Is sleep overrated?

Every since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve been a light sleeper. A pin drops in the other side of the world, and I wake up (that is if I ever were to go to sleep in the first place). Typically before any big day, like an event, a big meeting, or a Purdue ballgame, I don’t sleep. I get so caught up in anticipation, that I can’t fall asleep. And then a few hours later, I get so caught up in wanting to fall asleep that I get flustered. Then I usually get hungry, at which point in time I step out to get a bite. And by then, its too late to go to sleep, so I just sit on my bed and stare at the walls. I have several friends who live on the east coast, so I wait till about 5am, and then start ringing each one of them up. And then when the alarm goes off, and when its usually time to get up and get going, I realize I do funny things in the bathroom with my eyebrows and sideburns. Many people claim they’ve never seen the sun rise – I on the other hand have seen the sun rise way too many times.

One of the reasons I think I’ve become so maniacal about sleep is probably because of my parents’ sleep patterns. Back when I was a kid, when my parents were sleeping, there was to be ZERO noise in the house. We would have to shut all the phones off, all humans and plant life would have to stop breathing, and the world would have to come to a stop. So, fortunately for me, I slept in a no-noise zone. I got the biggest shock of my life freshman year when I had to room with two of my buddies. Those guys would sleep through a nuclear attack. If one of them had a 7.30am class, they’d typically set the alarm for 7.29am, and guess who’d be the first one to wake up. I think they plotted it that way. They’d want me to wake up and then wake them up. And it worked…

I don’t remember sleeping very much through school. And then I graduated, and moved to the SF Bay Area. And I slept… till the apartment right next door to mine got occupied and I then found out how hollow some of the walls in my apartment were (ehem). From there, I moved to another place, which was a billion times quieter, but I still couldn’t sleep well enough. So, I blamed my bed for it. A couple of weeks ago, I moved in to my new apartment in the city. This place is a lot bigger than some of the other apartments I’ve lived in (relatively speaking) and it has hardwood floors throughout. So, nothing in the apartment to absorb the noise, except for the furniture. I could’ve sworn that a couple of days ago I heard someone sing in my living room (did I mention I live alone?). Consequently, I’ve decided to invest in a white noise generator (anyone have any suggestions?)

The past couple of weeks have been tremendously stressful and busy. I don’t have high speed internet access at home (thank you SBC), and I have decided to hold off on getting cable because I think I watch way too many sitcoms. So, I’d typically hang out at work till really late, and get home just in time to fall sleep (or to try to fall asleep). I can confidently say I’ve slept all of 23 hours cumulative this past week (Sunday night through Friday night). And you know what’s sad, is that I think my brain and body have gotten used to it. Even though I had no reason to wake up this morning, I woke up at 8am (having slept at 2.30am). And here I am – another Saturday in the Haight.

So, is sleep overrated? Do I need to be getting cranky and concerned that I haven’t slept enough? Howmany hours of sleep do you get on average? I’ve realized I spend a large amount of time just thinking about wanting to sleep. And some times I think about thinking about sleep, and some other times I think about wanting to blog about wanting to sleep.


Comments (12)
  1. Sleep is overrated! Some of the most productive and infamous people in history were light sleepers. You should try this.


    Polyphasic sleep (also known as the Uberman sleep schedule and Dymaxion Sleep) is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily. This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

    I always wanted to do this. I can manage staying awake for 2-3 sometimes even 4 days at a stretch. Now if only I could master this polyphasic sleep I could be REALLY productive. So don’t despair. 🙂

  2. Aaron says:

    I’d also look into the possibility of being a bit bi-polar. Is your mind constantly active and thinking, especially at night when you’re relaxed and trying to sleep? If so, that’s a good sign.

    Alas, too many peeps think being bi-polar is bad. What they don’t realize is that many bi-polar "sufferers" wind up being extremely sucessful and driven. Or extremely, um, drug addicted. The former is usually preferable.

  3. isobelle says:

    I love sleep! But, am a light sleeper also. I used to sleep so much in my teens, pity to the person trying to wake me before noon on a weekend. My sibling would physically have to pick my sorry self out of bed and splash water in my face for me to make it to class on time. How things have changed. Now, I wake early 7 am on the weekends thinking about what needs to be done. When did I grow up and more importantly why? I was perfectly happy wasting one third of my life drooling on my pillow! I read that sleep deprivation for extended periods of time leads to schitzophrenic like symptoms, hearing voices that aren’t necessarily yours, or what you think is not part of your personality when your awake, thinking that your thoughts are broadcasted over a loudspeaker and getting messages from the unknown also when you cant sleep, get up and do something strenuous like vaccum or push ups something to make you really tired. I’m too tired for that. Writing helps me too. But I’d just rather sit around and have a pity party about what the hell is keeping me up. Melatonin helps the circadiam rhythm schedule and can help you sleep with jet lag. I gave it to my dog when she had a brain tumor and couldnt sleep and that was the only thing that helped her. When all else fails, a hot bath, lavender, and a sleeping mask to block out the light can usually do the trick. An asprin and a beer before bed can do it also. And aren’t you trying to adjust to your new place, the sights, sounds and smells?

  4. Lakshmi says:

    You need to stop thinking so much and get some family around you…

  5. Scott Carlson says:

    I am sure people need different amounts of sleep. I get between 5 and 6 hours a night during the week and I feel like I am sharper when I am able to get more sleep. Try running a fan as a noise generator.

  6. Ahhh, the world is a better place today. Everyday I wake up just hoping and praying, that Kobe Bryant…

  7. From : … 2 : a disturbed or agitated state <storms of emotion> : a sudden

  8. I’ve been tagged. Thanks, Kim and Maneesh . So, supposedly, I tell you 5 things about me that you don’t

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