Sleep is a beautiful thing. Sleep helps you lose weight, grow taller, heighten your senses, process memories, dump old memories – you get all that for SLEEPING, an activity that, in theory, takes little to no effort, and only requires you to take the time to do it.
When I was young, I squandered the opportunities to sleep as often as I could. Well, according to my memory anyway; apparently, when I was a baby I was a very good napper. I didn’t do any of that crib-climbing stuff that I watched my little brother do with fascination. In fact, at one point, my mom said she put me on a mattress on the ground – no restraints, fences, nothing – and I made no attempt to escape whatsoever. What a loser. My brother in that same situation for one parent-imposed naptime was crawling out of there like Gollum.
But intellectually, I fought naptimes, and I stayed up late doing homework, IMing, gaming, binge-watching Netflix and staying up with my insomniac brother. Over time, I kind of forgot what it was like to have a full, complete sleep. Sometimes I noted that I was too tired to sleep. Yep, in moments of extreme tiredness, my body would do things not conducive to sleeping. My body was too sleepy to figure out how to sleep – short of collapsing in exhaustion when I finally hit zero.
It was actually my wife who pushed me to go to bed on time during my first two or so years of teaching. I still remember what it was like that first morning after an eight hours sleep. I had super powers! My food didn’t drag me down, my senses were loading up my brain with information, my work got done so fast with my usual planning that I had all this extra time, too! Life was… better! Who wouldn’t do this?!
Now, sleep is one of the only things that I lack in my life. Lack of sleep makes it hard to lose weight, work, and even spend time with my wife – which, because I’m suffering from lack of sleep, makes it so I have to make up for all of this by… you got it: NOT sleeping – which made it WORSE. Yes, learn this lesson now. Right my wrongs. Not sleeping will make you so bad at being awake that you won’t get a chance to sleep.
So now I see these young teenagers every day at my work, and on the surface of it, it looks like they’re smarter than I was. “I love sleep!” they’ll say. Yet, day after day, students will wander into my classroom with half-lidded eyes and profess to long nights of Netflix, gaming and Snapchatting. I thought you loved sleep?
When I love something, I prioritize it. I make time for it. That’s not what’s happening when my students are thinking about sleep. They are doing things that aren’t sleep, and putting it off further and further, and only thinking of it wistfully because they’re bad at being awake. “I can’t wait till spring break so I can just get some sleep,” which means that they can do all of their night time stuff and oversleep with no consequences.
So maybe it’s time to be precise: Do you love sleep, or do you hate waking up?
If it’s the latter, would you hate waking up so much if you just got some sleep?