I'm getting too old for this shit
*And by shit, I mean lack of sleep
When I was in my twenties, I treated sleep like a burden. I would stay up all night watching movies, playing video games, writing or reading until my body finally succumbed to a need for rest. I routinely put off the actual act of falling asleep until the last possible moment. Going to bed before 2 AM meant I wasn’t feeling well.
Of course, this meant that I was not a morning person. As a young man, struggled to wake up before 9 AM. One morning, when I was working for the Boy Scouts, I received a work call at 8:45 AM and I swear I answered that call and held a succeeding conversation while still asleep. I hung up the phone and immediately had zero recall over what was discussed or what I had said. I wasn’t even too sure who I had even been talking to.
When I was in my twenties, overnight movie marathons were a cinch. I would stay up all night watching movies on a Wednesday. Just for kicks.
Cut to 2022, when an overnight marathon I hosted this past Saturday night completely and utterly kicked my ass. The marathon began at 9:15 PM and ended shortly before 9 AM. Six movies, almost twelve hours and I was out of commission almost all of Sunday. I came home at 11 AM from a post-marathon breakfast with friends and immediately fell asleep. I woke up at 5 PM only because my stomach was growling and, after eating dinner, went back to sleep for another nine hours.
I obviously need sleep a lot more than I did when I was in my twenties, but my distrust of sleep is as strong as ever. I just don’t like it. Even dreams - which are, for all intents and purposes, free custom movies that play in my head - aren’t worth the price of admission. If I could take a pill and never have to sleep again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Imagine the stuff I could accomplish without a need for sleep. This morning, I spent thirty minutes going down a rabbit hole on Wikipedia, learning about all the shows David E. Kelley created despite knowing full well that I will never have the time to watch any of them. But if I didn’t need sleep? PICKET FENCES, here I come!
I get, in theory, why our bodies need sleep. I just don’t agree with it. There’s too much to do and sleep feels like eight hours spent buffering in the middle of what could be a very productive day.
The worst part is that I have no real immunity against sleep. I’ve abused caffeine too much throughout my life that it no longer has an effect on me and naps just make me more tired. When I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, I did discover that I was slightly less sleepy than I was at my heaviest. Maybe that’s the key - maybe I just need to keep plugging away at my weight loss until I’m a skeleton with a two hour nap a day habit. Until then, I’ll keep fighting against sleep like the big ol’ baby I am.
Sleep - it sucks. But goddangit, if I I don’t need it.