Mar 8, 2010

Day 13: 0 snoozes

Over the weekend, I cracked. My weakness got the better of me. I caved, I crumbled, I collapsed in a pile of delightful nine minute naps. Three of them, I think.

I wanted to see what it would be like, to see if I'd truly kicked the habit, and my tired brain concluded that the only way to know if I was still addicted was to do a few lines and see what happens.

Dumb? Yes. Regret? Not really. It was a misguided move, and risky as hell, but worth it in the end. Worth it because it showed me that yes, I'm still very addicted to the snooze button. It took EVERY. SINGLE. GRAM. of my inner strength to get out of bed after the last snooze. I could have gone for hours, and holy shit did I ever want to - and I could afford to, I didn't have to be anywhere for hours.

Oh right, I completely forgota to mention that it was an evening nap, at 6pm. That's the reason I was waking up to an alarm on the weekend, and that's the reason I let myself snooze. I made a spot decision that naps don't count, and if there was ever a time to abuse the snooze button, it's after an evening nap.

Really though, naps should count way more than mornings, because they're so fucking hard to pry yourself away from. As a general rule I avoid naps and try to hold on for as long as possible, no matter how much I'm yawning and zombie-walking - trying to wake up after 30 minute of heavy sleep is literally painful for me. I can only think of a small number of things more painful: nut shot, flesh burn, toe stub, and [pop culture reference that might elicit a chuckle at best].

When I go down for a nap, I give myself a reasonable amount of time, but for some reason I spend half of it just trying to fall asleep. That's odd because I'll have beenb so brain-dead going into the nap, but once I'm in bed, my brain ascends to the next level of wakedness and I have to lull it back to a more relaxed state. Thusly, if I give myself an hour to sleep, I spend the first half of it tossing and turning and only "sort of" sleeping.

In a lot of cases, "sort of" sleeping is actually better for me, but only if there's no "real" sleep to follow it. When I get up from a nap where I didn't actually sleep, I usually feel oddly refreshed. It seems that all I really need is to lie down for a bit, to relax, to reboot my brain or maybe even fool the brain into thinking I've slept. I might fall asleep right towards the end, but it's usually not a deep sleep because of the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements I've made.

See, in order to intentionally not fall into a deep sleep, I need to not be super-comfortablec. To pull this off, I'll either nap fully clothed on top of a made bed (including keeping phone, change etc. in my pockets, to maximize the princess-and-the-pea effect) or sleep on the floor, lying on my back. I frequently have these naps at work - I have a quiet place I go to on those particularly hard afternoons, where I'll set an alarm for twenty minutes in the future, lie on my back on the cold, hard floor, and just listen to my mp3 player and relax. I might not catch a wink of actual sleep, but the whole thing really invigorates me - I highly recommend it.

So if these naps are so much better than a full-on, nude, under-the-covers attempt at sleep, then why even bother with the latter? Easy - it's the same reason people get drunk when they know they're going to feel like ass the next day. It feels good going in, and the whole time during (I assume sleep feels good, even though I'm not awake to experience it), and so we're swayed by the temptation of the thing. That's not really surprising - most stupid shit we do results from an impulsive decision that might not be green-lit if given a second thought.

When I went to have my nap on Saturday, I knew damn well that I shouldn't get into bed, that it would hurt to wake up and that there was no chance in hell that I could resist whacking the snooze button at least twice. I did it anyway, and don't regret a minute of it, but I'm also fairly certain that it's floor-naps for me, from now on. Or street naps, that's uncomfortabler.

a. Lies
b. Pop quiz: what verb tense is that? Seriously, I don't know. Does it even exist? I bet the french have a cool name for it, like plus que parfait
c. See future post about my bizarre sleep system requirements, including giant teddy bear named Mabel.


  1. I do the 20mins at my desk too on my lunch, I crawl under and hope no one comes looking for me. No sleep, just that place where you daydream before sleep....then I get up, shake my brain around a bit, and I'm GREAT for the rest of the day. Weird.

  2. @ Allison: that daydream place, I call that "wakey sleepy land" and I'll be writing about it in the near future. Also, I've tried the under-desk thing, but I can't lay out flat so no go

  3. To answer your pop quiz: It is subjunctive past.