the lights off and me curled under the blankets, trying to derail my every-chugging train of thought long enough to slip into Dreamland.

Then up at 5:55 to pretend to be awake for the next 17 hours.

Tonight will be different. Tonight, the post is being written early. Tonight I won’t try to post an image, a project that took me an hour last night, either by fault of WordPress or my tablet. No, you just get words.

Hopefully they are relatable enough to be humorous. 

Straight Talk

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All right. Here’s the deal.

I am no longer 18. I just need to own up to this fact and start going to bed earlier.

Fact is, I just can’t do the whole six-hours-of-sleep only thing. I just. Can’t. I nearly fell asleep while typing in barcodes today. I was staring at a screen and everything. I was even sipping caffeinated tea. But it just wasn’t enough.

That said, it’s still summer. And I’m going to sleep while the sleeping’s good.

Good night.

Naps

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There’s naps…

…and then there’s naps

Foggy-brained, body-too-heavy-to-roll-over, bizarre-dreamed, out-for-hours, rainy-outside, noiseless-day, buried-in-a-blanket, can’t-move-after-waking-up, too-drowsy-to-care, paralyzingly invigorating naps

They always occur on Sundays, even if you got extra sleep the night before. They happen best on rainy days, after a carb-heavy meal, and when you have nothing major hanging over your head that’s due the next day. Like homework. which you don’t have to do right now. Because you’re not in school.

And won’t be for months.

Those kinds of naps are the absolute best.  

So

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In case you were wondering….

…which you probably weren’t, but still…

This has been a very, very stressful week. I’ve been going to bed late and getting up early every morning. And there are 2,000 guests on campus, four of which are sharing my shoebox  dorm room with me this week. 

Which is why the posts have been so short. 

That’s why. 

I’ve been writing so much that my wrists hurt, but not on the blog. I’m terribly sorry, but that’s just the way it will be until…tomorrow. Yes. Probably tomorrow. 

Gratitude Post: Little Things

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  1. I got up ludicrously early to study for a test I promptly and decidedly bombed. But I got a long, uninterrupted nap later. It was awesome. I even dreamed.

(Let it be understood that I never get good naps in the dorms.)

  1. The weather today! My goodness! Could it have been lovelier? I think not!!
  2. I avoided desserts all day. I am so proud of myself.
  3. I got to do thirty minutes of power yoga. Running is painful right now, so I’m turning to alternate ways of staying healthy and stress-free. Yoga is quite fun, and surprisingly difficult (in a good way).
  4. Because of the aforesaid yoga session and nap, I didn’t fall asleep while I was trying to do homework. This is a first for the semester. I even worked ahead. What.
  5. The salad I had at lunch was delicious.
  6. I found out that I will be living in an apartment next year instead of the dorms. I may or may not have danced up and down my room when I found this out. I also may or may not have been squealing for joy. Yo ho, yo ho, apartment life for me!
  7. I have food from home in my fridge. I love home food.
  8. I didn’t have to wear a coat today. I love my coats, but they’re one more thing to unlayer once you get into a classroom.
  9. …I’m sorry, I still just can’t get over the fact I got a nap. Whoa. Just whoa. 

TimeStopper, TM

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If I were an inventor, I would invent a watch that stops time. 

It would stop time at the touch of a button. There’d be a dial where you could set how many hours you wanted in your section of paused time. Once you activated the device, all of time would stop but you, and you could walk around in the world in the space of a billionth of a second. 

You could do whatever you wanted with that time. You could take a nap. You could work on your novel. You could read the complete works of Emily Dickinson. You could read War and Peace in one sitting, and after you turned time back on, only a portion of a second would have passed. 

And if you hold onto someone when you activate the device, then they can enter the time bubble with you. You can spend all the time in the world, and not a moment will have passed at all. 

And Friday nights could be longer, instead of passing in the blink of an eye. 

Yes. If I were clever, I would invent such a device. But I am not clever in that way. I just write little poems and blog posts about things I wish would happen. 

Still, I can dream, can’t I?

The Wondernap

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Ever have a wondernap?

