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sleep philosophies

this past week and a half or so, sleep has had a different role for me.

it's not just that i've been sleeping more (as in getting 7 to 8 hours and sometimes more as opposed to my normal M.O. which is anywhere from 4-7 hours, usually 6). it's that i've actually *wanted* to sleep and maybe even *enjoyed* it.

generally, i've always treated sleep as a necessary function as opposed to something to enjoy. a long time ago in my other journal i wrote an entry about it:

Just now, i'm starting to see the benefit of sleep.

I hate sleeping. Well, maybe not hate, exactly, but I don't get any particular joy out of sleeping. I know some people that like sleeping enough that they prepare themselves to sleep. They put on snuggly pajamas, drink some herbal tea, get themselves settled under the covers. I don't do that. I can fall asleep in random positions wearing random clothes at random times under various moods.

My attitude about it puzzles some people. I'm not sure why. Sure, it's kind of a shame, but whatever. It's like eating. Some people treat eating as a pure biological function. They don't eat at expensive restaurants, they get the store-brand product because it's fifteen cents cheaper, they regularly eat at the same fast food restaurant. I suppose that at some point it has to be a routine for practical reasons, but people that take pleasure out of eating view great food as an experience to savor from beginning to end.

i don't think there's ever a point where i say to myself that i look forward to a good night of sleep. Sometimes i need it and i allow myself to have it, but i don't look forward to it. not that i dread it either. i just do it.

I'm a pretty deep sleeper (i slept through a fire alarm once), and you'd think that would make me feel pretty rested, but i never do. I'm always tired. it didn't really hit me that that was true until Kim pointed it out to me. Whenever we're on the phone and she asks how I am, "tired" is in there somewhere. A part of me used to think it had to do with the times that Kim and i normally talked, but these days i have to grudgingly admit that maybe she's right about it all.

I'm tangenting again. Anyway, one of the side effects to being a deep sleeper is how slowly i wake up. It takes me about a half hour (give or take) after the alarm goes off or something wakes me up for my brain to put itself in a normal state of alertness. During that half hour, my state of consciousness still feels like it's shut off - my body is awake, the automatic response portion of my brain still works, but my brain just isn't on. I've had phone conversations with people that I don't remember at all because i wasn't really awake for it.

It's that state of mind that I'm beginning to believe is the benefit of sleep.

It's a way of treating *living* as a function in the same way that I treat sleeping or other people treat eating. Going through the motions because you need it to... uh... live, but not taking any pleasure in it.

Granted, that numbing kind of depression can achieve a similar effect, but it's different just because of what it is. You're not taking pleasure out of life, but you're still feeling something, even if it's empty. Because you understand what it is to not be numb, you still have a sense of numbness.

But in that not-yet-awake state, it's like my understanding of moods or emotions gets negated. I don't get pleasure, but neither do i feel numb. It's not that I don't feel as much as i don't understand how to feel. I can't even say that it's a great feeling because I don't know what that means in that context.

But these days... i wish i was in that state more.

Now that i read that entry again, i realize that sleep is different for me now. Not necessarily how i view it - i still don't particularly care for it - but it doesn't take me that long to become alert in the morning unless i choose not to be alert. i still have to hit snooze a few times, but that's out of *preference* for waking up slowly as opposed to necessity.

anyway. i'm not sure if this entry is going anywhere. My mind is still groggy from having just woken up, but it's something i had to put down because it was the second thing on my mind this morning when i did wake up.

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