Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Sleep

We spend almost a third of our lives doing it, but, in my opinion at least, there is nothing more frustrating life function than sleep. I find it more frustrating than weight management, and I'm a fat guy. While some people just get into a pattern of sleep, I've never really been afforded that luxury.

Even as a young kid I would take any opportunity to stay up late. If mom let me stay up for Carson, I wanted to watch Letterman too. For a while when I was at the Seminary I was forced to live on a very regimented sleep schedule: up at 6:00 AM and in bed by 10, but when I was home in the summer it didn't stick. Then, it was off to college where I had a grand total of 3 classes in four years that started before 10 AM. So, needless to say, I stayed up awfully late then too.

After college, I had a bunch of different jobs that saw me try and hold down all sorts of crazy sleep schedules. Working in TV, baseball, on third shift and in the suit and tie world always kept me on my toes. When I worked over night I used sugar and caffeine to keep me up and succumbed to sleep in the mornings. Once I got to my last job, I struggled with the 9 to 5 world and often found myself fighting insomnia or dealing with only a few hours each night. The nights of quality sleep were few and far between, and in the end I realized I was getting old as I started napping whenever I could.

Since I've been of work my circadian rhythm has been all over the place. (as a side note, I'd like to point out that if I ever start a band it will be called Circadian Rhythm Section, and the drummer and bass player will wear pj's.) In the first few weeks of my funemployment I was staying up later than I did when I was working. Then, we went to see my family in Maine. During the trip we started getting up at 7:30 and going to bed at a bit past 11. When we got back home, Inky and I kept up with the schedule and remarked a few times how we were really enjoying it. I thought, perhaps, that I was growing up.

Then, we got sick.

We both got a cold, but, it manifested differently in each of us. Inky got a bad cough and lost 80% of her voice. I lost 100% of the ability to breath out of my nose and two boxes of tissues and countless cough drops later we had wrecked our schedule. Over the last 6 nights it became common for me to be up till 5 or 6 AM, and sleep till 11 or noon. It looks like Inky and I both are starting to kick this thing, and so perhaps we'll get back on some semblance of a normal sleep pattern. Or maybe we'll just move to the west coast where 2 AM is actually 11 PM and 10 AM is 7 AM.
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