Naps are wondrous things anyway. Why I protested about taking them as a child remains a mystery. I should have taken them. Stocked up on sleep for college. But nope, insomnia struck me early in life. 

A Wondernap–which is, in fact, a word I invented thirty seconds ago–is a nap that renders you unable to move at its conclusion. You sleep, you dream realistic dreams, even dreaming that you’re lying where you are. In your dream you can move. But in reality, you’re unable to move a muscle. you think you moved your hand. You may even feel that fabric of the blankets against your skin, but you did not move. No, you’re stuck, your body unwilling to move an inch–perhaps even incapable of moving. You won’t be able to move without incredible herculean mental effort on your part.

The wonderful thing is that you’ll be too tired to care if you move or don’t. So back to sleep you go, relishing the feeling of being unable to move, and slipping back into topsy-turvy dreams. 

That, my friends, is a Wondernap. I had one today, and it was glorious. 

Now, if I can just go back to sleep tonight….

Multiple Tabs

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College has done irreparable damage to my brain.
Once upon a time, I could have an uninterrupted thought. I could concentrate on one thing for an extended length of time. I could write or research for hours nonstop. I could pour all of my thinking power into a reading assignment. I could even—imagine this—remember something I had read.
Three years of having to do a thousand things as once has completely eliminated my ability to focus.
Every class demands all of your concentration. It may not need all of your concentration—but each demands it. Sometimes I wonder if teachers assume theirs is the only class you’re taking. The workload seems comparable to that line of thinking.
But since there are only 24 hours in the day, there is no possible way to give every task 100% of your time. The inevitable nervousness this generates—stemming for the thought that it might not be possible to get everything done—results in an inability to focus. The brain is constantly thinking about whatever it needs to do next.
Three years of this kind of thinking retrains your brain into a fully functional, information-absorbing, track-jumping machine. It can focus on tiny things for brief periods of time and remember about half of what it takes in. And that is all.
Thanks, college.
It’s like having a browser open with a million different tabs, each trying to accomplish different tasks at the same time. It gets noisy in my head sometimes. Okay, all the time.
And honestly, the only things that still it are music, prayer, and writing.

And It’s Gone

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I got all wound up about this week, and now it’s essentially over.

Strangely, I already feel as though I’ve been back for a month. I’m already perpetually drowsy and running out of coffee. Every morning when I get up, the first thing I think about is how I can’t wait to go back to bed.

And it’s only been two days. Two. Dos. Zwei.

They say this semester will fly. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s covered this ground before me says that the final semester of undergrad flies by so quickly that it’s gone before you can blink. Already I’m beginning to believe them.

I’m refusing to audition for productions this semester. I’m done with theater…for now. Watch me get into grad school and dive right back into auditions with a vengeance. But for now, I need to rest and really just enjoy what I have while I have it. Besides, I don’t think any production could be nearly as fun as Little Women, so why disappoint myself?

Before I know it, this semester will be gone like this week is gone…quick as a flash, and I’ll be bound for other adventures.

I want to relish every second.

Even the seconds in Essential Science. 

Drowsy

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Those who don’t think sleepiness is contagious need to spend time in a room with a sleeping cat.

Cats don’t really sleep. They doze. They are one bump in the night away from full defense mode. If you watch a cat while it sleeps, it will inevitably be watching you back, even if you are only a part of its dreams.

Cats are not solids, but liquids. They melt into puddles of purring fur. They pour themselves into drawers and shoeboxes and cabinets. They dissolve in sunlight, turning their tummies to the light as though their bellies were covered in solar panels that kept them alive.

Every cat has a drowsy expression. Their eyes close a little when they are at ease in a situation–a facial expression most mistake for snobbery or anger. This heavy-lidded gaze actually indicates that the cat is relaxed. It is contemplating a nap, or possibly the nature of the universe. What cats think about will always remain a mystery. They hide their thoughts behind that neutral gaze.

A cat in such a state–either pre-sleep or deep into a REM cycle–is the picture of contentment. And believe it or not, if you watch sleeping cat long enough, especially if you watch it sleeping in a pool of sunlight on a warm afternoon, you’ll find yourself yawning, stret hing, and wishing you too were a cat so you’d have an excuse to sleep all day.