I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Someone famous said that – I don’t care enough to find out who, but never was there a truer statement made.
College students are notorious for the abuse they put their body through. Some people drink, some smoke and others order greasy take out in the early morning hours. We don’t have to do these things – no one is forcing us to order Cluck-U at 2 a.m. However, some of us have no choice when it comes to depriving our bodies of what it thrives upon – sweet, sweet elusive sleep.
According to www.sleep-deprivation.com, the average American adult sleeps 6.9 hours a night, which can lead to exhaustion etc. I rarely get more than five hours of sleep in one night, and when I do, it is because my body has revolted, forcing me to sleep through the alarm clock.
I took a sleep deprivation quiz online while I was procrastinating on writing this article and I found out that I display symptoms of sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and periodic limb movement disorder. I fell asleep in my chair halfway through the test, so I may have more.
There are just not enough hours in the day for me to get everything that needs to be done.well done. I find myself exchanging hours that should be spent snoozing peacefully in order to do something without even giving it a second thought or realizing it. Before I know it, it is 3 a.m. and I still haven’t even gotten started. Often I can blame this on my time- consuming jobs, but many nights I just sit around talking on Instant Messenger and surfing the ol’ Web. They call this procrastination folks, and it takes 22 years to become as skilled in its arts as I am.
This environment in itself is not condusive to proper sleeping habits. Every morning that damn alarm clock goes off and I groan. I probably just set the evil machine three or four hours ago upon collapsing into my neglected bed. I get up and get myself ready with a routine I could perform with my eyes shut tight. In fact, most mornings they are.
One Tuesday morning I woke up from a one-hour nap (I had just gotten in from working in the Signal office until 6:30 a.m.). I had to get up to read for my morning class. While going through my morning motions, I didn’t realize I was brushing my teeth with dial soap until I looked up and saw I was foaming at the mouth. Let me give you a little bit of advice — keep your hand soap and your toothpaste far away from each other, else, the Dial soap pump morphs into the Mentadent pump and you’ve got some trouble on your hands. Or mouth.
So, toothpaste incidents aside, it begins – another long sleepless day. If you are anything like me, you have to fight to stay awake in class. I have employed just about every tactic I can think of to at least look like I’m awake and paying attention.
I chew gum, I mold likenesses of my professors and classmates in Silly Putty, I sing to myself, I shift frequently in my seat. I will do just about anything to assert a small margin of control over my body.
Body says: “I want to sleep, and you ain’t stopping me.”
I say: “You are my body and I will tell you what to do.”
The eyes revolt. They start to close and I’m gone. Later I’ll look down at my notebook and it’s scribbled line over scribbled line.
I can almost make out the name Achilles.
This I’m sure sounds familiar to a lot of people. And if it does my friend, you too may be sleep deprived.