Imagine a perfect world.
“Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Imagine all the people, living life in peace…(ooh, ooh, ooohhh).” Thanks, John Lennon.
Now, imagine that there’s no such thing as sleep. Not that you couldn’t sleep, but that you didn’t need to – that you never felt tired or out of energy. Can you imagine such a world?
I can. I think about it all the time. You might think that’s kind of weird.But, it makes sense considering how much time I spend sleeping or wishing I was asleep.
In all seriousness, it is nearly impossible for me to give up a full night of sleep. Except for the occasional hellish all-nighter, I sleep roughly eight hours a night (which I might add is the recommended dosage for youngins, so don’t judge me).
I know sleep is necessary for survival. But, I can’t help but think about how much more accomplished I would be as a person if I didn’t have to sleep so much. I read that in an average human lifespan, over 200,000 hours are spent sleeping. Did you get that? Over 200,000 hours. That’s approximately one-third of a human lifetime.
Think about how different your life would be if you had an extra one-third of time.
I can answer that question for myself by imagining that I would most surely be a 4.0 student and already have a highly prestigious job lined up for next year. I would dress like Blake Lively every single day and would be able to hold a conversation with Dr. Luengo about the meaning of life entirely in Spanish. My body would rival that of Jillian Michaels, even though I would also make daily gourmet meals fit for an Iron Chef.
Long story short, I would have my life together. Also, I wouldn’t be struggling to keep my eyes open while writing this column.
But, if wishes were fishes, the whole world would be an ocean. So, my question is, how can I manage sleeping so that I can still indulge a healthy amount without letting it take over my entire life?
Let’s start with my favorite things about sleeping. I know I’m preaching to the choir here when I say that it feels so inexplicably heavenly to crawl into bed at the end of a long day, play some relaxing TwoDots and slowly drift off to sleep. I usually fantasize about this while I’m doing my endless piles of homework. In fact, I’m nearly drooling now just thinking about it.
In addition to feeling well-rested, I also love dreaming. Now, I have some pretty bizarre dreams sometimes, and I have been known to both walk and talk in my sleep. It’s quite alarming for anyone who sleeps in the same room as me, so consider yourself duly warned.
However, I love how beautifully weird my subconscious is. Half of the things I dream about are things I couldn’t even think up while awake.
Despite the wonder of dreams, I’m still hindered by the fact that I’m sleepy all the time. It seems that as soon as I start trying to work on anything productive, I instantly feel the need to curl up in a little ball under my blankies and take a nap for a few hours or days.
Trust me, I’ve already made caffeine my friend. Black tea and I get along like two peas in a pod. However, I don’t want to become a caffeine addict. So what’s a better solution?
Well, this has been a lifelong battle for me, and I have a sinking feeling it will continue to be for years to come. However, I think the solution resides in one simple word – balance.
It is absolutely essential for me to find a happy medium between discipline and indulgence. After all, the amount of sleep I get at night affects absolutely everything I do, from the quality of my schoolwork to my daily interactions with friends and classmates.
I’m not going to start trying to operate on only five hours of sleep per night. I know some people can function like that, and to them I say, God bless you and everything you do. However, I am not that person. Sorry, not sorry.
Instead, I pledge to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I acknowledge that I cannot take on every single task in the world, nor do I really want to.
In case I haven’t said it enough yet, I have a serious love affair with sleep. On the contrary, though, I believe I can have the best of both worlds by finding energy through healthy means in order to get through the day, and then sleeping like a fetus at night.
I know that this will be a work in progress, and obviously I haven’t found my balance yet. So, for all you health and sleep gurus out there, let me know if you have any suggestions.